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Nvidia Quadro 5000: Features, Connectors, And Driver

Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800

DisplayPort is the graphics card industry’s new favorite connector, since it guarantees high scalability for upcoming display solutions. There’s just one catch. How do you establish a new connector if the monitor makers aren’t willing to play along, and the majority of users have only just made the switch from VGA to DVI? Many folks may not even quite know what to make of HDMI yet, much less DisplayPort.

Nvidia’s approach is a cautious one, and while the company equips the Quadro 5000 with two DisplayPort connectors, it also provides a single dual-link DVI output. However, unless your monitor is already compatible with DisplayPort, you’ll still need to buy additional adapters if you’re planning to use a multi-monitor setup.

The memory system has also undergone an evolutionary change in that it now supports ECC (error correction code), making the Quadro 5000 the first card with this capability. The technique is not necessarily all that relevant to image processing. However, it is of great importance in medical analysis, financial computation, and cluster-based configurations. Even small single-bit errors can have a tremendous impact on the final result. ECC allows the graphics card to detect and correct this type of error, just like server and workstation motherboards can with system memory. The downside is that it results in a performance penalty. By default, Nvidia deactivates this feature in its drivers.

Nvidia also provides a 3-pin DIN port for use with 3D shutter glasses on the card’s backplate. The company already has compatible wireless solutions in its product portfolio as well.

Feature-wise, Nvidia is competitive with AMD once again. Shader Model 5, DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1, and OpenCL 1.0 are all finally supported in this generation of GPUs after several delays. Special solutions like Framelock, Genlock, and Serial Digital Interface required by the broadcast industry are also provided by this card.

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