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Conclusion: Editor's Recommendation

Nvidia Quadro FX 4800: Workstation Graphics At Its Finest?

The card's higher price compared to the FirePro V8700 is something to consider. However, the Quadro FX 4800's performance benchmark results are convincing, besting those of the V8700 in 10 out of 14 tests. Likewise, power consumption and quieter operation also fall in the FX 4800's favor. For these reasons, we bestow the Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 with our Editor's Choice designation.

The official manufacturer suggested retail price for the FX 4800 is $1,999. A bit of careful shopping online, however, soon reveals models from PNY available for well under $1,600. While expensive, we find these prices for workstation cards acceptable, particularly for users in need of extreme performance, 30-bit color, and CUDA support. There's even a big brother to this card available, the Quadro FX 5800. But at a price that's just over double that of the FX 4800, that toll is likely to restrict its purchase to a much smaller audience. And in fact, it's not entirely clear that the price increase is offset by an equal performance increase. It's likely that only a portion of that difference is made up on the performance front.

Those inclined to spend less on a workstation card than this Quadro FX 4800 model costs might want to check out our article on the FirePro V8700. This ATI card lags only slightly behind the Quadro FX 4800 in most of our benchmarks. At a street price of around $1,250, it makes an attractive alternative to the Quadro FX 4800 for those on a budget.

A final observation: The Quadro FX 4800 and Quadro FX 5800 have been joined by other members of this product family. On March 30, Nvidia announced this new lineup, as described in the following table. The entries in the "previous model" column will be replaced by those in the "newest model" column.

Previous model Newest Model Product positioning
Nvidia Quadro FX 5600Nvidia Quadro FX 5800Ultra High-End with Maximal Performance
Nvidia Quadro FX 4600Nvidia Quadro FX 4800Ultra High-End for Professionals
Nvidia Quadro FX 3700Nvidia Quadro FX 3800High-End
Nvidia Quadro FX 1700Nvidia Quadro FX 1800Mid-Range
Nvidia Quadro FX 570Nvidia Quadro FX 580Entry-Level Productivity
Nvidia Quadro FX 370Nvidia Quadro FX 380Entry-Level Budget Offering

There's another model also available: it's called the NVS 295 (but it is geared for business and not workstation graphics, so we omit further discussion here). You can find more news on this general subject here: Nvidia Announces Quadro FX 3450/4500 Workstation Graphics Chips.

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