There's been a lot of talk about using the GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) on graphics cards to accelerate applications, not just display, and Nvidia has finally done it. According to InformationWeek, the new Quadro CX not only supports dual displays up to 2560 x 1600 resolution, it can dramatically accelerate Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects CS4 rendering. It can also cut H.264 video encoding time in Premiere Pro by half. Nvidia supplies plug-ins for the applications that execute the processor-intensive code on the GPU rather than the host CPU.
The Quadro CX lists for $1,999, so it's not something that casual users are likely to be interested in, but for serious CS4 users, the productivity gains could pay for the card in a fairly short amount of time. Given that AMD/ATI is now back in the thick of the graphics performance battle, Nvidia's rendering and encoding acceleration could tip the balance in its favor.