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Nvidia Quadro FX 4800

The next model up Nvidia’s professional product series is $500-600 more expensive than the Quadro FX 3800 but is based on the same GPU. Why? Because the Quadro FX 4800 has no AMD opponents and is therefore unique.

But if you compare the Quadro FX 4800 with the FX 3800, you can see that they have quite a lot in common. The GT200b processor (the fastest GPU Nvidia has at this moment) is clocked at the same frequency of 600 MHz (and 1200 MHz for the shader domain) on both models. There is no difference in terms of unified shader processors: the Quadro FX 4800’s GPU has 192 of them, too.

The single notable difference in the configuration of these cards’ GPUs is the number of raster back-ends. The more expensive model has 24 RBEs. This seemingly small (8 RBEs) difference can be important for a professional card because it is the raster back-ends that are loaded heavily when you are working in projection windows of 3D modeling and CAD applications. So, professionals who work with shaded or textured models have a reason to prefer the Quadro FX 4800 to other graphics cards.

The Quadro FX 4800 also offers a more advanced memory subsystem. It carries 1536 megabytes of GDDR3 memory with a 384-bit bus and a clock rate of 1600MHz. Thus, like the Quadro FX 3800, the FX 4800 has no exact counterpart among the gaming cards. It has a narrower memory bus and a reduced number of pipelines even in comparison with the GeForce GTX 260. However, it has a large amount of memory and a higher core frequency. As a result, the Quadro FX 4800 is a rather economical product with a peak power draw of 150W and, unlike the gaming GT200b-based products, has only one additional 12V power connector.

The Quadro FX 4800 is visually far more impressive than the Quadro FX 3800. It has a massive dual-slot cooler similar to those you can see on gaming graphics cards. This cooler has heat pipes and a copper heatsink with centrifugal fan covered under an opaque casing. It has proved its efficiency on top-performance graphics cards, and on the Quadro FX 4800, which has a cut-down GPU configuration, this cooler is even surprisingly quiet.

Like the Quadro FX 3800, the Quadro FX 4800 supports all of Nvidia’s functionality-enhancing daughter cards like the Quadro G-Sync II and Quadro SDI Capture. Thanks to this feature, the Quadro FX 4800 can be viewed not only as a 3D modeling and engineering solution but also as a multimedia processing platform for cinema and television. A daughter card is plugged into the special slot you can see near the SLI connector.

The Quadro FX 4800 offers two Displayports, one dual-link DVI output, and an output for stereo glasses. The maximum supported resolution is 2560x1600. In other words, the capabilities of the Displayport interface are not utilized fully by Nvidia’s top-end cards, either. The box contains all the necessary adapters for connecting a D-Sub or a second DVI monitor and an additional mounting bracket that is necessary to fix the card securely in workstation cases.

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