NVIDIA launches Quadro Plex, updated pro software

NVIDIA has bolstered its lineup of professional products with the Quadro Plex 1000, a dedicated enclosure for dual- or quad-Quadro FX graphics processor setups. The Quadro Plex 1000 is available in three configurations. The first two models have either two Quadro FX 5500 graphics cards or two dual-GPU Quadro FX 4500 X2s cards, both accompanied by Quadro G-Sync boards that offer Frame lock and Genlock display synchronization features. The Quadro Plex Model III, meanwhile, contains two Quadro FX 5500 SDI boards that can render and composite images on the fly for live video or TV broadcast.

Despite drawing a maximum 520W of power, the Plex 1000 is rated for a fairly reasonable 40dB noise output. Furthermore, the chassis is designed for desktop use, but two of the machines can be quickly adapted to fit in a 3U server rack. NVIDIA claims the Quadro Plex represents a 20-fold increase in graphics computational power per square inch. The devices will ship in September 2006 starting at a cool $17,500.

The Quadro Plex 1000 wasn't NVIDIA's only introduction related to professional graphics today. NVIDIA also released a new 2.1 beta version of its Gelato final-frame rendering software that includes easier texture baking, ray-tracing speed improvements, and support for Maya 8 and 64-bit versions of Windows. The Gelato Zone, a community, support, and training site for Gelato users, also accompanies the introduction of the new Gelato beta.

Last but not least, NVIDIA has kicked off the latest version of its NVIDIA Scene Graph Software Development Kit, a programming library designed to help the development of applications based on scene-graph data structures. The new version brings volume rendering in addition to support for Windows Vista, SLI multi-GPU configurations, and NVIDIA's latest Cg 1.5 programming language.

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