Nvidia Quadro graphics cards can be used for gaming, but present very poor value for gamers. Unless you intend to use it for professional software first and gaming second, an Nvidia Quadro graphics card is a bad investment.
So, you’ve been going through a hardware catalog, perhaps looking for a new GPU, and then you stumble across a series of graphics cards dubbed “Nvidia Quadro”.
Obviously, it is a series entirely different from the mainstream GeForce graphics cards that we’re all familiar with, so what gives? Who are these made for? How are they any different?
We will answer precisely that below.
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What Is Nvidia Quadro?
As stated above, “Quadro” is the designation of a series of Nvidia GPUs separate from the mainstream GeForce lineup. Unlike the GeForce cards, Quadro cards are not intended for gaming PCs but for workstations.
Fundamentally, Quadro cards don’t differ much from their gaming-oriented counterparts, as they are based on the same architecture as the GeForce models. However, the key differences lie in firmware optimization and some features that aren’t available in both series.
The reason why Quadro cards are distinct from the GeForce cards is that they focus on precision rather than speed. The kind of precision that they offer when it comes to rendering is hardly relevant for gaming, but it is vita; for professional users, and that’s what makes them workstation GPUs.
In contrast, GeForce cards prioritize speed over precision. As such, they are usually able to push out more frames per second, but cannot match the kind of precision that a Quadro offers.
Is Nvidia Quadro Good For Gaming?
To go back to the titular question: can a Quadro GPU be used for gaming?
The short answer is most definitely yes, but the key question here shouldn’t be “can you use it,” but “should you use it.”
True, both Quadro and GeForce cards will perform better at the tasks they are intended for i.e., professional software and gaming, respectively. However, the main issue here is the pricing and the poor value that Quadro cards offer when it comes to gaming.
Namely, Quadro cards are often much more expensive than their GeForce counterparts. For example, the $2000 Quadro RTX 5000 offers in-game performance comparable to that of the $700 GeForce RTX 2080 Super. Needless to say, getting a Quadro if you only intend to use it for gaming would be a pointless waste of money.
Granted, not all Quadro cards are so prohibitively expensive, but the more affordable models that are in the same price range as some of the low-end and mid-range GeForce models offer much worse in-game performance.
Of course, if we’re talking about a PC that is a workstation first and a gaming PC second, then a Quadro GPU would obviously be the better choice and might be able to run any games that a GeForce GPU could, but the exact performance would depend on the model.
And that would be the gist of it. So, if all you need is a graphics card for gaming and you have no intention of using demanding software such as CAD, a gaming graphics card is always a better solution and presents better value for your money.