tell us what you are going to do with the laptop first. the go6800 is more of everyday gaming and the quadro is more for rendering/working. but then.. you are commiting a double sin, one for buying alienware, and two for buying an alienware laptop. why do i say this? because you are getting ripped off BIG time on buying alienware in teh first place, but buying a laptop?! phewww... expect a battery life of around 1 hour!
By looking at the specs, looks like GeForce Ultra is more powerfull than the Quadro (for instance Memory Bandwith is 35.2 on the Geforce, compared to 19.4 on the Quadro).
So why is the Quadro more expensive since, at a glance, it looks like an inferior product?.
Also, what makes the Quadro "the ultimate solution for digital content creators and engineers". Does it have something that engineers will be able to do with the Quadro that the GeForce don't provide?.
i am not very versed on the differences between the quadro and the regular lines of video cards. but for one thing, the quadro doesn't have all the fancy effects stuff that the regular line has for games and waht not. its just pure rendering power. and this proves to be better for engineers and digital artists. you might want to find someone else who knows more about the quadro archeticture to help you out on the hard ware and physical differences between the two cards.
The only real difference is the drivers that the cards use. The hardware is pretty much identical.
The quadro drivers are much better suited for professional apps like Maya or 3dStudio... hence the higher price tag. But the Quadro drivers don't work as well in games, historically, because they are optimized for specific apps.
Conversely the gaming drivers for regular Geforces are optimized for gaming.
In short, stay away from Quadros unless you're a 3d Graphics professional.
I have compiled a small feature comparison between those cards:
Feature | Quadro FX Go1400 | GeForce Go 6800U
Shader Model Support | 3.0 | 3.0
Memory Interface | 256-bit | 256-bit
Memory Bandwidth(GBps)| 19,4 | Up to 35.2
Graphics Bus | PCI Express | PCI Express
PowerMizer Version | 5 | Don't Know
Memory Size | 256MB | 256MB
Memory Type | DDR3 | DDR3
Geometry | 92 Mill Tri/sec | 188 Mill Tri/sec
Fill Rate (Tex/Second)| 2.2 Billion | 5.4 billion
Cg High-Level Graphics Shader Language | Yes |Don't know
12-Bit Subpixel Precision | Yes |Don't know
As I told before, I'm new to GPU world, but just by looking a the table it looks like the GeForce is far superior (which makes me think Quadro is more expensive because of a marketing strategy: "Professionals make more money than a Video Game enthusiastic").
The only thing that add more value to the Quadro is, I guess, the "Cg High-Level Graphics Shader Language". Does anybody know is this can be enabled on the GeForce?.
Does it means that Quadro is a programable graphics card and GeForce is not?
By the way, I'm going to study Maya as part of a course, but hey I also want to play Doom 3 at highest resolution. Also, I'm going to take Image Processing and several other computer graphics courses.
Thanks you so much for you're reply.
Correct me if im wrong but the Quadro is usually a realyl solid performer in OpenGl.
"Cg High-Level Graphics Shader Language" was some language nVidia tryed/is tryign to promote but it never really took off.
As for the stats, I guess it depend at what frequency the 6800U operates.
I'd suggest goin with the 6800U myself. Also look around, there's good laptop other than the AlienWare, just look at the toms article on the Dell, looks like a good performer.
Aslo look at the Asus whitebook thats pretty sweet!
As I said, they're both the exact same GPU. The differences in specs is just from clockspeeds, nothing more.
When you pay the extra price, you're paying for the Quadro driver development.
But they are different animals because of the drivers... if you game, you don't want the quadro driver. And if you're a 3d professional, you'd much prefer it.
Gamers have no use for quadros, unless you like having the same 6800 GPU for a much higher price, one that can't play games well (or at all) in some cases because the quadro drivers it is restricted to use aren't even QA'd for games.
I personally am not sure why you'd want that sort of thing if you're a gamer but if that's what you're looking for, more power to you.
My vote is order an ATI X800 XT for $229 before it is too late.
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