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NVIDIA's Quadro P5000 GPU Review

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NVIDIA has been successfully developing and innovating computer graphics technology for nearly 20 years. Whether in the gaming world with their GeForce 10 series of cards or in the professional workstation Quadro series of cares, NVIDIA is committed to making a difference in how users interact with computer graphics. Their technology in the workstation market, in particular, has spurred further development in fields like oil exploration, architecture, medical imaging, artificial intelligence and deep learning.

In February, 2017, NVIDIA completed their refresh of the Quadro Pascal series of workstation graphics cards. From the Quadro P400 to the top of the line GP100, every Quadro card is built using their newest Pascal graphics architecture. With Pascall NVIDIA has created a tehcnological powerhouse for graphics and computer processing. Pascal is designed using the advanced FinFet transistor design and offers huge increases in performance from entry level workstations all the way up to the top of the line Quadro GP100. Every card in the Quadro series features new AI algorithims, the absolute best in VR graphics support, huge increases in peformance, NVIDIA's NVLink technology for maximum scalability and innovative memory designs that provides a 3X boost in memory bandwidth.

Today, we are going to look at NVIDIA's new Quadro P5000 workstation card which is a high end graphics card built for accuracy and reliability.

The entire NVIDIA Quadro Pascal lineup supports the latest NVIDIA CUDA 8 compute platform providing developers access to powerful new Pascal features in developer tools, performance enhancements and new libraries including nvGraph.

What all this means is that with the new Pascal Quadro cards, NVIDIA gives users the power to advance rendering, design, simulation, create expansive visual workspaces with multiple monitors and reap the benefits of photorealistic design. And all of this on graphics cards that are faster and more energy efficient than ever before.

The NVIDIA Quadro P5000 workstation graphics card, powered by NVIDIA Pascal™ GPU technology, features 16 GB memory capacity and enables an expansive visual workspace with quad display outputs. Work with larger models, complex visual effects and simulations, larger rendering tasks, and more life-like VR experiences in your workflow today and be well prepared for the challenges of tomorrow - NVIDIA Quadro P5000 data sheet

The NVIDIA Quadro P5000
The Quadro P5000 is designed for high-end computer workstations where quality and accuracy are what's required of a graphics card. And that's exactly what the P5000 does. The card has 16GB of GDDR5X memory along with a 256-bit memory interface which has a bandwidth of up to 288 GB/second. The Quadro P5000 also features 2560 CUDA Cores and runs on the PCI Express 3.0 x 16 interface.

This powerful card is a dual slot, full height card and features 4x DP 1.4 + DVI-D DL display connectors. These connections allow you to run simultaneous displays 4 direct and 4 DP 1.4 multistream. This is an essential element for designers and engineers who need accurate multi-screen performance.

The Quadro P5000 draws power rated at 180 watts which is slightly more than the previous M5000 card, but the difference is minor. You can view the complete system stats on NVIDIA's Quadro P5000 data sheet along with detailed technical information.


Using the Quadro P5000
I received the Quadro P5000 at the same time I was starting to build a new workstation for myself. I do extensive video editing, modeling and rendering every week and needed an updated system as my previous workstation was 4 years old and slowing down as the size of my projects increased. So I decided to build a workstation computer around the Quadro P5000 graphics card. You can read about the build here.

Once my new workstation was complete, I began to use the card immediately for projects that were on a short deadline. Let's just get this out of the way first: The Quadro P5000 is a very powerful graphics processor. In fact, it's a monster of a card. Overall, my rendering times decreased nearly 60% for all video rendering projects and 40% - 50% on modeling jobs in Houdini and Maya 2017. This freed me up to develop ideas and creative solutions instead of waiting for a project to render.

Although testing is useful for graphics cards, the performance can vary from system to system. I used the Cinebench test and the standard PassMark GPU test. As you can see the results are spectacular putting the card in the very top percentile of cards worldwide. I'd also like to note that the card never got above 72 degrees during any of these tests, a testament to the excellent cooling system on the P5000 card.

Cinebench
Maxon's Cinebench is a standard test created to test the rendering performance of your graphics card. The Quadro P5000 scored a very high 132 frames per second in the Open GL test.

Cinebench

PassMark
The Passmark suite of tests covers the GPU effectively and compares it to world averages. Our Quadro P5000 scored a remarkable 10724 which places the card in the top 98% of graphics cards

Passmark


The Quadro Series and VR
NVIDIA's P-series Quadro graphics cards were designed specifically to support the most recent innovations in VR (virtual reality) technology. Unfortunately, since I don't own VR equipment at present, I was unable to test the cards myself. However, research confirms that reviewers find the cards very useful both for consumers and producers of VR content. You can find out more info at NVIDIA's VR Ready page and on NVIDIA's VRWorks page.

NVIDIA VR Ready desktop and mobile workstations provide the powerful VR platform necessary for these professional VR workflows, and many more. Plus, the NVIDIA VRWorks™ SDK offers professional application developers simple plug-and-play head-mounted display (HMD) compatibility, low-latency VR rendering, and scalable performance and synchronization across multiple GPUs. - NVIDIA Quadro VR Ready Systems page

Final Thoughts
NVIDIA has increasingly shown it is committed to push the envelope of graphics technology. What is not as well know is the fact that it also supports many areas of technology like artificial intelligence and deep learning at the same time. This produces a synergistic effect where the very technology they support requires corresponding developments in graphics technology.

The Quadro Pascal series graphics cards and, in particular, the P5000 are simply remarkable. In my testing, I found that the Quadro P5000 made a significant difference in my work time reducing project completion time by nearly 60%. Plus, the cooler temperatures and the lower wattage made my workstation more efficient and less prone to over-heating. Since I have and extensive multi-task workflow, knowing the Quadro P5000 will work reliably fast and cool makes a bid difference in my work focus, too.

I was very impressed with the Quadro P5000 graphics card. I knew it would be a great card, but I did not expect it to be so powerful and helpful in smoothing my workflow. Time spent on waiting for renders is now a thing of the past. For professional workstations, I recommend the Quadro P5000 as it is an outstanding professional graphics card that is fast, reliable and accurate.

How to Buy the Quadro P5000
You can purchase the Quadro P5000 through NVIDIA's professional visualization partners such as PNY. Online retailers like New Egg and Amazon also have the card available for sale. Average purchase price for the Quadro P5000 is around $2,000.

NVIDIA's Quadro series of graphics cards are designed to fit different kinds of budgets. If the P5000 card is perhaps beyond your budget, there is a mid-range cards (P2000 and entry-level cards P600 and P400 that can still make a big difference in how your workstation processes graphics. You can find out about the entire line of Quadro GPU series here:

http://www.nvidia.com/object/quadro-desktop-gpus.html


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NVIDIA, Quadro P5000, VR Ready, Worstation graphics card
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