The hottest news from Nvidia surrounds the availability of its Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology, enabling a single computer system to employ two SLI-certified graphics cards, and its nForce Professional media and communications processors (MCPs) designed for digital content creation, visualization, and CAD environments. Nvidia’s GeForce 6800 Ultra, 6800 GT, 6800, and 6600 GT graphics boards and its nForce Professional and nForce4 MCPs provide support for SLI. The Nvidia nForce Professional MCP product line includes the 2200 and 2050 (an I/O companion chip), reportedly the industry’s only PCI Express core-logic solutions for AMD Opteron-based workstation and server platforms. The nForce Professional 2200 and 2050 MCPs support PCI Express with up to 80 lanes, Advanced Error Reporting, and Message Signal Interrupts. These new PCI Express core-logic options sport a scalable single-chip architecture that takes advantage of AMD Opteron processors’ Direct Connect Architecture, native Gigabit Ethernet with TCP/IP hardware offload, support for next-generation SATA 3Gb/sec hard drives, RAID functionality, multi-GPU capability, and the Nvidia Unified Driver Architecture.
ATI Technologies has introduced the FireGL V5000, its latest graphics accelerator for the mid-range workstation market. The ATI FireGL V5000, targeted at design professionals, is certified for such leading 3D applications as Discreet’s 3ds max, Alias’s Maya, Softimage XSI, Autodesk Viz 2005, Catia, and SolidWorks. The graphics board sports dual DVI connectors for multidisplay functionality, dual-link support for 9-megapixel displays, and stereo 3D capabilities with quad-buffered support. Now shipping at a price of $669, the ATI FireGL V5000 combines native PCI Express with eight pixel pipelines, six geometry engines, a low power consumption design, and 128mb
of CDDR3 memory.
ATI Technologies; www.ati.com
3Dlabs’ only PCI Express-based graphics card, the Wildcat Realizm 800 begins shipping this month (see Review, February, pg. 40). Priced at $2799, this professional graphics accelerator boasts a Wildcat Realizm vertex/scalability unit (VSU), dual Wildcat Realizm visual processing units (VPUs), and two dual-link DVI-I connectors and a stereo connector. The 16-lane PCI Express-based Wildcat Realizm 800 offers 128mb
of onboard DirectBurst memory and a total of 512-bit bus to 512mb
of GDDR3 graphics memory.
PNY Technologies has introduced its Verto GeForce 6600 GT PCI Express graphics card. The new offering, priced at $250, provides support for Nvidia SLI technology, up to 128mb
of DDR3 memory, and Microsoft DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0. The card also takes advantage of an eight-pipe superscalar GPU architecture with an on-chip video processor, Nvidia’s Ultrashadow II shadow processing, and a 500mhz
PNY Technologies; www.pny.com
Matrox Graphics has launched its Millennium P650 PCIe 128 graphics card. Designed for creative professionals, the new PCI Express x16 graphics board offers DualHead and Dual-DVI support for enhanced productivity, 128mb
of onboard graphics memory, and a $249 price tag. The Millennium P650 PCIe 128 also offers various image quality and video settings, compliance with OpenGL and Microsoft DirectX, and bundled software drivers and utilities.
Matrox Graphics; www.matrox.com