Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800

Nvidia Quadro 5000: Overview

Nvidia is shortening the branding of its workstation cards. While the previous generations were dubbed Quadro FX, the new models will simply be called Quadro, followed by their model number. The FX suffix that many buyers associate with “special effects” has been dropped completely. AMD made a similar move last year, renaming its FireGL line to FirePro. The “GL,” which referenced the OpenGL graphics language, has been switched out for Pro, connoting “professional” instead.

The Quadro 5000, built by Nvidia and distributed by PNY, is considered the secret flagship of the Quadro family. Sure, there’s also the Quadro 6000, which is equivalent to the desktop GeForce GTX 480, just with an overabundance of memory. Of course, this model will surely find buyers as well, but the target audience is much smaller. That’s partly due to a steep price, but also because of there is only a limited number of applications out there that would benefit from such a card. We saw the same thing with the previous-generation Quadro FX 4800 and FX 5800.

So what kind of graphics card is the Quadro 5000, really? Well, under the hood, we find a GF100 GPU with 352 shader cores enabled. That makes it equivalent to the GeForce GTX 465 found in the desktop space, albeit a slightly chubbier and slower one. After all the, Quadro 5000 comes with more than twice as much memory as the GeForce GTX 465, but runs at lower clock speeds. The following table gives you a side-by-side comparison of the two cards.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
SpecificationsQuadro 5000GeForce GTX 465
ChipGF100 / FermiGF100 / Fermi
Memory2560 MB1024 MB
Core Clock Rate513 MHz607 MHz
Shader Clock Rate1026 MHz1215 MHz
Memory Clock Rate1500 MHz1600 MHz

In all, Nvidia launched a total of five products for the workstation and server markets.

Scalable visualization system:

  • Quadro Plex 7000, 12 GB memory, 896 CUDA cores

Desktop workstation:

  • Quadro 6000, 6 GB GDDR5 memory, 448 CUDA cores
  • Quadro 5000, 2.5 GB GDDR5 memory, 352 CUDA cores
  • Quadro 4000, 2 GB GDDR5 memory, 256 CUDA cores

Mobile workstations:

  • Quadro 5000M, 2 GB GDDR5 memory, 320 CUDA cores
Uwe Scheffel
  • Randomacts
    That graphics card cost more then both of the computers I own. O.o
  • tacoslave
    if amd put a little more work on their drivers (i.e crossfire and firepro performance)they would be the clear performance champion.
  • Gin Fushicho
    I really wish I knew what these numbers meant.

    For someone who doesn't do 3-D design these benchmarks are kinda confusing.
  • TheStealthyOne
    The cooler for the FirePro card is really attractive imo.
  • joytech22
    You need to remember, Fermi is designed not "Just" for games, but was also designed, from day one, with computing in mind as well.
  • darthvidor
    I'm impressed to find nvidia beating amd in power consumption.
  • reprotected
    Why isn't the Quadro 6000 and the FX 5800 in the benchmarks?
  • SchizoFrog
    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.
  • scrumworks
    I'm sure you'll be hearing from AMD pretty soon publishing those kind of results.
  • davefb
    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 ;) )