The benefit of a quadro vs geforce?


This must be a tired subject in here by now. However, being the owner of a quadro 5000 at work and a geforce gtx 580 at home, I am failing to understand how the quadro is $3500 better than my geforce.

I am definitely not trying to flame or hate, rather I am honestly trying to understand why I need a quadro. I can eek out a couple of FPS’s from my moderately heavy arch viz scenes (6.5M polys before proxies) with it but that doesn’t appear to me at least to justify the price difference.

I use After Effects for color correction and Premiere for editing/rendering the finals but have not done any benchmarks to date.

From what I have read it really boils down to the whole thing being subjective to what you need. I am just see from my experience that the ends don’t justify the means. I am hoping someone can drop a quadro bomb here and tell me where it’s better by $3500.



Well, you just came to the same conclusion that everyone who’ve worked on both did (in Max at least). You’ll know what to do the next time you upgrade your workstation :wink: Now you can start figuring out how many render nodes you can buy with that $3000…


What can I say? Welcome to the club I guess!


It’s true, it’s basically a big scam

The gaming cards are faster than the workstation cards. However, they only make the workstation cards with large amounts of video memory. That’s their only advantage.

But the thing is, many things these days are starting to take advantage of the video cards for rendering, (like iRay) and those require you to be able to have enough memory on the card to fit the scene you’re rendering.


there is further discussion at


You can buy nvidea 580 cards with 3Gig of ram . With two of these linked together using sli you get as much video ram as the top end quadra 6000 card and twice the number of cuda cores…

… so this is my plan for my next upgrade


SLI wont give you any performance benefits in viewport FPS, and SLI isnt required for GPU rendering. Plus afaik vram isnt cumulative across multiple cards for GPU rendering.


I bought one, it’s nice. :slight_smile:


Those 580 geforce cards are nice. The 590 has 3gbs of vram.
The high end quadro cards only advantage is the larger vram.

Take a look at the gpu capabilities:
The price on the quadro 6000 is $4k, and you get 448 stream processors.
The price on the 590 is $750, and you get 1024 processor cores.

Unless the quadro’s processors are more than twice as fast as the 590s, I’d say two sli’d 590s would be a better gpu setup than one quadro, unless your scene is larger than 3 gbs.

vram isnt cumulative across multiple cards for GPU rendering.

^ That’s the truth. Don’t think that your sli’d cards are sharing memory.

Unless you are loading scenes that are massively huge onto the gpus it doesn’t make sense to buy a high end quadro. (And that’s coming from a quadro 4000 owner and user).


Just out of curiosity:
Are you using the quaddro performance driver for 3ds max at work? If not, try it and see again =)

What I do know is, that the quddro’s work like a charm with premiere or after effects. If you render out videos with a quaddro instead of a gaming card you really see some difference. With 3ds max, you might see some viewport speed ups, IF (and only if) you use the performance driver. other than that, i dont see any difference either.


There are no performance drivers any longer for Max 2012 and up…


Did not know that! We still use 2011.
So is the viewport performance in 2012 that much better, so you don’t need a performance driver anymore, or do they just don’t bother anymore at nvidia?


I always had performance drivers installed for my Quadro 1800 with older max versions but still got higher fps rates with max 2012, so I think they generally improved things a lot for 2012.

Just yesterday I got my new 570 and I must say the performance is much better than with the quadro. It’s running fast as hell and I have crazy high fps rates even in wireframe mode with millions faces.

Should you switch make sure to give extra attention to uninstalling old drivers, I have followed the descriptions on the nvidia site here.


Compared to the old Direct3d viewport, Performance Drivers where a big boost in FPS. I remember a scene running on 17fps suddenly jumped to 70fps with a Quad and Performance Drivers.

I say Nitrous is on par with Performance Drivers, and you don’t need a Quadro to make it work. If you don’t consider the pesky mouse navigation lag (due to a bug deep in 3ds max) it’s definitely a viewport boost for those without Quadros. Some people have reported that Nitrous is not that good dealing with animation, but I don’t animate complex things inside 3ds max myself so I can’t comment on that.

Seems to me like working with Quadro cards inside 3ds max don’t serve a purpose any longer though. For GPU rendering you will have more cash-for-cores if you buy regular GeForces or equivalent from ATI. Besides a software system such as VrayRT does not need SLI or Crossfire enabled to utilize all hardware GPUs you have installed on your system.


We have Quadro 4000’s at work, and I gotta say that i actually do see a difference. We work in files brought in from cad that are around 23 million polies and before we upgraded to the quadros , I was on 470 GTX, I could barely navigate the scene even with nitrous, now its a piece of cake.


The 590 actually isn’t a good choice–it’s technically two cards put together, Max can’t take advantage of both (since it’s like SLI) and so it’s better to get a GTX 580 which has a faster processor, along with a 3GB version.


Thi sis just my personal experience - but the Quadro cards seem to to better with the lines showing, so wireframe is better with Quaddro - whereas the gaming cards seem to be better with shaded solid objects.


I will never waste money on a quadro again, unless Nvidia does some low down dirty tactics like disabling the geforces somehow. There are a few advantages of a Quadros just not $3,500 per card worth of advantages for me.


This is kind of a retro experience IMHO, as it was true with OpenGL. Now that the focus is 100% on Direct3D and it’s geometry caching, wireframe is blazing fast. Just be sure to disable backface culling, as in wireframe it is done on the CPU side…
Mabye quadro’s + performance driver were faster with overlayed edge display etc… ( just speculation, no firsthand experience), but as performance drivers are obsolete too now on Max2012 and up, that would’nt make an argument pro quadro either …


They seem to be stuck with a legacy mindset, that is the only reason they still sell them. In the old days it mattered, these days it doesn’t. If openGL were still a player you bet a Quadro would be better, much like a 3dlabs Wildcat was, with DX forget about it. I am not convinced.

How do you justify the cost of it? Games are all built on DX, Viewports are pretty much strictly developed now in DX, there really can’t be that much of a difference (I am sure there are a few nuances)

I have been fortunate enough to use most of them in one form or another and since the advent of high-end game cards, VRam really is the only perceivable difference. In fact I have had better performance on my 480 gtx than I have had on my Quadro 5k in most circumstances that do not involve GPU+textures (ie iRay, ect.) It seems to be the only major advantage is “real-time” rendering.

Even that is weird, why can’t texture memory be split up over SLI, this seems artificial. If SLI can draw a portion your monitor, a rt render should be able to render a portion of the shot, right? ie 1st half on one card, 2nd half on the other. Rendering is all predetermined it is not like running a physics simulation where a effects b in relation to time.