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Nvidia fills out Quadro DirectX 10 line-up

Entry-level and mid-range cards added

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Nvidia has expanded its line of workstation and business-oriented graphics products with a quartet of cards designed to fill out its low-end and mid-range product grid.

Moving up the line, the Quadro FX 370 augments the existing FX 350 with DirectX 10 support and a pair of dual-link DVI ports in place of one DVI and one VGA connector. With 256MB of DDR 2 graphics Ram on board, it doubles the FX 350's memory complement.

The new FX 570 likewise takes the old FX 560's spec and doubles the memory to 256MB - though there's a downgrade in memory type, from GDDR 3 to DDR 2 - and adds DirectX 10 support. The FX 570 loses the FX 560's HDTV output port - it still has two DVI connectors - and its memory is clocked lower, bringing the bandwidth down from 19.2GBps to 12.8GBps.

A more drastic memory bandwidth reduction can be seen with the new FX 1700: its 512MB of DDR 2 is double the old FX 1500's 256MB of GDDR 3, but its connected over a 128-bit bus, half the width of the FX 1500's. The upshot: the FX 1700 has a memory bandwidth of 12.8GBps to the FX 1500's 40GBps.

Both cards have two dual-link DVI ports and an HDTV connector, but - again - the new card has DirectX 10 support to its predecessor's DirectX 9.

The boards also support Nvidia's Cuda architecture for running scientific number-crunching routines on the graphics chip rather than the host computer's own processor.

Nvidia also introduced the Quadro NVS 290, like the rest of its family a 2D card developed for multi-monitor rigs in trading rooms and the like. The new model has 256MB of DDR 2 memory, up from the NVS 285's 64MB of DDR. It supports digital displays at up to 1920 x 1200 and analogue screens at up to 2048 x 1536.

Available now, the four cards are respectively priced at $129 (£64/€93), $199 (£98/€143), $699 (£344/€503) and, for the NVS 290, $149 (£73/€107).

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