Engineering Video Cards vs Game Video Cards?

I am an engineer who works with 3D CAD engineering programs (such as CATIA or ProEngineer). I create designs and animations for engineering design purposes (examples below).

It seems to me that the graphics demands that I place on my engineering cards are no where near as demanding what high end games do, such as Call of Duty etc.

My question is why is it then that engineering cards are (such as my NVIDIA Quaro FX) are much more expensive than gaming cards and looking at them do not seem nearly as substantial from the hardware point of view?

I have also heard (but I do not know if it it true) that Nvidia build into their cards algorithms that detect if you are using a gaming card for engineering applications that drasticly reduces the cards performance if detected, is this true?


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  1. The graphics card is only half the story; you need a driver to make use of the card.

    Workstation cards, and their drivers, are optimized for professional APIs like OpenGL, rather than Direct3D. Also, workstation drivers go through longer and more rigorous testing, therefore they are released less often.

    As for your last question, I would be surprised if it were true, but I would not be surprised if the OpenGL drivers are not as optimized on consumer cards.
  2. By this logic then it should be possible for card producers to get quite a bit more performance from their gaming cards then than they already do.....
  3. the extra cost is mostly due to drivers and tech support i believe
  4. You don't use quadro cards unless you are into extensive video processing were $value of time is huge. The price point is very high for individual users.

    Its the same hardware with different drivers to optimize for engineering intensive application.
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