Print 32 comment(s) - last by Seymourbbuts.. on Aug 6 at 4:16 PM

An external Quadro with a ton of processing power

NVIDIA has released its Quadro Plex 1000 Visual Computing System (VCS) at SIGGRAPH 2006. Powered by NVIDIA SLI and Quadro graphics technology the Quadro Plex 1000 is designed with advanced visualization capabilities such as 4K high-definition video, 3D styling and design, scientific and medical visualization, oil and gas exploration and visual simulation and training in mind.

The Quadro Plex 1000 is available in a 3U rackmount or desktop configurations. Performance capabilities of Quadro Plex 1000 systems is rated for up to 80-billion pixels/sec, seven billion vertices/sec, resolutions up to 148 megapixels on 16 synchronized digital output channels and eight HD SDI channels. Three models of varying performance capabilities are available—Model I, Model II and Model III.

Model I and Model II Quadro Plex 1000 systems are similar in specifications with two Quadro FX 5500 graphics cards in SLI, 1GB video memory per graphics card, 4 dual-link DVI, Genlock/framelock compatibility and 32x SLI FSAA. Model I can accept an optional NVIDIA Quadro G-Sync module and supports Frame Synchronization while Model II has an optional NVIDIA Quadro SDI module and HD SDI support. Model II is a behemoth with two NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 X2s and 512MB of graphics memory per GPU. Eight dual-link DVI outputs, Genlock/framelock, Frame Synchronization and 64x SLI FSAA are also supported. It will also accept an optional NVIDIA Quadro G-Sync module too.

NVIDIA partners such as Google have plenty of good things to say about the new NVIDIA Visual Computing Systems; “Seeing the new NVIDIA Quadro Plex running Google Earth is an astounding visual experience," said Michael Jones, chief technologist, Google Earth, Maps and Local. "This extreme level of performance and resolution takes the viewer from visual simulation to emotional reality, showing the Earth in its full detail and glory. Google Earth and the NVIDIA Quadro Plex are a perfect pair—powering a new world of imagination.”

Quadro Plex 1000 Visual Computing Systems are compatible with x86 and x86-64 systems with Intel and AMD processors. Windows and Linux operating systems are supported. The Visual Computing Systems connect to systems using a PCI Express x16 interface with a 2M NVIDIA Quadro Plex Interconnect Cable. A 520 watt power supply provides power to Quadro Plex 1000 Visual Computing Systems. NVIDIA rates acoustic performance on Quadro Plex 1000 Visual Computing Systems at 40 decibels.

Pricing for Quadro Plex 1000 Visual Computing Systems start at $17,500.

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By Scabies on 8/2/2006 2:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
"Connecting with a 2m nVidia Quadro Plex Interconnect Cable," which spouts out the back of your main case where the interconnect thing is plugged into a PCIe x16 slot.
Therefore, Holy Damn, one (hypothetically) could get two of these mugs in mobo SLI (while each one is SLIed by itself) with the appropriate driver support.
Is this what the external video card hubbub was all about? Cause I would love to see one of these with empty innards to plug in whatever card you like (read "can afford")

RE: !
By Scabies on 8/2/2006 2:17:30 AM , Rating: 2
*checks NVIDIA site*
damn, these have all kinds of weird ports on the back. Model 1 has what appears to be four DVI ports, two SVIDEO ports, and two LAN ports, and I cant tell but it looks like a knob?
Model II has double Model I. Eight DVIs, four SVIDEOs, and four LANs. I'm going to stop, since Model III has stuff I cant even name.

There's a little disclaimer at the bottom:
"maximum # of Quadro Plex per host = 2"

So, there's our quad SLI Quadro. pun.
Yeilding eight GPUs when having two of either the Model II or the model III.
shxt. I'm going to bed.

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:22:43 AM , Rating: 2
Those LAN ports are used for some kind of synchronization between graphics cards; genlock, framelock, or whatever they call it...

I don't think if you can 'SLI' 2 of these boxes with any current drivers... but it isn't impossible...

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:27:15 AM , Rating: 2
Er, I don't know, maybe they are LAN ports, I'm not digging any more into that.. they are probably Ethernet/RJ45 jacks of some kind, whether or not they're actually used for networking I'm unsure, as I have seen other Quadro cards, and their 'network' ports are for something else.

The 'knob' is a CATV/Coaxial connector of some kind...

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:32:36 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong link, my bad.. lost it.. arg, was supposed to be a pdf, that's an swf...

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:45:12 AM , Rating: 2
wtf, I can't find it on nvidia's website anymore, but I swear to god it was like right there, I copied the link, then I copied that swf's page link to send in an instant msg and forgot....

I just googled for some words I read in it, and got this...
Why isn't this on nvidia's website? Anyway, go to page 3... you'll see something familiar.

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 5:23:05 AM , Rating: 2
*cough* upon review, my bad, page 4...

RE: !
By PhantomKnight on 8/2/2006 9:13:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think the LAN ports (if they are in fact LAN ports) are for the abillity of like 3DS Max to offload rendering work to a\multiple computers on the same network. I'd imagine that this external box works in a simialr but more powerful way, this'd be like the quick PnP feature everyone wants.

RE: !
By Suomynona on 8/2/2006 4:29:54 AM , Rating: 2
All those funny ports are the "options" listed on the model comparison page: either sync or SDI outputs.

and they clearly say on the Requirements page that you can SLI the boxes:
PCI Express® x16 slot (up to 2 NVIDIA Quadro Plex per SLI certified system)

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:34:04 AM , Rating: 3
It doesn't say you can SLI the boxes, only that you can use 2 of them...

That could simply mean you have effectively 2 graphics cards, each of them as one of those boxes with 2/4 GPUs...

RE: !
By defter on 8/2/2006 5:49:57 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't say you can SLI the boxes, only that you can use 2 of them...

The press release says:
"resolutions up to 148 megapixels"

That kind of resolution is only possible when two boxes are working together on a same image. Thus, SLI across boxes is possible.

Dual link DVI max resolution: WQUXGA (3840 × 2400) @ 41 Hz => 9.216Mpix

Single type II box (8 dual link DVI outputs): 73.7Mpix
Dual type II boxes (16 dual link DVI outputs): 147.4Mpix

With two boxes you could easily drive 4x4 display wall (16 displays in total) consisting of Apple/Dell's 30" LCDs at full resolution :)

RE: !
By brshoemak on 8/2/2006 7:49:21 AM , Rating: 3
With two boxes you could easily drive 4x4 display wall (16 displays in total) consisting of Apple/Dell's 30" LCDs at full resolution :)

With two boxes you could easily drive a new Lexus :)

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 8:14:25 AM , Rating: 2
I swear to god if this thing eats another of my posts...

Virtual dual head technology does not equal 'nVidia SLI'.

Each Optiplex... ah ****, I should have copied my last post...

Anyway, short and sweet, just because you can have 2 of these spitting out 16 DVI links full throttle to get a total 148Mp resolution does not have anything to do with SLI.

I agree SLI with any combination of videocards is possible - even "CrossLI" (combination of nVidia SLI & ATI Crossfire) is possible, but I don't think that they're supporting it upon delivery, or that they will support it any time soon.

RE: !
By Tyler 86 on 8/4/2006 8:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
Technicly, with the right software, recent desktop segment Radeon & GeForce cards can render images well over 148 megapixels... not with any feasible time constraint, mind you... and display them on a 148Mp dfp wall... It's tricky, oh so tricky, in the realm of possibility...

Heck, I could probably make my "old" Radeon 9800 Pro do it...

Should nVidia support SLIing these monsters, I will be both pleasantly supprised and mystified that someone actually found a use for a huge synchronized ultra-high resolution 16 flat-panel-display sized wall within a (virtually) singlular framebuffer...

Like that 'lost episode' of Dave Chapelle's show where he cuts off a freshly hatched T-Rex's head, simply because it's the most 'baller' thing he could possibly do...

... and while he's at it, he sprinkled diamonds on his food to make his doo-doo twinkle...

No, no, nVidia just isn't that 'baller' yet.

One for gaming
By shuttleX on 8/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: One for gaming
By das mod on 8/1/2006 5:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
do you even know what these systems are capable of ???
comparing it to a merely 7950GX2-SLI configuration is pathetic ... those systems can simulate any image @ incredible resolution ... you current computer screen can even handle past 1600x1200 .... please, think before posting.

RE: One for gaming
By Mojo the Monkey on 8/1/06, Rating: 0
RE: One for gaming
By RMTimeKill on 8/2/2006 2:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
In the gaming sector, yea, deffinitly no market, but this is a good thing for Pixar type companies, they should gobble this up!!

And to the guy who says your computer screen can't handle past 1600x1200... what weak, lame old screen burned CRT are you using??? not to flame, but that was just an ignorant comment...

RE: One for gaming
By Burning Bridges on 8/2/2006 3:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
Just posting to laugh at you for flaming the grammer of the flamer of the original poster



RE: One for gaming
By Seymourbbuts on 8/6/2006 4:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
There is a difference between bad grammer and typing errors.

RE: One for gaming
By crazydrummer4562 on 8/3/2006 12:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
I think it would be awesome if they could get manufacturers to agree to some kind of port integration on their boards. Think about it, you could move it from computer to computer and if you throw a modest PPU in there you could turn very modest rigs into game capable ones.

RE: One for gaming
By Seymourbbuts on 8/6/2006 4:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
I think he means so you can have Quad-SLI but with only one expansion slot being used. It would be good for those who have SFF computers.

The form factor is very very interesting
By ninjit on 8/1/2006 8:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
Of course this thing is out of reach of most people, but the idea of having the graphics card external to the main tower is one I really like.

mostly because of the shear amount of power high-end graphics cards need these days, Having an external graphics "brick" would solve a lot of power headaches. You'd no longer need a huge internal power supply to do all the work, and could have a seperate one for the graphics card(s).

Also, since this obviously does SLI over a single PCIe x16 slot, couldn't a 3rd part manufacturer make something that takes a single PCIe x16 connection and routes it to two x8 slots in a pretty external enclosure, that I could then plug whatever card I liked into?

We already have fast external hard drives with their own power supplies, so why not this (albeit more reasonably priced and user configurable than what nvidia is selling here).

I could find this really useful. Whenever I went away for a while, I could take the box and hand it to my brother or a friend who wanted to play something with insane graphics while I'm gone.

Heck, I could take it with me too.

We need a fast external interface to use with graphics boxes like eSATA does for storage.

hmmm.... I'm dreaming too much again... back to work.

RE: The form factor is very very interesting
By FliGuyRyan on 8/2/2006 12:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
ninjit, thanks for the idea; I'll have to look into a patent soon... ;-)

Seriously though, that is a great idea. That would "free up" a lot of space inside and would provide better options for the consumer in the long run (I think?).

By Tyler 86 on 8/2/2006 4:15:16 AM , Rating: 2
That's part of the PCI Express standard... it's already been implemented, to some degree...

Look for ribbon-cable style PCI Express extenders, if you find one long enough, (or if you understand the specification, you might be able to make one yourself to the desired length) you can make yourself an external enclosure...

As for an external power supply for graphics cards, that can/has be done too.

I don't know why any mainstream motherboard manufacturer hasn't gone with the external slot extender concept yet...

Would make for an awefully small PC, maybe 'nano-ITX' or smaller...
The mainboard consisting of the CPU, memory, and chipset { SATA, basic video, audio, and USB controllers on the main board, perhaps all integrated into a single chip }...
The backplate with a proprietary PCI-E x16/x32/x48/x64 (or greater) 'cable' port, which can be split in any way the user saw fit, { 2x16,4x8 }, or { 2x8,4x4 }, or { 1x16,2x8 }, or { 1x16,1x8,1x4,4x1 }, or any other combination, by the PCI-E standard...

All you'd have in the main enclosure would be the CPU, Memory, Motherboard, Hard drive & CD drive... You could make it even smaller than the iMac mini.. and by extension, turn it into a gigantic gaming rig in seconds, even trading your gaming equipment between similar rigs, or perhaps even laptops, with ease..

Wouldn't that be nice? :P

Woot, maybe this can run Elderscrolls: Oblivion
By rykerabel on 8/1/2006 5:30:34 PM , Rating: 3

By Samus on 8/1/2006 5:53:39 PM , Rating: 2
yea, at medium detail no less!

Whats the point?
By Operandi on 8/2/2006 12:57:58 AM , Rating: 4
Am I missing something here or is this just an external box for a pair of SLi'd GPUs?

Urge to rob a bank... RISING!
By UsernameX on 8/1/2006 5:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
I want one of those! But where am I to find the ban... I mean cash =)

By lemonadesoda on 8/1/2006 5:51:21 PM , Rating: 2
"Google earth"... yawn.

"Seven billion vertices/sec"... we want to see this baby in action doing some real "interactive" DirectX work ;-)

GeForce 7950 X2 ~ Quadro 4500 X2
By vgermax on 8/1/2006 6:09:56 PM , Rating: 2
The GeForce 7950 approximates the performance of the Quadro FX 4500 in most instances. There are variations, to be sure but they are comparable parts. While there are no doubt optimizations to the Quadro Plex, it is effectively a packaged quad SLI with the G71(L) GPU. i.e. it's a quad variant of the 7950 with OpenGL optimizations for workstation use.

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