by Ralph Grabowski and Roopinder Tara
NVIDIA likes to try to own SIGGRAPH. Attendees wear NVIDIA badgeholders around theri neck. They throw parties in the evening. Their booth is enormous, complete with a Tesla electric car, for the car uses a pair of NVIDIA GPUs to power the two dashboard screens.
The new K6000 is the top-of-the-line graphics board from NVIDIA, and with 12GB RAM on-board it probably holds more RAM than your computer. (It is Kepler-based, replacing the former Fermi-based 6000.) It is not meant for CAD users; indeed, NVIDIA suggests that top-end CAD users consider the K2000 or K4000 at most, leaving alone even the K5000.
In the booth, we got to see what the K6000 can do: animators can preview near final-frame quality in near realtime. At one station, we saw how car makers can render models with 50-70 million polygons. (A polygon is the smallest smooth area in a 3D model.) This means that designers spend less time cutting out fewer unseen parts of car interiors (like the engine) to squeeze the entire model into memory. At another station, a graphics designer was mapping a 1GB 360-degree photograph onto a LIDAR point cloud scan to create an interior that could be used for games or movies, along with motion-captured actors.
Taking a quick look at the physical stats, the K6000 will be roughly in the $2,500 price range, shipping probably in September, takes up two slots in desktop computers, and uses 225W of power.