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Nvidia Quadro FX 5800

The Quadro FX 5800 is the senior professional solution from Nvidia targeted at high-performance workstations. It is a third card for professionals based on the 55nm version of the G200b chip. One might expect the Quadro FX 5800 to be comparable to the most expensive gaming cards in its characteristics but Nvidia’s developers have instead put a stress on the capabilities for visualization of massive models. So, the key feature of this card is not in its frequencies or performance, but in the amount of graphics memory – 4 gigabytes. The Quadro FX 5800 is actually the first and only graphics card to have that much memory on board. You have to pay for this exclusiveness, of course. The average retail price of this card is over $3000.

The amount of memory is not the single advantage of the Quadro FX 5800, though. Using GDDR3 chips clocked at 1600MHz and accessed via a 512-bit bus, the FX 5800 is only second to the FirePro V8700 in terms of memory bandwidth (and the difference is very small). In other words, the Quadro FX 5800 is the best solution for processing large amounts of graphical data.

The card’s GPU configuration is good, too. It has all of its 240 unified shader processors enabled, but the amount of RBEs is reduced from 40 to 32. The GPU frequencies are 610 and 1300MHz for the main and shader domains, respectively. So, even without the unprecedented amount of memory, the Quadro FX 5800 has no close counterparts among gaming products.

The Quadro FX 5800 is visually similar to the simpler Quadro FX 4800. It only has two distinguishing features. First, there are two 6-pin power connectors – an expected feature considering the card’s specs. And second, it has one Displayport and two dual-link DVI ports. There is also a socket for stereo glasses nearby.

It is unclear why the top-end professional card has fewer Displayports but its two large DVI connectors leave less room for the cooler’s exhaust. As a result, the cooling system of the Quadro FX 5800, although formally no different from the Quadro FX 4800 cooler, drives the air inside the case rather than exhausts it. Considering the high heat dissipation of the card, this may be a problem.

Like the Quadro FX 4800, the Quadro FX 5800 supports daughter cards Quadro G-Sync II and Quadro SDI Capture as well as SLI technology. The connectors necessary to implement these features are located at the top of the card under a decorative cap.

The accessories to the Quadro FX 5800 (at least, to its version provided by PNY) are not numerous but standard for Nvidia cards. Besides the card, the small box contains adapters and a mounting bracket to fix the card securely in workstation cases.

 
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