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Nvidia Quadro K4000

Nvidia follows the same principles when forming its professional product range as with its gaming products, so some of the Quadro series cards have cut-down GPU versions. The Quadro K4000 is one example of that. It is based on the GK104 chip with Kepler architecture we saw on the K5000. But the K4000 is a midrange solution, so it has less of graphics memory and a narrower memory bus. The number of active GPU subunits is smaller, too.

In fact, the GK104 has a very limited configuration on the Quadro K4000, so this professional card has no gaming counterparts. There are only half the CUDA processors left: 768. The number of raster operators is reduced to 24. As a kind of compensation, the K4000 has a higher GPU clock rate than the K5000 – 811 MHz. With such specs as it has, the Quadro K4000 might as well be based on the simpler GK106 chip, but it is not for some reason. This may still be done in the future, though. In this case, the professional K4000 card would become similar to the gaming GTX 660 model.

Meanwhile, the dramatic differences in specs between the K5000 and K4000 shouldn’t mislead you. As a matter of fact, the majority of professional applications do not really need a high-performance shader domain, using only rasterization and texture-mapping units. It means that the actual performance of the K4000 in CAD applications is not going to differ much from the performance of the Quadro K5000. For example, the K4000’s theoretical pixel fill rate is 19.5 Gpixel/s, which is a mere 15% lower than that of the senior Kepler-based professional card.

The Quadro K4000 has a memory frequency of 5.6 GHz to ensure a peak memory bandwidth of 134.8 GB/s. That’s not high because of the rather narrow 192-bit memory bus. The K4000 is equipped with a generous 3 gigabytes of GDDR5 but, unlike the K5000, does not support ECC.

Although the Quadro K4000 may seem a very cut-down product in comparison with the K5000, its specs are optimal for the majority of professional applications. And the K4000 is more convenient in terms of system integration. It is more economical than its Fermi-based predecessor Quadro 4000, requiring no more than 80 watts (but it has an additional power connector anyway). It has a single-slot cooler which, considering the low heat dissipation of the K4000, is quite comfortable acoustically. The card is not long at only 24.5 cm.

The Nvidia Quadro K4000 has one DVI-I port and two DisplayPorts but doesn’t support multi-monitor Quadro Sync and multi-GPU SLI configurations. If you don’t need such advanced technologies but want a high-quality card for CAD/CAM applications, the Quadro K4000 offers all the attributes of a professional solution (3-year warranty, comprehensive tech support, software certifications) at an attractive price. The K4000 sells in retail for about $800, which is only half the price of the flagship model.

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