The following article is excerpted from Digital Arts.
Nvidia used the IBC 2012 trade show in Amsterdam to announce the Quadro K5000 for Mac, its first Quadro workstation-class graphics card for the Mac Pro since the Quadro FX 4800 was released in 2010.
The Quadro K5000 for Mac is based on Nvidia’s Kepler architecture and is described by the company as “the most powerful professional-class GPU ever for the Macintosh,” which, to be fair, isn’t difficult as it’s the only model currently available. AMD doesn’t make Mac-compatible versions of its FirePro workstation-class boards, though over the years sources at AMD have let on that they’d very much like to. However, unlike on Windows PCs, Apple controls the video drivers for all graphics card, so releasing a card requires signing a deal with Apple—something AMD (or the previous developers of the boards under the FireGL brand, Diamond Multimedia, and then ATI) and Apple haven’t been able to agree on over the range’s 17-year history.
The Quadro K5000 features 4K display support, a new display engine that can drive up to four displays simultaneously, 4GB graphics RAM and support for OpenGL, OpenCL and Nvidia’s CUDA architecture for accelerating intensive non-3D tasks such as video effects and processing (hence the announcement at broadcast exhibition IBC). You can put up to two K5000s in a single Mac Pro.
The K5000 will be out later this year for $2249. It’ll be available as an add-on board and in new Mac Pros from specialist vendors, but not—we infer from the press release—from Apple itself.
Editor’s note: Updated at 11:41 a.m. PT on 9/10/12 to correct the release date of the Quadro FX 4800.