Review of the NVIDIA Quadro 4000

We are lucky to be living in such a wonderful age. Using visual effects, we can create just about anything using nothing but computers, and our imagination. This process can be fun and easy, or difficult, depending upon the tools that are available to us.

Since the days of the old 8086 processors, the number of computer cores has risen. My “Review “machine is a 12 core Mac that offers 24 cores via multi threading that accesses the 12 virtual cores as well. That may sound like a lot, but it’s only part of the picture.

The invention of CUDA technology has transformed professional graphics by offering a bunch of additional graphics processing cores or GPU’s. Now, instead of adding more CPUs, we just add more GPUs. What is so awesome about this is that you can transform your workflow with advanced visualization, and up to eight times faster performance using NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000 card. Each card adds about 250 CUDA GPU cores, which really speed things up. How you might ask?

With its fast 64-bit double precision floating-point capabilities to ensure the accuracy of your results, A Quadro 4000 card can process up to 890 million triangles per second. This allows you to not only work faster, but to deliver higher-quality results in less time.

The good news is that CUDA fever seems to be taking hold in our industry.

Because of the power of CUDA parallel processing, more and more software developers are using it, and I believe that we will see many more programs convert to this technology in the future. After all, who wouldn’t want to see a huge increase in the speed of their production software? Time is money, so faster is better.

If you want to gain even more power, you can add more than one Quadro 4000 card to your system via a bus expander such as the Cubix box. I use a Cubix bus expander card in slot 2 of my Mac Pro, which sends data up a cable to be processed by two 4000 cards in the external Cubix box. This gives me 500 CUDA processing cores, which will handle anything thrown at it by my Da Vinci Resolve for Mac, or Adobe software.

Even though you may think that these cards seem expensive, I have found that the Quadro 4000 cards are actually a cost-effective way to achieve high performance. Allow me to explain.

My computer’s GPUs are about five times as powerful as the Quadro 4000’s CPUs. If you do the math, my 500 GPU cores are roughly equivalent to adding 100 CPU cores to my system. Is not the exact equivalent, but you get the idea. Two Quadro 4000 cards at under $2000 with the Cubix box at about the same money, are much less expensive than adding five more Mac pros at cost of over $30,000.

The only downside of these cards is that they run a bit hot, so you will have to listen to the fan on your Mac Pro. It’s a small trade off, and most high-performance hardware is a bit on the noisy side anyway, so you’re probably used to it by now.

Technically speaking the Quadro 4000 card has some amazing features. The high dynamic range sets new standards for image clarity and quality because of its floating-point capabilities. This means that all of the shading, filtering, texturing, and blending of your visual effects processing will be improved. You will also be able to see it better as well.

The clarity of your display image is also enhanced by the 4000’s ability to connect to your monitor via dual link DVI-I at up to 3840 x 2400 resolution at 24 Hz. You can also use a 2560 x 1600 resolution at 60 Hz, via DVI-I or HDMI. The 30bit color fidelity at 10 bits per color, allows you to work in BILLIONS of colors rather than millions of colors, for a rich and vivid image that has the broadest dynamic range.

Are you a broadcaster? When it comes to output, the Quadro 4000 digital video pipeline is the industry’s only GPU accelerated workflow for real-time acquisition, processing, and delivery of high-resolution SDI video across both traditional and 3-D video broadcasts. It supports 8, 10, and 12bit SDI via the optional Quadro 4000 SDI Capture and Output cards. Some of these features are Windows only but will work on Mac using Boot Camp.

As you can see, NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000 card can help you in a lot of ways. It can be used to enhance the image on your displays while you are editing, as well as cutting down on your render times. It can even help you to accelerate your broadcast capabilities. All in all, NVIDIA’s Quadro 4000 card is a pretty amazing addition to anyone’s system.

MSRP: Street price under $1000




About david

I have been in the Audio/Video production business for over 35 years, and I still enjoy using all of the latest production gear, and reviewing it.
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