If you have graphic cards like NVIDIA Quadro FX or NVIDIA® GeForce® 5200 or higher you can download and run Gelato 2.1 from Nvidia for free. Download from the Gelato Zone website. The product is even for CAD, architecture use. No word about Windows Vista support so far.
Autodesk Maya Plug-In: Gelato ships with Mango, a plug-in to Autodesk’s Maya modeling and animation software package that reads scenes and objects created in Maya.
NVIDIA® Gelato® rendering software allows anyone with an NVIDIA GPU to create stunning images fast. A hardware-accelerated, non-real-time renderer, Gelato was originally designed for the creation of 3D visual effects and animation in feature films. But Gelato is a powerful tool for any number of industries, including film & broadcast, CAD, architecture, and print.
Gelato is a software program that leverages the NVIDIA GPU as a floating point math processor. This allows Gelato to render images faster than comparable renderers, but without the quality limitations traditionally associated with real-time graphics processing on the GPU.
Yes, Gelato is available free of charge. Now students, freelancers, startups, and small studios can take advantage of a high-end renderer with the capabilities of renderers costing thousands of dollars.
Gelato Pro is available for purchase for US$1500 per node, including the first year of maintenance and support.
Now with the improved rendering functionality in AutoCAD 2008 I leave it to the rendering pros like Ted Boardman and others to decide how useful Gelato is if you already have AutoCAD, 3ds Max or Autodesk Maya.