Difference between quadro cards and gaming cards

By boagz
Mar 28, 2014
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  1. I was wondering what makes NVidia's quadro cards so much more expensive than even the high end gaming GPUs? I know there more for the "workstation" PC and are used more for 3d modeling and such with programs like 3ds max and maya but what exactly do these quadro cards have that the high end gaming GPUs don't? More cuda processors? Higher Memory bus width? The reason I am asking is because I recently purchased a GTX 780 SC and was thinking of getting into either 3ds max/maya in the near future. Would purchasing another GTX 780 and putting into sli configuration help with programs like max and maya? Thanks for the any help!
  2. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,127   +490

    To answer your question, the Quaddro series of cards or FirePro for AMD are different from the gaming cards because they re-purpose the cards for straight up compute. The software included with them and drivers along with some additional features make them poor at gaming but better in the fields of compute/cuda dev/opencl/etc. Also those cards in most cases also cram more RAM than the standard card models for higher rendering among other things.

    You will be fine with a 780 for the basics of 3DS max and maya and adding another would be somewhat beneficial later down the line but you can definitly use your superclock GTX 780 for this and get decent performance for these programs.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,746   +1,419

    I don't think re-purpose is the term to use. The cards are engineered for different work loads, from the start. Re-purpose almost sounds as bad as re-branding. As if the card previously existed as something else.
  4. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,127   +490

    Meh, mostly just a bad turn of phrase, but the truth is most of those cards are very similar to their gaming counterparts and still use the GPU whether its a Kepler or a GCN Chip. Many times they are higher binned versions of the chips from the factory that are then prepared for use with some changes in the board, drivers, and such to gain high advantages in the compute, memory, and other areas they are designed to fit in (Like the additional boost on the double and single precision and the addition in some or most cases of ECC rated memory for the workloads).

    Probably a bad phrase yes, but the argument remains the same.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  5. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,667   +868

    You are missing a HUGE selling point of Quadro and Firepro cards. That is, the certified drivers. Expensive, hefty, and powerful programs such as the CAD software SolidWorks only works properly on certified GPUs, usually only those from the Quadro and Firepro lines. This is because the certified drivers are specifically aimed at professional software and are optimized for certain features/tasks that gaming GPUs would not be able to accomplish. For example, from my SolidWorks experience, a quadro cards performs much better for numerous reasons: viewports are run properly (viewports do not run properly on gaming GPUs), better handling of large 3D files, less artifacting. Also, Quadro cards support 10-bit color.

    Verdict: if you are a hardcore/heavy user of software such as AutoCad, SolidWorks, Adobe CC suites, or any 3D program, I would highly recommend a Quadro card. But if you are a normal, or less intense user, I would go with a gaming GPU. Just make sure it is certified for the tasks/software.

    I hope this helps.

    -JC
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  6. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,127   +490

    I did mention Software JC713

  7. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,667   +868

    BUT, you didnt go into detail ;) :p.
  8. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,127   +490

    Well with that we could talk about buying a really cheap Quadro card and putting in a system with GTX cards which if done right will unlock software strictly for Quadro use on the GTX series.
  9. Omozinox

    Omozinox Newcomer, in training

    Complete BS. The real truth is that it is a marketing gimmick. You used to be able to soft-patch Geforce into Quadro cards to fool programs like Maya and 3D Studio. Guess what? The programs ran practically as fast as a genuine Quadro card. The video card manufacturers didn't like this this because they were losing big $$ because you could take a cheap gaming card and turn it into a "high end" workstation card that cost 5 times more. So what did they do? They hardware locked future cards so they couldn't be soft patched. This is the real truth.
  10. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,667   +868

    Of course manufacturers are going to make it so that gaming GPUs can't reach the potential of professional GPUs... it is the only way to make money. Unfortunately because of this, consumers and professionals have to give into this since it is the only way they can accomplish certain tasks. Business practices are "BS", but it is the only way to make money. It is unfortunate.


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