Review: Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 offers performance boost for the Mac
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Review: Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 offers performance boost for the Mac

By Eric Kuna

The new professional-level, Quadro FX 4800 from Nvidia ( with 1.5GB of memory brings a much-needed performance upgrade to the Mac Pro lineup. But why do you need an US$1,799 graphics card?

If you’re not a full-time design/graphics professional with a large budget, you probably don’t. But if you are, the timesaving and quality precision you’ll get with this card pays for itself in no time.

Where this card shines is the Nvidia’s revolutionary new CUDA technology and Elemental Technologies Elemental Accelerator, which lets your system use all 192 GPU processor cores instead of just the typical eight cores in a Mac Pro CPU. Not only will your system benefit from the increased performance, using the GPU will speed up your workflow by freeing up your CPU to do other tasks. So, what does this mean for the Adobe Creative Suite professional?

Imagine being able to view After Effects’ nested compositions or rendering effects such as Bilateral Blur, Turbulent Noise, and Depth of Field Blur three to five times faster, or even seeing those effects in near real time as you make adjustments? Not to mention rendering the Cartoon Effect 38x faster with the GPU rather than CPU rendering. And it doesn’t stop there!

You’re looking at massive speed increases in Photoshop CS4 vs. non-GPU accelerated computers, and the image’s interpolation quality far exceeds that of non-GPU-accelerated systems. In addition, the Elemental Accelerator allows Adobe Premiere to render H.264 movies using the GPU at faster-than-real-time speeds, which is pretty much unheard of with CPU rendering. Plus you’ll be able to render resized movies in half the time.

If you need a professional choice when it comes to workstation-level graphics on the Mac Pro, then look no further than the NvidiaQuadro FX 4800.

Macsimum rating: 9 out of 10

This review is brought to your courtesy of Layers Magazine (

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