GIS Tech News (#80)

14 Apr, 2009

First Look Review: NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800p>

High-end performance and support for new 30-bit color monitors make this graphics card an excellent choice for GIS and other professional applications.

By Ron LaFon

Editor's note: Professional-class graphics cards such as this NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 offer advanced features and capabilities to boost GIS application performance and increase the rate of discovery. They are assisting GIS professionals in all lines of work, from mapping to oil and gas -- and more.

NVIDIA began releasing its 10th-generation graphics cards late last year, and among the earliest releases was the Quadro FX 4800 -- a successor to the Quadro FX 4600. Cadalyst Labs was able to obtain a unit, and we ran it through the gamut of benchmark tests to see how it would perform for today’s design and engineering professionals.

The Quadro FX 4800 is a double-width PCIe x16 graphics card based on NVIDIA's GT200GL graphics processing unit, which has a 384-bit memory width and a 76.8-GB/s memory bandwidth. The Quadro FX 4800 has 1.5 GB of onboard GDDR3 RAM and supports OpenGL 3.0, DirectX 10, and Shader Model 4. As with all Quadro graphics cards, the Quadro FX 4800 is certified for use with a broad range of CAD applications and other professional software.

Power consumption for the Quadro FX 4800 is given as 150 W, and the card offers several connectivity options, including two DisplayPort connectors, one DVI-I dual-link connector, and one stereo connector. The maximum analog resolution for the Quadro FX 4800 is 2,048 x 1,536. The maximum digital resolution is 2,560 x 1,600 when using the DisplayPort connector and 3,840 x 2,400 when using the DVI connection. The Quadro FX 4800 supports SLI configurations and G-Sync, as well as PureVideo and PureVideo HD. In addition to the standard 24-bit color support, the Quadro FX 4800 also supports the new 30-bit color displays entering the market. Read more »

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Ron LaFon is a writer, editor and computer graphics and electronic publishing specialist from Atlanta, Georgia. He is a principal at 3Bear Productions in Atlanta.


Mark Your Calendar: GIS Events

2009 Washington GIS Conference
May 4-6, 2009
Bellevue, Washington
Workshops will be presented on open source GIS, designing web maps, creating fast web mapping applications with JavaScript, and cartography and map production. Read more

Cadalyst's complete list of upcoming events is always available on our Web site. Our sister Web site,, also offers a full calendar of GIS-related events.


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