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article imageNVIDIA unveils world's fastest GPU, tailored to virtual reality

By James Walker     Jul 26, 2016 in Technology
NVIDIA has unveiled a pair of new workstation graphics cards that are the most powerful models ever built. They are designed to enable artists, graphic designers and developers to work faster and with more creativity than before, building new experiences.
Graphics card innovation is more important today than it has been in the past. Whereas previously graphics cards (GPUs) did very little besides powering games, they are now being used for a much wider array of tasks. GPUs are important components in virtual reality and deep learning systems, emerging frontiers of technology that could define the future.
NVIDIA's new graphics cards further this by giving people working in these fields the ability to do so more productively. When building a virtual reality scene, having a more powerful GPU in your computer lets you render it more often, enabling more frequent testing. More power can directly reduce worker idle time and project completion times.
As members of the Quadro family, the cards are aimed firmly at professional workstations. The Quadro P6000 heads the range, the most powerful workstation GPU ever built. It offers 12 teraflops of raw computing power from 3,840 cores. For comparison, Microsoft's Xbox One games console boasts around 1.3 teraflops of graphics power.
The Quadro P6000's other specifications are similarly impressive. There's four DisplayPort 1.4 slots, each capable of driving a 4K monitor at 120Hz. The pixels for each display are stored across 24GB of GDDR5X memory with bandwidth of 432Gbps. It will enable creators to work more efficiently and cut down idle times while waiting for assets to load.
"Often our artists are working with 50GB or higher datasets," Steve May, CTO of Pixar, said. "The ability to visualize scenes of this size interactively gives our artists the ability to make creative decisions more quickly. We're looking forward to testing the limits of Pascal and expect the benefits to our workflows to be huge."
The second GPU is the Quadro P5000. It's a less powerful card that represents a mid-range alternative to the P6000, relative to the high baseline performance of the Quadro range. It features 8.9 teraflops of compute performance and 2,560 cores. The 16GB of memory has a bandwidth of 288Gbps.
The two cards were launched at the SIGGRAPH show in California. Alongside the hardware, NVIDIA also unveiled some new software tools to help developers working in cinema and VR. They include an app that makes it easier to create 360-degree video streams from 4K camera rigs, benefitting content producers working in the cutting-edge of their field.
The Quadro range update comes a week after NVIDIA unveiled the next-generation GeForce TITAN X. An enthusiast card aimed at desktop systems, the TITAN X is also the most powerful card of its class NVIDIA has ever built. Quadro cards will be used by professionals to build content that's ultimately experienced by consumers with GeForce systems.
NVIDIA is yet to reveal pricing details for the Quadro P6000 and P5000. The cards won't be cheap and will have demanding power requirements. Last year's Quadro M6000 retailed at around $5,000. Although it may seem high at face value, the return on investment could be very high for film studios and VR creators, who can work more efficiently by equipping their workstations with the new card.
More about Nvidia, Gpu, Graphics card, Vr, Virtual reality