Issue: Volume: 33 Issue: 1 (Jan. 2010)


Dell Unveils Powerful, New Mobile Workstation

Dell continued to push the boundaries of mobile performance by announcing the world’s most powerful mobile workstation, the Precision M6500. Shown publicly at Autodesk University recently, the Dell Precision M6500 delivers performance while managing massive amounts of data, making it desirable for creative professionals, designers, animators, engineers, research scientists, and defense customers with authentication and data encryption.

The M6500 enables memory scalability of up to 16gb with four DIMM slots. It is also the world’s first mobile workstation to support DDR3 1600 mhz memory, giving it a performance boost capable of handling virtually any mixture of engineering, database, and software-development workloads. The machine also has an optional Intel Core i7-920XM Quad Core Extreme Edition processor linked with fast 1066 mhz, 1333 mhz, and 1600 mhz memory. It is the first mobile workstation to offer the new Nvidia Quadro FX 3800M graphics solution featuring 128 Cuda parallel computing cores; optimization for OpenGL 3.2, Shader Model 4.0, DirectX 10.1, Direct Compute, and OpenCL professional applications; a 256-bit memory interface; 1gb G-DDR3 graphics memory; ultra-fast 64gb/sec graphics bandwidth; and Nvidia’s PowerMizer 9.0 power management solution. Other graphics options include the Nvidia  Quadro FX 2800M and the ATI FirePro M7740.

The workstation ships with an optional RGB LED, edge-to-edge, 17-inch screen with 100 percent user-selectable color gamut support. It also offers the option of three internal storage drives.

Available now, the Dell Precision M6500 mobile workstation carries a starting price of $2749.

PRODUCT: Mobile Workstation

Pixar Releases RenderMan
Pro Server 15.0 Software

Pixar Animation Studios unveiled Version 15.0 of its RenderMan Pro Server software. The release introduces many innovations, including unlimited threading per machine, volume primitives, important additions to the RenderMan Shading Language, support for Disney’s forthcoming open-source Ptex per-face painted textures, imager shaders, an API for subdivision surfaces, and more. RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 also delivers performance increases for production scene rendering in the areas of raytracing, ambient occlusion, improved thread scalability, and optimized memory management.

The introduction of unlimited threading enables artists to maximize the full power of their rendering hardware, allowing each license of RenderMan to utilize any number of threads on the latest multi-core platforms. RenderMan Pro Server 15.0 is the first product to introduce unlimited threading, with others following shortly.

RenderMan Pro Server 15 is compatible with Mac OS X, Linux 32-bit and 64-bit, Windows XP 32-bit, Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit, and Windows Vista 64-bit HPC Server. RenderMan Pro Server (Photorealistic RenderMan and Alfserver) is priced at $3500; upgrade pricing from RenderMan Pro Server14.0 to 15.0 is also available.

Product: Rendering

Nvidia Rolls Out New
Quadro Graphics Solutions

Nvidia launched new Quadro professional graphics solutions for desktop and mobile workstations, designed to boost productivity and enhance creativity of 3D design professionals running Autodesk applications.

Optimized and certified for AutoCAD, 3ds Max, and other Autodesk software, the new offerings include the Quadro FX 380 LP low-profile, entry-level graphics solution. The most affordable and flexible Quadro professional graphics solution, with a price of $169, is ideal for design professionals moving from 2D to 3D.

The Quadro FX 3800M and Quadro FX 2800M mobile workstation solutions, meanwhile, feature up to 128 Cuda cores for massively parallel computational graphics and deliver 30-bit color accuracy for display of more than one billion colors. With 1gb of dedicated graphics memory, they enable users to efficiently manipulate larger datasets in graphics-intensive 3D applications, such as Autodesk Revit Architecture, Inventor, and Moldflow. The mobile offerings enable real-time raytracing, interactive volume rendering, and the fastest video encoding available in a mobile workstation. The FX 3800M and FX 2800M sells for $742 and $270, respectively, on the Dell Precision M6500.

Product: Graphics Cards