NVIDIA Quadro K5000: 4K Cinema for Mac Users

NVIDIA Quadro K5000 Mac
Written by Erik Vlietinck

At IBC 2012 NVIDIA announced the Quadro K5000 GPU for Mac. The card is set to dramatically improve graphics performance on Mac Pro systems and possibly on iMacs, too.

The two-slot Quadro K5000 for Mac is specifically optimized for designers and digital content creators. It has 4K cinema support. 4K cinema works with resolutions of 4096 x 2160 pixels, which is roughly four times HDTV quality. The Quadro K5000 can drive up to four displays simultaneously. It has 4GB of graphics memory that provides faster interactivity when using design and content creation applications. I bet it’ll speed up things when Mountain Lion decides to use idle GPU time as well.

The card supports up to two Quadro K5000 GPUs in a single Mac Pro. Obviously, it supports OpenGL, OpenCL and NVIDIA CUDA. When asked about iMac support using a Thunderbolt PCIe enclosure such as the Sonnet Echo Express Pro, NVIDIA said, “We are investigating the possibility of Quadro K5000 for Mac working with Thunderbolt enclosures, but at the moment we cannot confirm whether this solution will work or not.”

Imagine it will…

However, to work over Thunderbolt, the PCIe card’s driver must be compatible with Thunderbolt technology. Thunderbolt compatibility requirements dictate the card driver must enable the correct card ID to be recognized over Thunderbolt and must properly support hot-plug/unplug recover from sleep for instance.

With its 1536 CUDA cores and 173 GB/sec, a Quadro K5000 should benefit 3D animation designers (especially for ray-traced rendering), compositing specialists (After Effects, mocha Pro, Motion, BorisFX) and video editors (Avid Media Composer and Symphony, Final Cut). In the last category, colorists (color grading experts) will likely use the card as a shared GUI and image processing GPU in applications like DaVinci Resolve 9.

NVIDIA Quadro K5000 Mac

NVIDIA says the Quadro K5000 for Mac retains its full performance and features when using Apple Boot Camp and running Microsoft Windows applications.

The NVIDIA CUDA architecture used in the Quadro K5000 is a parallel-computing architecture that tightly integrates advanced visualization and compute features. NVIDIA’s Scalable Geometry Engine improves geometry performance across a broad range of CAD, DCC, and medical applications. It lets you work interactively with complex models and scenes. Dual Copy Engines technology accelerates techniques such as ray tracing, color grading and physical simulation.

Unlike older NVIDIA and ATI cards, the Quadro K5000 depends on a heat sink for its cooling. NVIDIA claims acoustics to be lower than 28 dB.

NVIDIA Quadro K5000 bracket

The Quadro K5000’s all-new display engine fully supports DisplayPort 1.2. This new generation of DisplayPort supports enhanced color depth, higher refresh rates and increased resolutions as high as 3840 x 2160 at 60Hz or 4096 x 2160 at up to 48Hz.

The card supports 30-bit color, which enables billions of color variations and a high dynamic range. A dedicated three-pin, mini-DIN connection can directly synchronize 3D stereo hardware to a Quadro graphics card.

The NVIDIA Quadro K5000 for Mac is planned to be available later this year and estimated pricing starts at $2,249.

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Erik Vlietinck.