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Please Explain Quadro vs. "regular cards"

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
November 6, 2009 4:59:05 AM

Building a CAD station for myself. Quadro cards are recommended. Why? What do they do better than gtx and whatnot cards? I've seen chatter that they are the same except for drivers and some soft modding? Reality?

Any recommendations on affordable 300-400$ cad cards?

November 6, 2009 2:49:23 PM

most of them have a direct desktop counterpart, and the difference is pretty much drivers

there are some tutorials on soft modding the drivers to work, though don't rely on that as there can be problems with it

as for card, i don't know workstation cards too well
a b Î Nvidia
November 6, 2009 3:17:06 PM

Generally workstation class video card offers better customer support if you need it. That's generally why they cost so much more than their gaming counterparts.

Support only extends to professional rendering so if you are using a Quadro to play Crysis and your PC keeps crashing don't expect customer support to help you.
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November 6, 2009 3:36:32 PM

You pay for (supposedly) better OpenGL performance, and more tested/certified drivers. Thats pretty much it.
a b Î Nvidia
November 6, 2009 3:47:48 PM

The drivers are MUCH better for CAD and engineering applications. here is a link to a review that shows the GTX280 and it's exact workstation card, the Quattro FX 4800. The workstation card performed 10x better in these apps. You used to be able to soft or even hard mode certain cards to allow the workstation drivers, however, I do not believe you can do that anymore.,2258...
November 6, 2009 4:00:30 PM

Quadro = CAD
GeForce = Gaming

Performance would be lower if you use them for apps they weren't intended for.

Get a Quadro if you'd earn money by using one, GeForce if you're not serious about CAD and would play games on a regular basis.
November 6, 2009 4:04:11 PM

I used an quadro fx 3500 for 2 years and now am currently using a 295.....The major difference ive been able notice is in 3ds max which i use mostly....the quadro had a more smoother flow when i had more geometry on screen than 295....if u r a hardcore CAD user go for the quadro or else if u want a good card for all u will be more satisfied with a gaming card....i dont notice any big difference with pro-e or catia no matter how big an assembly is.....
a b Î Nvidia
November 6, 2009 5:25:39 PM

Yeah, hardware wise most are very similar, but the drivers are specifically for the CAD/workstation apps and thus do much better than their desktop counterparts. You also get much better support from the manufacturer. However, read up on the exact app you are using to see if it is really necessary. I can do reasonable CAD drawings on my medium/low desktop card. However, each app is different and some require the workstation cards earlier than others.
November 6, 2009 6:15:14 PM

Does anyone here think that the business class GPUs (for lack of a better term) are higher binned parts than their consumer-grade (i.e. gaming) counterparts?
a b Î Nvidia
November 6, 2009 6:36:02 PM

^ I don't think they are. I believe they are pretty identical, but with different BIOS and drivers sets.