Workstation Shootout: Nvidia Quadro 5000 Vs. ATI FirePro V8800

Test Configuration

When we reviewed the previous generation of workstation cards, we were faced with an unsatisfying situation. Although Widows Vista had been on the market for quite a while at that point, we were forced to fall back on Windows XP for testing. After consulting with several contacts in the CAD sector, the reason became clear, though. Due to instability and security concerns, only very few professionals were willing to make the switch to Windows Vista. Over the past year, this situation has changed.

Windows 7 has received a much warmer welcome than Vista. On top of that, most professional users are making the big switch, upgrading not only to Microsoft’s newest OS but choosing its 64-bit version at the same time. This promises better performance, as well as improved memory management.

At any rate, we‘re quite happy to move our OpenGL test platform to the new OS so that we’ll be using the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Enterprise in this review. There are already some scripts for 64-bit apps available for download at, although they seem to be appearing only very slowly.

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System Hardware
CPUIntel Core i7-965 Extreme
MotherboardAsus P6T (rev 1.01G) with Intel X58 Chipset
System Memory (RAM)6 GB (3 x 2 GB) Corsair DDR3 1600 MHz @ 8-8-8-24
Optical DriveSamsung SH-D163A , SATA 1.5 Gb/s
Power SupplyZalman, ATX 2.01, 510 W
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1500ADFD 150 GB
System Software And Tests
Operating SystemWindows 7 Enterprise 64-bit
DirectXDirectX 11.0
Intel Chipset SoftwareVersion
ATI FirePro DriverCatalyst 8.723
Nvidia Quadro DriverQuadro 258.98
SPEC Benchmark SettingsApplication settings according to SPEC Project Group Rules, driver using application optimizations if available
SPEC Benchmarks Being UsedSPECViewperf 11 SPECapc Autodesk Maya 2009  v1.0 SPECapc Newtek LightWave 9.6 SPECapc Autodesk 3D Studio Max 9 1.2
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 ;) )