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Conclusion

Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800
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Looking at our benchmark results, it’s clear which card comes out on top: Nvidia’s Quadro 5000 is superior to AMD’s FirePro V8800 in almost every benchmark, usually by a clear margin. Based on their mainstream equivalents, we wouldn’t have expected such a great performance disparity between these two graphics boards. After all, AMD's offering is built on an excellent modern design, though it seems to have trouble living up to its performance potential in a workstation environment.

Indeed, we don't think that it's the hardware to blame. After all, the Radeon HD 5870 is faster than the GeForce GTX 465. Rather, it's AMD’s driver at fault. While they are stable, they are apparently not very well optimized yet, holding the V8800 back. This isn’t just the case compared to Nvidia's current flagship. The V8800 should have been able to outpace its own predecessor by a much larger margin. AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation.

Nvidia’s newest software package grants the Quadro 5000 a clear lead in the synthetic benchmark SPECviewperf 11. While the Nvidia card also comes out ahead of the AMD board in real-world benchmarks, the margins are not as wide as the synthetic suite would imply. 3ds Max is the one exception, with the previous-gen Quadro FX 4800 beating not only its contemporary FirePro V8700, but the new V8800 as well. We’re happy to see that Nvidia has optimized its drivers for performance in several applications, which is something that AMD has been implementing in its own drivers for a while now. As a result, there is less need to manually adjust software-based settings when using an Nvidia card.

Looking at the two competitors from a "value for the money" perspective, Nvidia certainly appears to be the premium choice, both where performance and cost are concerned. Its faster card is naturally more expensive. Meanwhile, AMD prices its cards at a level that is in line with its capabilities. In other words, the AMD cards are less expensive and still offer respectable performance, but they’re not the fastest models out there.

Depending on the route you go, pricing may not be as much of an issue. While workstation graphics cards can be bought separately, the majority are sold as part of a preconfigured workstation computer from companies like Dell (Precision line) or Hewlett-Packard (z800), where the customer can choose the components. In the context of an entire workstation, the cost of a graphics card is only a small part of the final sum.

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    joytech22 , September 1, 2010 6:42 AM
    You need to remember, Fermi is designed not "Just" for games, but was also designed, from day one, with computing in mind as well.
  • 17 Hide
    reprotected , September 1, 2010 7:55 AM
    Why isn't the Quadro 6000 and the FX 5800 in the benchmarks?
  • 15 Hide
    Randomacts , September 1, 2010 6:20 AM
    That graphics card cost more then both of the computers I own. O.o
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    Randomacts , September 1, 2010 6:20 AM
    That graphics card cost more then both of the computers I own. O.o
  • -9 Hide
    tacoslave , September 1, 2010 6:22 AM
    if amd put a little more work on their drivers (i.e crossfire and firepro performance)they would be the clear performance champion.
  • 15 Hide
    Gin Fushicho , September 1, 2010 6:35 AM
    I really wish I knew what these numbers meant.

    For someone who doesn't do 3-D design these benchmarks are kinda confusing.
  • 0 Hide
    TheStealthyOne , September 1, 2010 6:36 AM
    The cooler for the FirePro card is really attractive imo.
  • 20 Hide
    joytech22 , September 1, 2010 6:42 AM
    You need to remember, Fermi is designed not "Just" for games, but was also designed, from day one, with computing in mind as well.
  • 6 Hide
    darthvidor , September 1, 2010 6:56 AM
    I'm impressed to find nvidia beating amd in power consumption.
  • 17 Hide
    reprotected , September 1, 2010 7:55 AM
    Why isn't the Quadro 6000 and the FX 5800 in the benchmarks?
  • 3 Hide
    SchizoFrog , September 1, 2010 8:08 AM
    Once again the arguement regarding AMD Drivers is brought to the fore. But more than this, when AMD has a line of products that could be said to 'miss' they absolutely FAIL. nVidia on the otherhand seem to have learned their lesson well from the 5xxxFX series and can still produce products that can compete at least at some level, ie: GTX460. Although these are Workstation products, nVidia have a complete package with GPUs and Drivers that work from the off.
  • -2 Hide
    scrumworks , September 1, 2010 8:10 AM
    I'm sure you'll be hearing from AMD pretty soon publishing those kind of results.
  • 7 Hide
    davefb , September 1, 2010 8:21 AM
    sort of interesting, but why is there no comparison to mainstream boards? There is a massive premium of cost here but nothing to be able to say 'hey boss, the onboard graphics we use really don't cut it any more, how about a quadro'.
    (or have I sped-read past the reason why ;)  )
  • 6 Hide
    L0tus , September 1, 2010 8:34 AM
    "AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."

    Hence why I'm selling my HD5770 and getting a GTX460. Much as I like their hardware, ATI sucks balls on drivers...this card won't even shine on M&B and BF2 is a nightmare.
  • -7 Hide
    ohim , September 1, 2010 9:30 AM
    L0tus"AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."Hence why I'm selling my HD5770 and getting a GTX460. Much as I like their hardware, ATI sucks balls on drivers...this card won't even shine on M&B and BF2 is a nightmare.

    Why do you even want to compare 2 different cards that have different price range ? At least in my country GTX460 costs almost twice as much as 5770. I wonder why nobody can force Nvidia or AMD to bring the workstation optimization found in Quadro - FirePRO drivers to normal cards ... we all know about the past Quadro mods from normal gaming cards ... most of the time all that differes between the 2 cards is amount of memory.
  • 4 Hide
    joytech22 , September 1, 2010 10:44 AM
    ohimWhy do you even want to compare 2 different cards that have different price range ? At least in my country GTX460 costs almost twice as much as 5770. I wonder why nobody can force Nvidia or AMD to bring the workstation optimization found in Quadro - FirePRO drivers to normal cards ... we all know about the past Quadro mods from normal gaming cards ... most of the time all that differes between the 2 cards is amount of memory.


    Because then Nvidia wouldn't have their Quadro lines would they?

    It's mostly for money, they just change a product a bit and market it as a completely different thing, this rakes in more money, and i know you can turn GTX2** Series card's to Quatro's because iv'e turned my GTX285 into one before.
  • 1 Hide
    soo-nah-mee , September 1, 2010 12:17 PM
    It may be an older card, but I hate the Quardo FX3700 that's in my workstation. I can run Inventor and Solidworks far better at home with an HD4870. ...And if you say your paying for durability or service hours, I don't buy it. You could buy 8 "gaming" cards for the price of my Quadro.
  • 5 Hide
    meat81 , September 1, 2010 12:50 PM
    AMD Drivers fault? Big shocker there
  • -3 Hide
    Poisoner , September 1, 2010 1:18 PM
    Maybe the ati cards just suck. Anyways fermi is designed for compute power is almost apples to oranges. This is no surprise to me knowing that fermi rapes g200 in folding.
  • 1 Hide
    geok1ng , September 1, 2010 1:33 PM
    "AMD's best approach would be to commit more resources to its driver team to rectify the situation."

    A true statement if i ever heard one, since AMD merged ATI and fired lots of ATI personnel.
  • 0 Hide
    pinkfloydminnesota , September 1, 2010 1:38 PM
    more or less a twin? could we have more riddles and less actual description of the components next time?

    what is it, not what is it more or less
  • 0 Hide
    saint19 , September 1, 2010 1:39 PM
    This isn't a secret the Nvidia’s Quadro series is an amazing card against his contenders I just wish that this amazing performance was used in the Fermi series :lol: 
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