SAN DIEGO, CA (SolidWorks World 2014) - Quadro cards were on display. NVIDIA's most popular card for SolidWorks users, according to Andrew Cresci, vertical marketing GM at NVIDIA, is the K2000 for $400. About 80% of all workstation graphics are powered by NVIDIA, he adds. But you can go all the way up to the "bad ass" of cards, the K6000, which has 12 GB or frame buffer memory. Save that for the biggest assemblies and most demanding renderings and animations -- maybe the top of the CAD food chain. "You can get an entire car and move it in real time, " adds Andrew. At about $4,500, it may be above they pay grade of most CAD users.
NVIDIA gets the fanciest graphics hardware in their booths. One of the displays is a 4K, which at about 4,000 pixel wide, which is 8 times better than HD. Andrew expects that to be CAD users desks in 3 to 4 years.
SolidWorks veteran and TenLinks Best of Show judge, Deepak Gupta, puts NVIDIA's VCA to the test to find it's performance rivals desktop performance for rotating a SolidWorks assembly even though the VCA was 400 miles away. Similar performance if the VCA was in Gupta's office (in India) was not guaranteed.
As legendary is NVIDIA's reputation as graphics, it seem set to make it's future on computing on a scale wider than an individual's computer. Its VCA (virtual computing appliance) is part of that big plan. It can be tucked away (in a datacenter and under the IT depts' complete control) while feeding graphics to your iPAD (if you are cool) or some other mobile device or even some cheap desktop computer (if you are not cool). The device type doesn't matter. The VCA does it's magic by sending compressed graphics to any device. And at any distance. To prove it, you can rotate a SolidWorks assembly on a standalone desktop and compare it to the same assembly rotated on a VCA over 400 miles away at NVIDIA's HQ. Indeed, the VCA does an admirable job. No delays are detectable at that distance.
The VCA, NVIDIA's answer to remote, shared computing, doesn't come cheap at $24,000. However, the math to justify it based on just replacing workstations doesn't work out so NVIDIA emphasizes the control, security and maintenance as key factors to it adoption.
Nominated for Best of Show
NVIDIA was nominated by 4 TenLinks Judges for Best of Show SolidWorks World 2014
||"I like NVIDIA's new VCA offering because it allows users to leverage their existing software on a server. The server can be accessed remotely or locally. Because the server is doing all the heavy lifting, users will be able to improve their productivity and shorten their design cycle. The price is a bit high ($25k plus subscription), but I think the increase in productivity along with the ability to float licenses makes it worth a look."|
|"They make the best existing hardware that we take for granted for SolidWorks users. Perhaps the best testimony to NVIDIA is to see that 78% of computers that drive SolidWorks use a NVIDIA graphics card. NVIDIA is the leader in GPUs for games & computer animation. We who use their products for CAD have happily enjoyed applying their products to the tools we use. The newest breakthrough is the NVDIA Grid, allowing heavy graphic processing and computing to be handled at a “server-like” hub and feed a bunch of lower-end computers. Yeah- it was probably made for cool multi-player games, but we’ll keep riding the wave of breakthroughs. You can use it to run SolidWorks on an old Mac or a lower-end computer."|
|"The K6000 is the dream graphics card for SolidWorks. recommended where rendering and animation of large assemblies outweighs the $5000 price tag."|
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