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Video Card

The Quadro Plex 2200 is not an average consumer platform in any sense, and you’re not likely to find it in or around many hardcore gaming enthusiasts’ vicinity. However, it’s such a powerful and unique setup that it deserves the attention of the masses. While we’re familiar with the Quadro branch of NVIDIA, which designs machines like this for high-end imaging businesses (3D design, CAD, etc.), what makes the Quadro Plex 2200 special is the use of two or four state of the art NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 GPUs for an 8GB or 16GB memory capacity (frame buffer) as a ready-made solution.

NVIDIA Quadro Plex 2200 D2

The Quadro Plex 2200 is housed in an aesthetic tower, also referred to as a dedicated desk-side visual computing system (VCS).  The breakthrough machine offers professional visual computing power that enhances image quality, facilitates dynamic product scaling, and adds to the arsenal of NVIDIA cores for SLI multi-GPU technology, which in turn enables Mosaic Mode. A Mosaic Mode configuration can use multiple Quadro GPUs on many displays, but with all working in unison as one ultra-powerful processing unit.


Form Factor Deskside or 3U Rackmount Kit
NVIDIA Quadro GPU Quadro FX 5800
# NVIDIA Quadro GPUs 2 or 4
Total Frame Buffer 8 GB or 16 GB (4GB/GPU)
Display Channels 4 dual-link DVI
SLI Mosaic Mode yes
Shader Model 4.0 
NVIDIA® CUDA™ Parallel Computing Processor yes
Genlock/Framelock yes
Frame Synchronization yes
FSAA (maximum) 64x
G-Sync Version II

It has the best resolution, image quality, and display size with solutions up to 128 SLI FSAA. The system also features the Quadro G-Sync solution, which enables frame synchronization, frame lock, and gen lock to help with performance, quality, and resolution.

The Quadro Plex 2200 is built on the proven Quadro GPU architecture and has the flexibility to be combined with any certified PCI Express platform with Gen 2 support. The system can be positioned desk-side, or fit into any standard 19" rack environment.

Full pricing information is not currently available, but the unit is said to be priced in the $10,750 range.


NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800NVIDA’s latest Quadro graphics card, the Quadro FX 5800, is designed for use by professional designers utilizing such tools as Photoshop, CAD software, or 3D modeling applications.  It is also used for medical imaging and gas/oil exploration operations.  The card is the first in the industry to feature 4GB of graphics memory, surpassing even NVIDIA’s top of the line enthusiast exclusive video cards like the 9800 GX2 (2GB).

In addition to the FX 5800’s massive RAM, it also presents up to 240 CUDA programmable parallel cores. The memory bandwidth is up to 102GB per second, the card supports interactive 4D modeling with time lapse capability, and the fill rates are above 52 billion texels per second. Furthermore, the Quadro FX 5800 features 10-bit color, with geometry performance of up to 300 million triangles per second.

Of course, the FX 5800 supports both DirectX 10 and OpenGL. It also features multi-device and multi-system virtualization as well as Quadro G-Sync 2.

The NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800 is priced around $3500, position toward designers, engineers, architects, and other professionals who need top of the line graphics cards as a business component.


Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe Video CardThe new Palit Revolution 700 stakes claim to being the world’s fastest graphics card. It’s the first custom designed HD 4870 X2 in the world, and its features are quite impressive. The Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe presents dual GPUs pre-overclocked to 750MHz core speed, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, and 3800 MHz memory speed.  It provides 2.4 teraflops of pure graphics power and 1600 stream processors which combine to create the strongest graphics card on the market. The Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe provides X2 performance and continues the trend of Palit’s Sonic Edition graphics cards, which offer enhanced memory and core speed.

The Palit Revolution 700 also offers a great cooling system. For Palit to create an effective cooling system for the Revolution 700 Deluxe, they custom designed an innovative cooling solution with dual fans, one for each GPU. Arriving with two PWM fans and four heat-pipes, the Revolution 700 Deluxe comes fully equipped to fight off heat while providing the same quality high performance. Created for two GPUs, the PWM fans provide enough airflow to not only cool the two GPUs on the Revolution Deluxe, but to cool them quietly. The temperature of the GPU controls the PWMs fan speed which varies depending on how warm the processor is, which enables silent operation much of the time.

Supporting DiplayPort, HDMI, Dual-Link DVI, and D-Sub, the Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe is the first HD 4870 X2 to support 4-in-1 display outputs. One could easily make the claim that the Revolution 700 Deluxe is a giant leap forward in the graphics industry and may be the graphics solution of the future with home entertainment and gaming.

As most here will know, GPU is short for graphics processing unit, a piece of hardware that is dedicated to rendering graphics. Years ago, when the personal computer first found its way into homes, dedicated GPUs did not exist. All graphics were displayed and manipulated by the CPU (the central processing unit). As a result, only primitive images could be displayed, without performance issues. It wasn’t until the 1980s that the first dedicated GPU was invented.

Having a dedicated GPU means that all graphics related processing can be offloaded to the graphics card, which can do a much better job at rendering graphics. The more efficient the GPU, the better the graphics display. In the 1990s, with the rise of the Windows operating system, 2D GPUs capable of high resolution rendering took the market by storm. As hardware and software applications continue to evolve, more powerful GPUs are needed to cater to the more demanding needs.

Modern games and software applications often require significant graphics processing power, mainly for 3D rendering and image/video processing. Such applications include 3D games and graphics/video manipulation software like Adobe CS4.

GPUs have now matured to the point that they can be used for processing other than visual.  The latest GPUs, including the GeForce 8, 9, and 200-series with a minimum of 256MB of local graphics memory, can accelerate such operations as video decoding, encoding, editing, audio encoding, image manipulation, and content creation.  This first came in the form of video decoding.  It would take at least eight Intel CPU cores to match the video decoding power of a single GPU using the NVIDIA PureVideo HD or ATI UVD decode engine in many cases.  With software designed to utilize the GPU for processing, the GPU is much faster than today’s dual-core and quad-core CPUs for other operations as well.  Another example is video encoding and transcoding.  An applications such as Badaboom can be accelerated as much as 400% using GPU processing.

Adobe CS4 is a modern image manipulation software used by many professional designers. The software started out as an image editing software, commonly known as Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop was used by many designers to edit 2D images – mostly photographs. Since then, Adobe has released a suite of image and video editing software. The whole suite of software is known as Adobe CS4. In the complete suite, you find new features that were not possible before the existence of 3D GPU.  In fact, with the CS4 release, Adobe has implemented full GPU acceleration to massively improve the performance of almost every operation.

For example, when using Adobe Photoshop CS4, you find that real-time zooming, panning, and rotation of even the largest image appears smooth and instantaneous. In other words, you will not see flickering as you would otherwise experience with a different video card or software application.

The differences are even more remarkable when you are using Adobe Premiere CS4. Adobe Premiere is one of the best video editing software solutions in the market. As special effects in videos such as blur effects or turbulent noise demand a lot more processing power, Adobe Premiere CS4 is able to take better advantage of nVidia’s GPU accelerating capabilities. The user will find it easier to add graphics and video effects to a video, thus speeding up the work flow dramatically.

As you can see, GPU acceleration is becoming well established as a “partner” of the CPU for many intensive tasks.  More and more applications will use GPU acceleration in the near future to offer significant performance increases and even power operations that were formerly not approachable with CPU power alone.   The popular TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress from Pegasys Inc. is one such application that is highly anticipated to utilize CUDA GPU acceleration.