Latest Update: 25 August 2021
Quadro has recently dropped the “Quadro” name from their workstation GPUs. These cards can now be identified by the RTX x000 naming schecme, such as the RTX A4000 16GB GPU. For the sake of simplicity, we will continue to refer to Nvidia’s workstation GPU product line as “Quadro” in this article.
Controversial opinion: when it comes to Quadro vs GeForce, we almost never recommend workstation GPUs in our workstation PCs.
You’ve probably heard of Nvidia’s Quadro line of graphics cards. These cards are made for pros who work with CAD and CGI applications. This is quite different from Nvidia’s more commonly seen GeForce line of cards, which are geared towards gaming. You’d think this means that GeForce cards are completely unusable for any kind of work. You wouldn’t use a PS4 for Excel, right?
This is pretty closely related to another one of our write-ups. There’s a common aversion to “gaming” components, but we feel it would be pretty useful to take a closer look at what these two lines of cards have to offer.
Here’s the main reason for our position. In 90% of cases, you could get higher performance out of a lower priced GeForce graphics card than you would from a Quadro.
We can see this pretty clearly by looking at the GeForce RTX3070 and Quadro RTX4000. Benchmarks show that the RTX3070 offers much higher performance than the RTX4000 in most areas. This is despite the fact that they both have 8GB VRAM. You could get an RTX3070 under R15 000 ex VAT, while the RTX4000 comes around R20 000 ex VAT. Unless you’re using one of the few programs that benefit from Quadro features, the GeForce card makes a lot more sense.
That 48GB RTX8000 I mentioned earlier goes for around R140 000 ex VAT. On the other hand, the 24GB RTX3090 costs less than R40 000 ex VAT. If you need a single card with 48GB VRAM, the RTX8000 is pretty much your only option, but not many people will be able to justify paying 3-4x as much as an already expensive graphics card.
Even with the info above in mind, there are still important applications for Quadro GPUs.
If we compare the features of a Quadro vs GeForce card, we can see that Quadro cards can have a lot more VRAM, and also more computing power. While the RTX3090, Nvidia’s flagship gaming GPU, has 24GB VRAM, the Quadro RTX8000 has twice as much, at 48GB.
This makes them useful for tasks like cloud computing and machine learning. Certain programs like Solid Edge, Solidworks, and PTC Creo make use of their higher performance with double precision floating point integers.
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If you need a Quadro, you need a Quadro. There’s no getting around that – some programs really do leverage the benefits of these kinds of cards. If you’re not one of those few people though, you may be able to save yourself a lot of money, and get the same kind of performance from a much cheaper graphics card. You could then put that cash towards other stuff, like more RAM or a stronger CPU.
Lucky for you, this is one of the many areas in which we at Modena Computers have a ton of experience and understanding. We’ll help you figure out if you’d be wasting your money on an expensive Quadro, or wasting your time with a GeForce that doesn’t have the features you need. We’ll figure it all out in your free consultation, and we’ll do it quickly too. Just let us know your programs and your budget, and we’ll configure exactly the system you need.