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Nvidia Quadro K5000

It is the second time that we cover the Quadro K5000 in our reviews. Earlier we wrote a special report about it. Since then Nvidia has announced a few more professional products with Kepler architecture, yet the K5000 has remained the topmost offer in the series. It is an interesting fact as the card is based on the GK104 rather than on the faster GK110 GPU that is employed on Tesla computing cards and flagship gaming products. Well, the GK104 has enough resources for professional 3D CAD/CAM applications too, especially as it works in its full configuration, without any disabled subunits, on the K5000.

To be specific, the Quadro K5000 has 1536 CUDA cores, 128 texture-mapping units, and 32 raster operators. It has 4 GB of memory connected via a 256-bit bus. Apart from the increased memory amount, the specs are identical to those of the GeForce GTX 680 gaming card but the professional K5000 has considerably lower clock rates. Its GPU is 30% slower at 706 MHz and its memory is 10% slower at 5.4 GHz. This is meant to make the professional card quieter and more economical. Indeed, the K5000 looks preferable to AMD solutions in this respect. Its peak power draw is specified to be 122 watts and it only has one 6-pin power connector.

The theoretical performance specs are high enough for a professional product. The fill rate is 22.5 Gpixel/s and the texture sampling rate is 90.4 Gtexel/s. The peak memory bandwidth is 173 GB/s. This is but slightly lower compared to the competing FirePro W8000 but the K5000 is far more energy efficient.

Despite its rather low power consumption and heat dissipation, the K5000 has a full-featured cooling system. While many other cards with higher power requirements may have a single-slot cooler, the K5000 has a dual-slot one. The cooler has heat pipes in its base and exhausts the hot air out of the computer case. Its design is taken from top-end gaming cards with much higher power consumption, so it doesn’t have to exert itself to cool the K5000. As a result, the card is exceedingly quiet but large. Its length is 27 cm, although its PCB is only half as long.

Like the gaming cards of the Kepler generation, the Quadro K5000 is equipped with four video outputs: two DisplayPorts, one dual-link DVI-I and one dual-link DVI-D. As opposed to AMD, Nvidia lets you connect monitors via DVI without active adapters. It only supports up to four monitors concurrently whereas AMD solutions, up to six.

The K5000 has two onboard connectors for multi-GPU configurations. Using Maximus technology, the K5000 can be combined in SLI mode with Kepler-based Tesla computing cards. The result would be an all-purpose workstation for GPGPU and 3D graphics applications. The K5000 also has an onboard SDI/G-Sync connector to support the Quadro Sync system for synchronizing video outputs of multiple graphics cards.

The Nvidia Quadro K5000 is priced at somewhat higher than $1600 right now and usually comes with a 3-year warranty.

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