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Thread: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

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    Active Member Neo_Richard_Blake's Avatar
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    Default GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    What the heck is the real difference between a GeForce and a Quadro graphics card? I've been researching this pretty heavily for at least 6 months, and the best answer I can get is that Quadros are built for CAD, and GeForce are built for gaming. End of story, that's all I get. It's like a bunch of video game fan-boys arguing about the most recent video game systems. Everything seems to use the "because I said so" mentality. Xbox 360 is better than Wii "because I said so". Wii is better than Xbox 360 "because I said so". Quadro is better than GeForce "because I said so". GeForce is better than Quadro "because I said so".

    I don't care what they're built for. I want to know what will work, apples-to-apples and oranges-to-oranges, leaving the money issue out of it. Please try to steer away from phrases like, "well, for the price...," etc.

    I've even read Nvidia's official GeForce vs. Quadro PDF of many, many pages. If anti-aliasing is the only thing that works differently who cares? If overlapping windows take a little longer to draw with a GeForce, who cares? Will the GeForce still draw the windows, or will the application die? We seem to crash all the time anyway, so what do I care if I crash once more in a day?

    I'm so confused on this that it actually hurts my brain. I don't want to hear any more about specs, and what they're supposed to do. I want to know who out there has what video card, and what does it do that you like, and what does it do that you don't like. I'd really love some verifiable proof that I can test and use to proove to my managers one way or the other.

    This turned into a lot more of a ranting tangent than I wanted it to be, but I'm really trying to get this thread to be the one that people read from now on and they know, this is how a Quadro performs on this, and this is how a GeForce compares on the same thing. (Oops, that was a long, run-on sentence. ) That is the information that I've never seen anywhere. If it exists somewhere, please point me in the right direction.

    For those of you still reading, thanks for sticking around. Let's do some good for the world of graphics.
    Sean Thompson
    Drafter
    IES Engineering
    Bakersfield, CA

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    What's the difference between a Ford Pinto and an Abrams Main Battle Tank?
    One is designed to go places and do things that the other isn't.
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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    AUGI Addict jpaulsen's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Your choice of card really depends on your usage. What are you using the card for? I assume CAD since you posted on this forum but how intense is your 3D usage? Do you often use real-time 3D zooms (3Dorbit)? Do you apply materials and do renderings often?

    Let me start with some information that I think you may have asked not to get. The main difference between the cards is the Quadro is geared toward Open GL graphics where the GeForce is geared toward Direct X. Until recently Open GL out performed Direct X in CAD applications because the CAD applications were being written for Open GL. Games are written for Direct X. This increase in performance is mainly noticeable only in 3D applications.

    Sorry to add to your confusion but we are in a transition period right now where the above statement may no longer be true. Vista does not directly support Open GL. This may lead many people to believe that Direct X will be the wave of the future for CAD apps. I am not sold on that idea. Open GL can still be used with Vista as long as the card manufacturer writes a good driver for it. I would expect Nvidia to continue Open GL support for Vista. Autodesk has not made a decision on this yet. They may start recommending Direct X they may not.

    We do not plan on upgrading to Vista for at least 18 months. Over the next 18 months maybe the industry will decide whether to continue with Open GL for CAD or if Direct X will be the new leader. Until then we are continuing to spec Quadro FX 1500's in our new systems.
    Jeff Paulsen

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    Active Member Neo_Richard_Blake's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Thanks Jeff.

    I'm specing this out for use with AutoCAD. We're not really looking to purchase right now, but I want to clear up my confusion before we need to purchase new hardware. We do have a few guys here who are still 2D, but most of us are using heavy 3D now. We even have some folks who use SolidWorks (which I'm trying to get changed to Inventor). We 3D users use orbiting a lot. We don't render things very often though, so if this were a slow process it wouldn't matter really. So, what you're getting at is that heavy 3D requires a quadro more than a geforce? Why would that be? GeForce cards, being designed for games, have a lot of rendering power in their own right, so how would they not be the better choice when it comes to a lot of rendering and 3D? Is that where the OpenGL/DirectX issue comes into play?

    I'm okay with this information. This is new to me, I didn't realize that one was more dominante with Open GL while the other was dominant with Direct X. I probably never infered this because I've always used Open GL on my games. The rendering just looks better that way.

    Also, since we're here, what's the best way to determine how much memory we should have on the cards? I know AutoCAD minimum says 128MB, which quite a few of our folks have. My machine has 256MB, and one of my guys was having a lot of trouble with crashing issues and visual junk, so we bought him a new Quadro FX 5500 1GB card, and nothing much changed. What's up with that? Shouldn't he have been able to use 3d orbit better and stuff like that, and more tesselations, higher detail settings, etc? This was weird to me, because growing up (granted, I'm a gamer) I was always told that the memory difference made the most impact on hte visuals and overall performance.

    Jaberwok,

    That's actually the kind of statements I'm trying to steer clear of in this thread. I know they're built to do different things, but specifically, what does that difference mean?

    With a tank next to a pinto, it's obvious. But benchmark a Quadro next to a GeForce of the same memory level, and what are the differences? By physical appearance, they don't generally even look much different.
    Sean Thompson
    Drafter
    IES Engineering
    Bakersfield, CA

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    AUGI Addict jpaulsen's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Richard (I assume that's your name),

    I am sure you have found that this is not an easy question to answer. My only suggestion would be to try different cards under normal workload at your company.

    We did this several years ago using a ~$400 GeForce card (I think it was a 7000 series but not sure) against a ~$800 Quadro (FX 1400). For the limited amount we use 3D in AutoCAD the performance differences were not noticeable. When testing them with display benchmarks the GeForce won hands down but those benchmarks were geared toward games. Even though we did not see a noticeable improvement with CAD applications my IT department wanted to stick with workstation cards (Quadro).

    We had to purchase the Quadro for testing but the GeForce I got from Best Buy and returned it after the test. I was upfront with them when I purchased it and I told them that if it didn't outperform the Quadro that I would be returning it. They didn’t have a problem with that so I don’t feel bad.

    The only way to know for sure is to test the cards your self.
    Jeff Paulsen

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    I could stop if I wanted to Ogre's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Unless you are using HEAVY 3d, then the new 8k series GeForce cards will do just fine without too many visual problems...The newer versions of AutoCAD are modified to allow for more DirectX compatability...In the years past, AutoCAD focused primarily on OpenGL...

    If you were to use Inventor, Pro/E, etc, I think that the OpenGL would be better...Since you are using AutoCAD, the DirectX cards will do fine...Remember to stick with the higher end DirectX cards (nVidia 8800 series) as they will definitely have better performance than the lower end...

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    Active Member Neo_Richard_Blake's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Actually, my name is Sean. (I'm surprised that i don't have that displayed anywhere. I'll have to fix that) The user name comes from my three favorite fiction characters. Neo from "The Matrix". Richard Cypher from the Sword of Truth series of fantasy books, and Anita Blake from the novels by Laurell K. Hamilton.

    Thanks so much for your help. I'll have to look into getting some cards to test. Once I do that I'll repost the results here. I'm not so good with official benchmarks, but I'll see what I can do. Thanks again.
    Sean Thompson
    Drafter
    IES Engineering
    Bakersfield, CA

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    Certified AUGI Addict jaberwok's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Hi Sean.

    I thought Jeff gave you the sort of information that you didn't want - the sort of information you really needed.
    I made a bold (okay, over-bold) statement from the other end of the spectrum.

    Really, the point is that Quadro cards are certified for use with CAD programmes, not just AutoCAD, GeForce cards aren't. We may well be paying through the nose for that certification, I've no way of knowing.
    John B

    "You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep-seated need to believe." - Carl Sagan

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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ogre View Post
    If you were to use Inventor, Pro/E, etc, I think that the OpenGL would be better...Since you are using AutoCAD, the DirectX cards will do fine...Remember to stick with the higher end DirectX cards (nVidia 8800 series) as they will definitely have better performance than the lower end...
    If you're using Inventor, Opengl is no longer an option. DirectX is finally maturing enough to replace Opengl.

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict robert.1.hall72202's Avatar
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    Default Re: GeForce vs Quadro (beware of my ranting) :)

    Beware of Quadro..........I have it on my machine and am not too impressed.
    It does not make me want to choose it over any other card out there.

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