NVIDIA Quadro FX 2000
As you can assess for yourself
from the above spec sheets, the Quadro FX 2000 is
essentially an NV30 core based product with identical specs
to a GeForce FX 5800 and the FireGL X1 is an R300 core based
product, with identical specs to a Radeon 9700 Pro.
Even the PCB designs are nearly identical, with the
exception of a few interface options. However, again
both ATi and NVIDIA optimize their respective Core Graphics
technologies at the hardware level (although they are
intentionally vague as to exactly what modifications they
make), to meet the demands of specific CAD, DCC (Digital
Content Creation), 3D Design and Rendering and Analysis
tools applications. As such, they have dubbed its new
Graphics Core "NV30GL" and in the case of ATi's product,
Article Update - September, 4 2003 **
We recently ask
NVIDIA and ATi to respond back to us with their comments on
the differences in the architecture of their Consumer
based Graphics Cards versus their Pro Graphics solutions.
NVIDIA took the time to respond and here is what we learned.
Though the PCB appears nearly identical, there are
differences. The heat sync on the Quadro FX boards, for
example, is different and operates more efficiently.
2. - Professional users care about quality,
stability, reliability and accuracy. Their data must be
accurate (people's safety may actually rely on it) and their
applications must run reliably. To ensure quality, NVIDIA
takes extra steps to own the board manufacturing process so
that the parts used do not vary. NVIDIA employs a virtual
model to build its GeForce cards. While quality is still
high with a virtual model, there can be variances from one
board manufacturer to another as they use the same reference
design, but not necessarily identical parts. Since there is
more at stake when you insert a Quadro board into your
professional workflow (i.e. on a deadline to animate a
portion of a movie or complete a virtual prototype of a new
car), NVIDIA maintains tighter controls on the manufacturing
process to ensure a higher standard of quality, consistency
and reliability demanded by its professional users.
3.- It is no secret that NVIDIA
leverages a lot of common technology between its Quadro and
GeForce graphics. If we didn't take advantage of the
economies of scale for Quadro, customers would be paying a
lot more than they do today. That's not necessary. Despite
the technology-sharing, there are stark differences in the
features placed on top of the silicon for Quadro users, they
AA points and lines
Hardware Logic Ops (HW XOR)
Harware Stippled Lines
OpenGL Quad buffered stereo
4. - One of the biggest differences between Quadro
and GeForce is the application certifications obtained for
premiere professional-grade software. We pay people to work
with software vendors to ensure that key applications run
reliably. It takes a lot of man hours and effort to do this,
and is partially responsible for the price premium that
users pay when they purchase a Quadro board. But it's a
must-have. Software makers want certifications too to help
keep their support calls to a minimum.
So there you
have it. Indeed there are functional and hardware
level differences between the Quadro FX and GeForce FX line
of products. Furthermore, as we've stated in the past,
those software certs add to cost of these boards as well.
However, if you are running a CAD Design department on this
hardware, you don't want to worry about platform
compatibility with your hardware.
SolidWorks 2003 Benchmark Update - September 4, 2003
we initially published this article, we discovered an error
in our SolidWorks 2003 benchmark numbers.
corrections to the score in the graphs represented here
as a result. The SPECapc test that we utilized for the
SolidWorks 2003 scoring has proven itself to be a bit
finicky sometimes and often times difficult to produce
repeatable results. We have since modified our test
methodology with this benchmark, in an effort to avoid
future mistakes like this. We apologize for any
inconvenience the initial scoring may have caused.
A Closer Look At The Cards