NVIDIA Quadro vs GeForce – What Is The Difference?

Although name GeForce is firmly embedded in the minds of gamers, the name Quadro doesn’t exactly ring a bell. Or at least, not as quickly.

Just like GeForce, Quadro cards are also graphics cards, but they are made with different purposes in mind. And as such, they do have different specifications, but also a much bigger price tag might tempt some to splurge thinking that they would be getting a much better graphics card.

First, let’s discuss what are some of the uses for each of these graphics cards.

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GeForce – A Jack Of All Trades, Master Of One

GeForce RTX Logo

Seeing how it’s probably the most well-known graphics card brand out there and considered the ruler of the graphics card kingdom, it’s no surprise that GeForce is your first association with GPUs in general. And while it certainly does deserve its spot, it’s important to distinguish that GeForce is made to give gamers the best possible visual experience while gaming.

It’s crucial to say that while the most powerful GeForce cards out there, say an RTX 2080 Ti, can be quite good with more advanced tasks, it’s designed and its drivers are maintained in a way to keep giving that awesome visual fidelity. What we mean by that is that as new games keep getting released, Nvidia will work on their GeForce drivers and ensure that they are best optimized for each new release.

ASUS ROG RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards

On the other hand, GeForce drivers will probably not do so well with CAD or a similar professional workspace software. There are some users online who described using GeForce for CAD as using a ticking timebomb because if some problem pops up software-side, GeForce likely won’t offer optimized drivers that will correct that issue quickly enough (or at all).

One thing that’s interesting about the comparison between these two is that they offer very similar clock speeds, but vastly different VRAM capacity. For example, RTX 2080 Ti has 11GB of GDDR6 memory while Quadro RTX 8000 has the incredulous 48GB of GDDR6 memory.

Related:GDDR5 vs GDDR5X vs HBM vs HBM2 vs GDDR6

The reason for this is quite simple – there’s just no need for that much VRAM for modern gaming. Of course, as time goes on, there will be, it’s just that for now, 11GB is perfectly fine.

This VRAM difference is probably the biggest reason for such price discrepancy. Sure, you could game on a Quadro card, but those tens of gigabytes extra won’t enhance your gaming experience one bit. If the game needs just 6GB, it will use 6GB, it’s that simple.

Just to make sure we outright state this – GeForce cards can be used for 3D modeling or AI training, but not exactly at a professional level. While two GeForce cards can be linked via NVLink, the performance boost is still unfortunately tied to the application’s usage of the technology so we can’t guarantee the same result for every software out there.

Quadro – A Jack Of All Trades, Master Of All But One

Quadro RTX

Simply put, Quadro is a professional-grade graphics card and as such can do a variety of stuff for a lot of different industries. However, it’s fair to say that its best use would be in design and visualization fields. We’re talking about stuff like 3D modeling and animation.

For example, a Quadro card will allow you to have a much smoother experience when working with wireframes or double-sided polygons. Likewise, if you’re rendering a complicated 3D scene, Quadro is a lot faster than GeForce. It’s worth mentioning that for this exact reason rendering farms are mostly made out of Quadro cards.

As we already mentioned earlier, these cards have several times more VRAM which is exactly what’s needed for these processes. And that’s not the only reason why Quadro is better suited for these tasks than GeForce.

If we were to pit the best of Quadro versus the best of GeForce, at this point in time, we’d get Quadro RTX 8000 and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, so that’s where we’ll place our direct spec comparison.

One thing that we slightly overlooked when looking at memory sizes of these respective video cards is the bus width. Quadro 8000 has a bus with 384-bit width, while RTX 2080 Ti sports a 352-bit bus width and while this might not seem like much of a difference, the fact that Quadro 8000 has a slightly faster clock and a wider bus means that there will be a much more noticeable difference in latency.

Another area where Quadro has an advantage is in the processing power.

Processing Power

RTX 2080 Ti is no slouch here either, with double-precision (non-boosted) of 367 GFLOPS, but Quadro RTX 8000’s 509.8 is simply better. Even GeForce’s boost to 421 GFLOPS falls short. The reason why the computation power is important is that users of Quadro cards will have more calculations done in less time.

This is specifically useful in fields of AI and can be extended and is used for scientific experiments and advancements in the medical field. As big data becomes more and more prominent in the world of business so does the need for large and strenuous data processing and here the design of Quadro cards fits perfectly.

For this specific reason, Quadro cards are specifically designed to endure long sessions of data crunching, but as a bonus, Nvidia offers much longer warranty on them which can certainly come in handy.

Sure, there are other cards that are specifically designed to perform those big data crunches, but Quadro is a pretty good multi-purpose professional solution.

GeForce vs Quadro: Which Is The Right One For You?

NVIDIA Quadro vs GeForce

As usual, these things come to personal preference and intended use.

If you’re looking to have a quality experience while gaming while also experimenting a little with 3D modeling or animation, then GeForce is a pretty good solution. The best reason why you should sacrifice a little in the performance department (as far as non-gaming activities go) is the enormous price difference from Quadro.

Getting a Quadro card should really be a question of how much money you can and are willing to invest in your business. Sometimes the skills you have just aren’t going to cut it and you need to get some good equipment to go with it. And Quadro is a perfect tool.

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Aleksandar Cosic
Aleksandar Cosic

Alex is a Computer Science student and a former game designer. That has enabled him to develop skills in critical thinking and fair analysis. As a CS student, Aleksandar has very in-depth technical knowledge about computers, and he also likes to stay current with new technologies.