Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John
Fiegener. I am the Founder and Owner of tool.
Inc. We are a Product Design Group
specializing in mechanical design of products
mainly in the consumer market. I do much of
my work with the help of CAD applications and
powerful workstations driving the software.
An example of one of my more recognizable pieces,
would be the lock I helped design for the Kryptonite
Lock Company. You can thank me for
keeping that snazzy new Mountain Bike you have,
safe and sound. ;-)
At any rate, this type of advanced hardware and
software help us to conceive ideas in real time.
We have the capabilities to design and model
concepts on screen. We can then test these
concepts and apply real world situations to the
data models. Once the model is sufficient we can
then send the data out for a rapid prototype and
have a tangible concept in a day or two. The
ability to manipulate this data rapidly is very
important to the time frame of the development.
Improvements in CPU speed and graphic cards have
allowed for decreased time in getting a concept to
In the last few months, Nvidia has released a
global assault on the professional workstation
video card arena. It was only a matter of time
before gaming cards and professional graphic cards
became one. When I first started using high end
CAD applications like Pro/Engineer it was on a
$28,000 Silicon Graphics Indigo 2 running Unix.
Today I do most of my work on an over clocked
Windows NT Athlon 900 that I paid $2,400 and it is
basically 10 times as fast as the SGI. If
someone had told me then, that this was to be the
future of CAD workstations, I would have
Just as the GeForce has altered the stage of
the gaming card market so too has Elsa with its
release of the Gloria II, driven by the Nvidia
Quadro GPU processor.
is a Hot Hardware look at the Elsa Gloria II
Quadro with 64MB of SDRAM unified memory on board.
Lets take a look at the specifications.
/ Features Of The Elsa Gloria II Quadro
A clean and
compact design (see the size comparison below.)
64-MB SDRAM unified memory
50 Gflop transform and lighting engine
support for anti-aliased points and lines,
Two-sided lighting, Front buffer 3D clipping
and shared back-buffer support
350 MHz RAMDAC support display resolution up
to 2048 x 1536 pixels at 85 Hz in 3D TrueColor,
Over 200 billion operations per second
Optimized for OpenGL (Windows 98/Windows
NT4.0/Windows 2000), DirectX3 (Windows NT
4.0), Direct X5/6 (Windows 98/Windows 2000),
stereo OpenGL pending
Full OpenGL 1.2 ICD driver support.
Delivers up to 17 million triangles per
Hardware acceleration of up to 8 light
integrated OpenGL Installable Client Driver (ICD)
support for Intel®'s next-generation
Pentium® III XeonTM
and AMD Athlon? CPUs
2000, Windows NT® and Linux O/S support
player ELSAmovie on CD
This is one
of the cleanest and compact designs of a
video card that I have seen. The Quadro is
even smaller than the GeForce. At this
rate, I should be doing CAD work on my
Palm Pilot. Here is a look at a the Quadro
and the two other cards I benchmarked it
That's the Quadro on the bottom, then a
3D Labs GVX1 and 3D Labs GMX 2000. The
incredible shrinking video card!
Compared to the other two boards the
Quadro looks more like a modem. The heat
sink and fan on the Quadro are
substantially larger than those on the 3D
Labs cards, but not as nicely packaged.
One thing the GVX1 does of that the Quadro
seems to lack is the ability so support
flat panel display. There is a connector
with no reference at the base of the card
next to the video 15 pin connector that
may serve that purpose. As with most
professional video cards the Quadro comes
without the obligatory video input or the
host of free games that is almost a
standard with gaming cards. Elsa does give
you a DVD movie entitled Elsa Movie. Most
work stations do not come with a DVD
player, as the boss may not want you
watching videos while on the job.
Let's get this card under the hood and
see what she can do. I will be
benching this card against two other cards
that I have used and respect as high end
video cards from a vendor who has had a
track record for delivering outstanding
professional video cards.