Things are getting out of control in the 3D modeling business. Models for movies and games have gone from thousands to hundreds of thousands of triangles, and the lighting and shading necessary for them is getting so complicated as to require a whole separate video card. Imagine you’re an animator at Pixar — do you think they made WALL-E on netbooks? No, son. They probably used things we haven’t even heard of on this planet, and they probably had Quadro graphics cards in them. Nvidia’s new line of unbelievably expensive cards will block out the sun, and ray-trace its own shadow in real time.
I won’t get into the details here, mainly because if you’re in the graphics business you’re going to be doing a lengthy examination of these suckers on your own. But I think it’s good to note that the Quadro line (not meant for gaming, it should be noted) comes in flavors running from the $150 380 to the $3500 (!) 5800, and everything in-between. So if you’re not Pixar but you do need to do a lot of rendering for your Poser art gallery, there’s something for you in there.
More information is available at Nvidia’s site.