Higher Performance Allows Use of New Workflows Relying on GPU Rendering, Like Debayering Red Footage

Nvidia announced the newest generation of Quadro GPUs this morning at SIGGRAPH in Vancouver, BC, adding five new cards to the line-up.

The Quadro K6000, which debuted at SIGGRAPH last year, remains at the top of the heap, boasting 2,880 Cuda cores and a massive 12 GB of GPU memory. However, the new Quadro K5200 is right behind it, with 2,304 Cuda cores and 8 GB of memory. The other cards announced today are the Quadro K4200 (1,344 cores, 4 GB memory), the Quadro K2200 (640 cores, 4 GB memory), the Quadro K620 (384 cores, 2 GB memory), and the Quadro K420 (192 cores, 1 GB memory).

For full specs on the new cards, click the image above to see the chart at full size or download the PDF

At a pre-SIGGRAPH press briefing in New York, Nvidia officials cited 40 percent "real-world performance gains" over the previous generation of cards, but downplayed discussion of specs in favor of a showcase for applications that take advantage of GPU processing power, including remote rendering. "We think of [Quadro] as a visual computing platform," said Sandeep Gupte, Nvidia's senior director of product marketing for professional graphics, at the event. "We wanted to take local workflows and enable Quadro to extend them to the cloud. And the best starting point for that was GPU rendering."

Nvidia Senior Technical Marketing Manager Sean Kilbride discussed the Iray VCA render appliance built around eight Quadro K6000 GPUs and showed it working with Autodesk Maya. He said Nvidia is "working with several other ISVs" to firm up support for Iray, and said announcements should be forthcoming over the next several weeks. (For more on Iray, and how it could be put to work in VFX, see our coverage of the original product announcement back in April.) 

Adobe's Dennis Radeke, senior strategic development manager, was on hand at the press event to show Premiere Pro CC using GPU acceleration to replace Red Rocket hardware in a Red workflow. He stressed that the new Quadro K5200, as well as the K6000, has the horsepower to handle real-time debayering of Red footage. The bad news for Mac users is that Apple doesn't support the required OpenGL extension, meaning the Red workflow is currently available only on PC-based workstations. For more on Red workflow, see our story on the hardware that enabled a workflow for 6K acquisition on director David Fincher's Gone Girl

The new cards are scheduled to ship in September at the same price as the previous generation cards they replace in the line-up, Nvidia said.