Engineers, designers, and content creation professionals are constantly being challenged to find new ways to explore and validate more ideas—faster. This often involves creating content with both visual design and physical simulation demands. Unfortunately, the design and simulation processes have often been disjointed, occurring on different systems or at different times. Nvidia introduced a new hardware scheme called Maximus at the turn of the year to 2012 to address the above issue.
Compucon DesignStations powered by NVIDIA Maximus combine Quadro® GPUs and Tesla™ GPUs. Tesla co-processors perform the heavy lifting of rendering or CAE computations, freeing the Quadro GPUs to do what they do best—enabling rich interactive graphics. With Maximus engineers, artists, designers or scientists can now interact with high-performance visuals while performing simulations or renderings on the same system at the same time.
In the illustration below (originally from www.nvidia.com), the traditional approach has one Quadro card only and it deals with design and simulation as two serial processes. With Tesla added to the workstation, it deals with design and simulations as two parallel processes and therefore reducing the time to complete a task much sooner.
There is a hardware cost saving as well.
The total of Quadro and Tesla cards is less than a higher spec Quadro card although the Maximus combination is faster.
For example: The Quadro 6000 is both a highly capable rendering product at a highly capable compute product, but not every professional user needs that much rendering power even if they need the compute power. Those users still need a Quadro card for its uncapped rendering performance, but they don’t necessarily need features such as Quadro 6000’s massive geometry throughput.
By combining Quadro and Tesla. Maximus allows a Tesla C2075 to be used with any Fermi based Quadro cards. The end result for those users is that they not only pay less but they gain the aforementioned advantages of not having conflicting tasks slowing down the performance of a single Quadro card.
Acknowledgement: most info on this page originated from http://www.nvidia.com/object/maximus.html