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NVIDIA Quadro2 Preview

By: Mike Chambers - July 25, 2000


Today, NVIDIA will be formally announcing the Quadro2 workstation based graphics chipset which is designed for use with professional applications such as AutoCAD, 3D Studio MAX, Maya, LightWave, and Adobe Photoshop. Building on the success of the Quadro, along with incorporating new technologies from the GeForce2 GTS and GeForce2 MX, the Quadro2 will be offered in two configurations - the Quadro2 Pro and Quadro2 Pro MXR.

Unlike the Quadro, which was used by Elsa in their Gloria II graphics card, NVIDIA will be selling the Quadro2 directly to OEMs by using the services of contract board manufacturer ATP. This package includes the chip, the graphics card, and drivers. However, NVIDIA has stated that selling directly to OEMs is due to the low volume of saels and nature of the workstation market. NVIDIA has no plans to change their business model in any of their other markets.

During the past couple of years, NVIDIA has developed a strong relationship with workstation vendors such as SGI, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Compaq, and Dell. With twenty-eight graphic chipset architects having over 500 years of experience in the industry, NVIDIA is comitted to making the Quadro2 a high performing, low cost product in the professional workstation market.

Workstation Vendor Relationships

Develop And Deploy

NVIDIA is also touting its Develop and Deploy Advantage which allows content creators to develop artwork, 3D models, and application code on the same graphics architectures used for playback and QA testing. This shortens time-to-market by enhancing artist and programmer productivity as well as accelerating the QA cycle for applications.

Since NVIDIA uses a Unified Driver Architecture and has a strong presence in the PC market and gaming industry, NVIDIA is the only workstation vendor that has a binary compatible platform as a deployment target. For example, a game developer can create content on a Quadro2-based system and the end user can play the resulting game on a binary compatible GeForce2 MX PC. This eliminates compatibility issues and speeds time-to-market for the developer.

Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Relationships


Both flavors of the Quadro2 are based a single chip solution containing a second generation Graphics Processing Unit (GPU).  The Quadro2 is equipped with Dual Data Rate (DDR) memory while the Quadro2 MXR supports Single Data Rate (SDR) memory and offers additional features, which are also found on the GeForce2 MX - TwinView and Digital Vibrance Control. Both Quadro2 chips contain a 350MHz RAMDAC and will use NVIDIA's Unified Driver Architecture.

Quadro2 Specifications

  GeForce2 MX GeForce2 GTS Quadro2 Pro MXR Quadro2 Pro
Triangles per
20 Million 25 Million 25 Million 31 Million
Amount & Type
2.7GB 5.3GB 2.9GB 6.4GB
Shading Processor
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dual Output
Yes No Yes No
Digital Vibrance Control Yes No Yes No

Features unique to the Quadro2 Pro are and support for hardware anti-aliased lines and points and the ability to render 4 trilinear filtered pixels per clock cycle. The Quadro2 Pro has the capability to render 1GB of textured, trilinear filtered pixels per second while the MXR can render 400MB.


NVIDIA Quadro2 Pro

The Quadro2 Pro is a high end solution with an estimated price of approximately $1000 while the MXR will be around $500. Product availability is expected in mid-September. Additional information on the Quadro2 can be obtained in this press release and at NVIDIA's web site.

An Adobe Acrobat formatted document (150K) on the features of the Quadro2 Pro and Quadro2 MXR can be read by clicking here.


For more information on Elsa's Quadro2 offerings - the GLoria III and Synergy III, please visit PC Rave.

Last Updated on July 25, 2000

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