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PNY has been supporting the media and entertainment industry for years with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions. They are a trusted name and have deep relationships with post professionals. Last year they strayed just a bit from their typical offerings and created PREVAILPRO, a thin, lightweight and powerful workstation targeting our industry.

We reached out to Carl Flygare, PNY’s Quadro product marketing manager, to find out more about these new mobile systems.

David Sallak

PNY is now offering a mobile workstation with the PREVAILPRO — a first for the company. Why now, and how did PNY’s history in the industry play a role?
The transition to GPUs (parallel processors) from CPUs (serial processors) to facilitate and accelerate many facets of M&E workflows — such as rendering, character animation and physics-based simulation for VFX, along with digital cinema editing, effects, color grading and titling (among others) — makes this an ideal time to bring mobile workstations, designed from the GPU out, to market.

Our 15-year involvement with NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics products gave us the background and experience necessary to enter the mobile workstation market with systems that target pro’s needs.

Do you think that mobile workstations are strong enough for most, if not all, post workflows?
Post professionals will always require the most powerful Quadro GPUs to achieve visual results that propel the future of digital storytelling. That said, many companies use Quadro P4000 class processors in desktop systems as an integral part of their workflows. The Quadro P4000 offered in our high-end PREVAILPRO system almost matches desktop performance, and we think it should find a wide audience across the post production community.

Why is this system suitable for M&E?
The impressive GPU performance, particularly in Quadro P4000-based configurations, is the standout feature that enables sophisticated M&E work. That said, the Quadro P3000 also offers excellent performance. The balanced system architecture teams the Quadro GPU with an Intel i7 7700HQ processor. It features 32GB of DRAM, 2.5 Terabytes of storage (512GB SDD, 2TB HDD), a generous array of I/O ports, the ability to drive up to four 4K displays simultaneously (three with HDR support), and VR Ready capabilities (P4000), all in a very “thin and light” form factor.

Can you talk specifically about the hardware and some of the post-friendly specs?
Several were mentioned in my previous answer, but let’s drill down on a few. Post requires screen real estate to manage the windows and UI elements presented by multiple applications. Driving anywhere from one to four 4K displays meets this need. GPU rendering has reached a qualitative tipping point and is displacing CPU rendering — and the Quadro P4000 with 8GB of GDDR5 GPU memory can render complex scenes with realistic textures. The large amount of built-in mass storage (SSD and HDD) means you can always have large work files available.

Finally, the ability to drive popular VR HMDs — including the new HTC Vive Pro — or edit and add effects to 360 VR video brings another powerful hardware capability to interested members of the post production community.

A big part of M&E workflows involves intensive data processing, such as rendering, character animation and, now, AI. How does the PREVAILPRO play in this world?
Let’s go back to desktop systems equipped with Quadro P4000 class GPUs. If the rendering or character animation performance the desktop provides is acceptable, a PREVAILPRO P4000 system will nearly match it. Interestingly, AI is being applied to both of these tasks. Trained DNNs (Deep Neural Networks) are part of NVIDIA’s RTX rendering (realtime raytracing) technology. Although developed and trained on more powerful systems, some of the benefits RTX technology provides are realizable even on P4000 class GPUs. Bringing AI to character animation is still (slightly) beyond a P4000, but any workflow involves differing amounts of processing power at various stages of the production process.

Mixing PREVILPRO systems into workflows alongside desktop systems with P5000, P6000, GP100 or even the just announced Quadro GV100 — which includes AI-specific features and sets the standard for realtime raytracing — doesn’t preclude the use of PREVAILPRO elsewhere. And all of these products, including PREVAILPRO, benefit from NVIDIA’s technological innovations, rich developer network and their ISV ecosystem.

Finally, there might be some pros that are hesitant to switch to PREVAILPRO because it’s a new PNY offering. How would you address those concerns?
PNY has been NVIDIA’s authorized Quadro channel partner for NALA and EMEA for over 15 years. Even many Tier 1 OEM systems are subsequently upgraded with PNY-sourced Quadro PCIe boards. Take a close look at the size, weight and capabilities PREVAILPRO offers — compare them to systems weighing nearly twice as much or ‘thin and light’ systems that can only offer entry-level GPUs due to thermal constraints.

Yes, PNY is new to this market, but we’re bringing something new to it — a thin and light mobile workstation with a high-end professional pedigree. This should certainly merit consideration.

Click here to learn more about PREVAILPRO for M&E


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