Computer Graphics World

January/February 2015

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j a n u a r y . f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 5 c g w 4 7 vidia's Quadro graphics cards are the standard for graphics profes- sionals. Unlike gaming cards, which are tuned mostly for higher frame rates, profes- sional cards such as the Quadro are geared for professional applications that require the use of large models, scenes, and datasets. These cards typically have more memory and are built with high-end components for 24/7 operation, making them attractive to users such as CAD professionals, digital content creators, and those wanting lots of parallel process- ing power. To meet this demand, Nvidia extended its Quadro lineage with a new family of cards. These new cards range from the entry-level K420, up to the high-performance K5200, which is reviewed here. The new hardware not only provides graphics acceleration, but it also adds significant parallel processing power to accelerate compute-intensive tasks. From a physical standpoint, the K5200 looks like the typical high-powered graphics card. It takes up two slots, requires a six-pin power connector, but is slightly longer than the K5000, its predecessor. The back of the card has four connectors – two DisplayPorts and two dual-link DVI ports, supporting up to four simultaneous displays. With full support of DisplayPort 1.2, these give you a resolution of up to 3840 x 2160 per monitor, which is great for those working with 4 k footage. Multiple cards can also be configured using Nvidia's SLI technology, offering the possi- bilities of even more displays – up to 16 with a motherboard that supports four cards. A separate sync card can be installed to synchronize multiple monitors for applications such as stereoscopic 3D and video production. For those want- ing to go beyond 4 k, Nvidia's Mosaic technology can span your display space across mul- tiple monitors and make them appear to be one single display, complete with fancy features such as bezel correction. This can be very useful for setups such as video walls and virtual- reality spaces. Another nice soware tool is Nvidia's Nview, which gives fine control over your workspace, allowing for multiple desktops and more. Inside the card, the Quadro K5200 features the GK110 chip, which employs a more ad- vanced version of the Kepler ar- chitecture used on the K6000. In many ways, the K5200 is much closer to the K6000 than the K5000 it replaced – it is that much more powerful. The total number of CUDA cores is 2,304, with 8 gb of GDDR5 SDRAM, almost double that of the K5000. This additional memory means more stuff – bigger datasets, more textures, more geometry, and…more. This will make for a faster and more interactive experience. Com- pared to the K5000, memory bandwidth has gone up a bit, to 192 gb/sec. Power consumption is set at a modest 150w. The card is supported under Windows and Linux but cur- rently not OS X. We installed the Quadro K5200 on a Windows 7-based system with a six-core i7 processor and 32 gb of RAM. We configured the card with dual 1080p monitors to run our tests. The card was used in a digital content creation environment and tested against applica- tions such as Autodesk's Maya, 3ds Max, and MotionBuilder, open-source Blender, as well as Adobe applications, such as Aer Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photo- shop. The card had no issues with any of these applications. As for performance, we ran the card against the standard Viewperf 12 suite, which is used to test both CAD and digital content creation workstations. By replaying the OpenGL code used to display objects in various applications such as Maya, Pro E, and CATIA, the test gives a fairly accurate read of the card's performance. The results were very good (see chart below). We didn't have another card to test against this one, but the published results on the Viewperf 12 website indicate that the K5200 seems to be very close to the Quadro K6000 in terms of perfor- mance, and it outperforms the Quadro K5000 by about 15 to 20 percent, depending on the application. We also ran a few more benchmark tests for the card. Maxon's Cinebench R15 test gave us an OpenGL score of 102.4 fps. The SPEC 3ds Max 2015 test reported a composite score of 44.71. Again, these are very good numbers. The card is a solid performer. Nvidia cards, such as the Quadro K5200, also provide acceleration to many popular applications. Adobe is continu- ing to expand support within its graphics suite, accelerating the handling of massive HD and 4 k video files. Many commercial 3D rendering applications also uti- lize the power of an Nvidia CUDA GPU to speed up the process. For those who do a lot of rendering, Nvidia's Iray physical- ly-based renderer is becoming more and more popular in the design community. The renderer utilizes the power of Nvidia catia-04 95.92 Creo-01 73.28 energy-01 3.57 maya-04 67.93 medical-01 28.45 showcase-01 48.85 snx-02 81.56 sw-03 121.06 NVIDIA K5200 N BY GEORGE MAESTRI K5200 $2,499 / $1,899 street Nvidia THE DOUBLE-WIDE QUADRO K5200 CAN POWER UP TO FOUR DISPLAYS. R E V I E W

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