Quadro vs GeForce? Is there a difference?
There is a HUGE difference in price, but I've heard a few rumors that the REAL difference is in the drivers, and that a GeForce can be made to emulate a Quadro if the Quadro drivers are used. Does anybody on the list know the bottom line? I'm wondering if I've been sold a bill of goods all these years - Autodesk has been claiming for a long time that Quadros are certified for their programs and GeForce's are not. All opinions are welcome. Thanks!
If you are using the program professionally, then the Quadro's are the only way to go. For a generalized comparison, a low end older Quadro will perform about on par with a modern high end card like a GTX295. If you are a student, only learning or fooling around with it, then a high end Geoforce card would be good enough. You just have to get used to long rendering times.
I've been using Quadro cards for several years now and it's only been recently that I've seen feedback about the possibility that they're the same hardware as the much cheaper GeForce cards (I took this with a grain of salt, but needed some outside opinions.) The difference in cost warranted at least one stab at getting to the underlying truth (if there was one.) Frankly, it's a bit hard to believe that Nvidia would be working a scam and not get caught (or really, just working a scam.)
My need is definitely for work, not gaming, and I've always managed to find the limit of my hardware very quickly and easily. It would be nice to not get to the limit so easily for once. I'm considering going full-bore and shelling out for the FX5800. Yikes!
By the way, I work on very large Architectural and Construction projects - airport terminals, hospitals and similar, using Revit, NavisWorks and CS5. 3D models range up to 1GB in size and the graphics files are often over 4GB.
Among the puzzles are that the GeForce cards seem to have more processing cores than the Quadros, but I wonder if this is comparing apples to oranges, and besides I'm sure there are more significant factors that separate the two product lines.
Any further clarity on the real differences would be very welcome.
The 2 product lines generally share the same hardware. If you search google there are a ton of guides on how to hack and mod a GeForce into a Quadro, it's not 100% perfect though.
What your paying for with the Quadro line is the software development costs to integrate with those professional applications. Plus most businesses are willing to pay those high costs for the work stations and the market is smaller than the consumer market, which doesn't drive the cost down.
An initial review of the specs for the top-of-the-line cards, the Quadro FX 5800 and the GeForce GTX 480, makes the GeForce out to be a far superior device in almost all categories, with the exception of Pixel Fill Rate and Texture Fill Rate. There is also no Open GL support shown for the GeForce. Maybe these are the areas that matter the most - do you know? I'm going to keep digging...
Here's a link to one group of hackers:
Interesting, but in the end it sounds as if the performance is still far behind an actual Quadro card. It would be very interesting to see what happens with the top-end GeForce (GTX 480) and I'll take that on if I can find the time. For now, it's a business write-off and I think I'll go for the FX 5800 (again - yikes!)