Hopefully this little snippet can help you on your way.
Quadro vs. GeForce
I get asked this all the time! I always get great feedback for my Quadro reviews. (Thanks guys!) The questions are generally the same. People wonder if they really need, or could benefit from, a Quadro card. They ask questions like:
"Are they [Quadro cards] really that much faster [than GeForce]?"
"Can you also play games on a Quadro card?"
Unfortunately the real answer isn't as simple as 'yes' or 'no'. While you can play games on a Quadro card, and they do generally perform very well, that's not the whole story. I know what you're thinking though:
"Who cares, does it work?!"
Yes, but keep reading: Your wallet should care in two ways. First, for pure gaming you will get more bang-for-buck out of a GeForce card - A lot more. This can save you some significant mad-money, like $1500-2000. Add that to your Vegas jar. While saving money always sounds great, there's more to think about...
The Quadro lineup is geared toward graphics professionals, engineers, medical imaging, geospatial, or anyone who needs very heavy computational performance. By "heavy" we're not talking photographs and web graphics. Think more along the lines of a 3D model that accurately describes every thread of every bolt in your whole damn car - and all the other parts. Think programs likeAutodesk Maya, The Foundry's Nuke and Nukex, Catia, SolidWorks. For certain video encoders that don't already make use of onboard NVENC (the on-card dedicated hardware encoder for H.264 video) the added CUDA cores of a Quadro can really help. In these cases a Quadro can save you significant dough! We're talking reduced production times here where $2000 is peanuts.
I can attest that for certain programs, including Autodesk Maya, there is an immense difference in real-world performance between a Quadro and a GeForcecard. This is in-viewport performance where I can pan and dolly 1,000 square miles of detailed terrain without breaking a sweat. (The software rendering performance i.e. mentalray is identical.) When the system requirements say "Requires professional graphics card," they mean it!
So does that make Quadro cards faster at gaming? Surprisingly no. They'll be on-par with an equivalent GeForce card, sometimes a touch slower sometimes faster but by no significant margin. Remember, game engines are written with GeForce in mind. Technically, you can play games with a Quadro with pretty-settings cranked up on your workstation, but it's not nirvana.