Elsa Gloria II Quadro SDR - HotHardware

Elsa Gloria II Quadro SDR

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The Elsa Gloria II Quadro SDR
Professional Graphic Solutions for High-End 3D Applications

 May 26, 2000 - By John "Tool" Fiegener

 

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 market.

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 laughed. 

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.  This 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.

 

Specifications / Features Of The Elsa Gloria II Quadro

A clean and compact design (see the size comparison below.)

  • NVIDIA Quadro GPU
  • 64-MB SDRAM unified memory
  • 50 Gflop transform and lighting engine
  • Enhanced 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 processing power
  • 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 second
  • Hardware acceleration of up to 8 light sources
  • Native, integrated OpenGL Installable Client Driver (ICD) support for Intel®'s next-generation Pentium® III XeonTM and AMD Athlon? CPUs
  • Windows® 2000, Windows NT® and Linux O/S support
  • Software DVD 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 against.

 

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. 

 

Setup and Installation

 

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