Nvidia Quadro FX 5500
Nvidia responded to 1GB ATI FireGL V7350 launch with the release of their professional Quadro FX 5500 graphics accelerator. Besides the increase of onboard graphics memory to 1GB, Quadro FX 5500 has also become much faster than its predecessor, Quadro FX 4500, thanks to higher working frequencies.
The working frequencies of the new Quadro FX5500 as well as its architectural peculiarities make it resemble the GeForce 7900 GTX gaming solution with slower graphics memory. In other words, it uses a new 90nm G71 GPU that allowed Nvidia to raise not only the frequencies of their gaming solutions, but also the frequencies of their professional cards. Note that they managed to retain the same cooling system. Quadro FX 5500 features the same dual-clot heatpipe cooler as we saw on Quadro FX4500. As for the power consumption, the new card requires more power: the power consumption has been raised from 108W to 125W. Of course, the card requires additional power from the 12V lines of the system PSU.
The chip frequency of the Quadro FX 5500 graphics solution is 700MHz, while its memory (the card uses GDDR2 SDRAM) works at 1000MHz. so, only the GPU frequency has been raised compared with the Quadro FX 4500. The number of pipelines has also remained the same: the card has all 24 pixel and 8 vertex pipelines of the G71 architecture enabled. Of course, since the architecture of Quadro FX 5500 is similar to that of the top gaming products, Nvidia claim full compatibility with Shader Model 3.0. The memory bus is 256bit wide, so the peak bandwidth of the graphics memory makes 32GB/s.
Quadro FX 5500 features a pretty common set of connectors for the products of this type. There are two DVI and one stereo connector. Both DVI connectors certainly support Dual-Link technology that allows using displays with up to 3840x2400 resolutions.
Note that Quadro FX 5500 can boast some unique features that are absent by the competitor. Namely, Quadro FX 5500 cards can work in SLI mode and support Genlock and Framelock technologies (professional technologies for output synchronization to an external source and cluster visualization). These technologies are still in the planning stage for ATI FireGL solutions.