The last time Nvidia shipped a product called "FX 5800," things didn't turn out so well. This time, Nvidia has brought back the FX 5800 moniker to define its latest and greatest Quadro professional graphics card, which packs a whopping 4GB of memory and seems to be based on the same GT200 GPU as the company's fastest desktop offerings.
The Quadro FX 5800 is launching at $3,499, and its spec sheet looks well furnished: 240 stream processors, fill rate of 52 billion texels per second, 128-bit precision, true 10-bit color support, 102GB/s memory bandwidth (which should translate to an 800MHz GDDR3 clock speed, if my math is right), and "interactive 4D modeling with time lapse capabilities." Nvidia says the Quadro FX 5800 should be well suited to applications like "oil and gas exploration, medical imaging, styling and design, and scientific visualization."
For reference, the GeForce GTX 280—Nvidia's speediest desktop card—has a 48.2 billion texels/second fill rate and a gig of RAM clocked at 1107MHz. Nvidia's numbers suggest the Quadro FX 5800 might actually be more power-efficient than its desktop counterpart, too. The company quotes maximum power consumption of 189W for the Quadro and "Maximum Graphics Card Power" of 236W for the GTX 280.
Look for the Quadro FX 5800 in future workstations and from Nvidia's usual professional GPU partners, including PNY Technologies, Leadtek, and Elsa.