GeForce or Quadro?

It’s one of the most common questions we receive from clients when they are looking to purchase a new computer… so we thought we’d put the GeForce RTX2080, and Quadro RTX4000, two common graphics cards in our preferred Dell Precision 3630 workstations, to the test.

On paper the Quadro has error-correcting code memory (ECC memory), optimised drivers and less power consumption, however the GeForce has more CUDA cores and higher memory bandwidth.. but is the $500 or so price difference for the Quadro over the GeForce worth it? And, more importantly are you going to notice the difference?!

All other hardware components in the workstations were identical:

  • Intel Core i9-9900 3.1GHz, 5.0GHz Turbo, 8C, 16M Cache
  • 32GB (2x16GB) 2666MHz DDR4 Non-ECC Memory
  • 512GB NVMe Class 40 Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 Pro

Based on our previous road test, we’ve used the same benchmarking software (just the latest versions) including:

  • RFO Benchmark, a totally automated script which opens and manipulates Revit models to see how fast your computer is under somewhat realistic working conditions. A lower score is better. From our testing, RFO 2019 seems a little slower than the older 2018 version.
  • Geekbench, a cross-platform processor benchmark, with a scoring system that separates single-core and multi-core performance and workloads that simulate real-world scenarios of general computer use. A higher score is better.
  • 3DMark Time Spy, a DirectX 12 benchmark test for gaming PCs running Windows 10. With its pure DirectX 12 engine, built from the ground up to support new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of modern graphics cards, and is the test we use for virtual reality. A higher score is better.
  • Cinebench, a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s performance capabilities. Cinebench is the perfect tool to compare CPU and graphics performance across various systems and operating systems (Windows and macOS). A higher score is better.

So without further ado, on to the results:

RFO 2019Geekbench
3DMark Time SpyCinebench

From the results, it’s clear that the GeForce has an edge over the Quadro.

However, there are other things to take into consideration as well that favour the Quadro, such as error-correcting code memory, optimised and stable drivers, 10-bit colour and slightly lower power consumption. Hardware certification is also important for enterprise environments that demand a stable platform, and also for support with software vendors – however in our experience, there is a negative stigma attached to “gamer” cards, so they are never likely tested in the first place.

We think that losing some of those features to gain performance at a cheaper price point is worth the trade off, and in years of providing IT solutions for the AEC industry we are yet to see any error or issue as a result of using a GeForce video card instead of a Quadro.