NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000

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The NVIDIA Quadro FX 3000
NV35GL Based Pro Graphics

By: Dave Altavilla
September 8, 2003
 

Back in the month of August, we showcased for you two of the current top Pro Graphics cards in the industry, the NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000 and the ATi FireGL X1.  However, at the time we were testing those two cards, NVIDIA was readying the follow-on product to their new Quadro FX 2000, dubbed the Quadro FX 3000.  A derivative of the NV30 GPU, the Quadro FX 2000 was built upon NVIDIA's NV30GL for Workstation graphics.  In kind, NVIDIA's Quadro FX 3000 is based on their NV35GL GPU and all the enhancements its base NV35 architecture brings to the table.  Specifically, the NV35GL has a 256 bit memory bus, driving standard 850MHz DDR memory.  As we have seen with their consumer level product, this wider memory bus should significantly improve available memory bandwidth to the GPU (27.2GB/sec versus 16GB/sec for the NV30GL) and thus boost performance considerably.

Beyond that, NVIDIA also beefed up certain features of the chip, targeting it to perform in specific Professional Graphics scenarios, while offering additional features which cater to this Pro Graphics market segment.  Let's run down some of the specifications and look deeper into the Quadro FX 3000.

Features And Specs
NVIDIA's Top Pro Graphics Dog


 

NVIDIA QUADRO FX WORKSTATION GPU
? 450MHz NV35GL GPU
? Full 128-bit floating-point precision pipeline
? 12-bit subpixel precision
? 8 pixels per clock rendering engine
? Hardware accelerated antialiased points & lines
? Hardware OpenGL overlay planes
? Hardware accelerated two-sided lighting
? Hardware accelerated clipping planes
? 3rd-generation occlusion culling
? 16 textures per pixel
? OpenGL quad-buffered stereo (3-pin sync connector)
? AGP 8x with Fast Writes and sideband addressing

MEMORY
? 850MHz DDR Memory Clock
? 256 Bit DDR Memory Bus
? High-speed memory, up to 256MB
? Advanced lossless compression algorithms
(color and Z data)

NVIEW ARCHITECTURE
? Advanced multi-display desktop & application
management seamlessly integrated into Microsoft
Windows.
? Dual DVI output?Drives two independent digital
displays at 1600 x1200, or one at 3840x24005.
? Dual-link TMDS?Drive one digital display up to
2048x1536 and another at 1600x1200 simultaneously
? 400 MHz DACs?Two analog displays up to 2048x1536 @ 85Hz each7
? OpenGL stereo support for resolutions up to 3840x2400


          


 

CINEFX Shading Architecture
? Fully programmable GPU (OpenGL 1.5/DirectX
9.0 class)
? Long fragment programs (up to 2048 instructions)
? Long vertex programs (up to 65,536 instructions)
? Looping and subroutines (up to 256 loops per
vertex program)
? Dynamic flow control
? Conditional execution
HIGH-LEVEL SHADER LANGUAGES
? Optimized compiler for Cg and Microsoft HLSL
? OpenGL 1.5 and DirectX 9.0 support
? Open source compiler
HIGH-RESOLUTION ANTIALIASING
? 16x Full-Scene Antialiasing (FSAA) up to
2048x1536 per display or 3840x2400 for single
digital display
? 12-bit subpixel sampling precision enhances
AA quality
APPLICATION COMPATIBILITY
? Optimized and certified for all leading
workstation applications
? Fully compliant with OpenGL 1.5
and DirectX 9.0
UNIFIED DRIVER ARCHITECTURE
? Single driver supports all products
NVIDIA QUADRO APPLICATION UTILITIES
? POWERdraft (AutoCAD)
? MAXtreme (3ds max)
? QuadroView (CAD viewer)
OPERATING SYSTEMS
? Windows® XP (WHQL-certified)
? Windows 2000 (WHQL-certified)
? Windows NT®
? Windows 98, Windows 95
? Linux?Full OpenGL implementation, complete
with NVIDIA and ARB extensions (complete XFree 86 drivers)
? Professional CAD and DCC Certifications


In our last Pro Graphics article, NVIDIA noted that they specifically enhance their "GL" products for support of things like AA points and lines, overlay planes, stereo functionality, clip regions, two sided lighting, specific hardware logic operation like hardware driven X/ORs, Hardware Stippled Lines and OpenGL quad buffered stereo.  Processing Stippled Lines for example, are not something the average consumer graphics buyer would care too much about, since they are probably not nearly as prevalent as they may be in certain CAD applications.  Essentially a "stippled" line is a broken line rendered as short dashes and sometimes dashes and dots across the screen, which can be useful in representing objects in the background or foreground of a design.

As we'll show you in the pages ahead, although NVIDIA's consumer and workstation GPUs have the same core architecture, the feature support that is bolted on to these workstation class cards, can yield significant increases in performance within various CAD and DCC applications.

Aside from that, if we didn't tell or show you the differences, you would note that on the surface, the Quadro FX 3000 sports a core GPU running at 450MHz, 256MB of DDR DRAM at 850MHz, as well Dual DVI and Stereo outputs..  

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