Graphics Boosters For OpenGL Workstations

NVIDIA/PNY Quadro FX 500: Entry Level

Like ATI's FireGL T2, the Quadro FX 500 is an OpenGL entry-level model. It is based on the NV34GL graphics chip. The classic NV34, by the way, also features the GeForce FX 5200. NVIDIA uses 128 MB DDR-I modules for memory. Based on the 128 bit bus, this gives a maximum bandwidth of 7.8 GB/s at a clock speed of 300 MHz.

The output from the graphics pipeline is rather wretched. Just 45 millions triangles/s and a fill rate of 1.1 billion texels/s mean the Quadro FX 500 is only suitable for customers with few demands in rendering performance. The typical user uses it to create building plans, such as floor plans or office equipment, etc. and simple mechanical components.

The main functions on this chip are:

  • Floating-point pipeline with complete IEEE 128 bit precision
  • 32 bit color precision per component
  • 12 bit sub-pixel precision
  • Hardware 8x full-scene anti-aliasing (FSAA)
  • OpenGL and DX9.0 programmability

Users of analog monitors don't necessarily need a DVI-to-VGA adapter since the FX 500 has a VGA port - in contrast to NVIDIA's other workstation cards. At least you have the option of connecting a digital flatscreen monitor to the DVI-I port.

Uwe Scheffel