Nvidia Quadro K600
Launching its Kepler-based series of professional graphics cards, Nvidia released a new product into every price segment. So while AMD offers previous-generation products for entry-level graphics workstations, Nvidia has a special entry-level card K600. Based on the same GK107 chip as the Quadro K2000, the junior model is just incredibly small.
And that’s actually the second point in favor of the K600, after its low price. This graphics card is going to be perfect for professionals who need a certified CAD/CAM solution for a small-size graphics workstation. Being a low-profile card, the Quadro K600 can be easily installed into a compact computer case.
Power and cooling shouldn’t be a problem as the Quadro K600 needs no more than 41 watts. It gets all of this juice from the mainboard and doesn’t need any additional power cables. A small cooler with centrifugal blower is mounted on its GPU. It is a smaller copy of the coolers installed on the more advanced cards. Although the fan is 40 mm in diameter, it never gets noisy just because its speed is never really high.
The cooler copes easily with the 28nm GK107 chip which works on the Quadro K600 at a rather low clock rate and in a cut-down configuration. One of its two SMX multiprocessors is disabled, so the number of unified shader processors is limited to 192 and the number of texture-mapping units, to 16. The only thing the Quadro K600 has in common with the K2000, which is based on the same GPU, is the number of raster operators – 16.
The K600’s GPU is clocked at 876 MHz, so the theoretical fill rate is 14 Gpixel/s. The texture sampling rate is 14 Gtexel/s. The DDR3 memory is connected via a 128-bit bus and clocked at 1.8 GHz. The peak memory bandwidth is 28.5 GB/s.
The Quadro K600 carries more memory than Nvidia’s earlier entry-level professional products. 1 gigabyte looks like a big step forward compared to the Fermi-based generation. On the other hand, it may be not enough for hard work in professional 3D design applications, so you may want to consider other products if you often work with large and complex 3D models.
The Quadro K600 has some other limitations in its design. It has only two video outputs (DVI-I and DisplayPort) and supports just two monitors concurrently. On the other hand, it is compatible with the Mosaic technology, even though in a somewhat limited implementation.
Now, the most interesting thing about the Quadro K600 is its price. The card costs a mere $180. You can only get previous-generation products like FirePro V4900 or Quadro 600 for that money among graphics cards for CAD/CAM applications, but they have worse specs.