Although professional graphics cards are hardly ever used for gaming, we want to benchmark them in the popular gaming test Futuremark 3DMark Vantage to take a look at them from this aspect.
Gaming load differs greatly from what the graphics card has to face in professional 3D applications. There is no wonder that the GeForce GTX 470 is much faster than the Quadro 5000. The GF100 chip of the gaming card has more unlocked multiprocessors and thus delivers higher performance in games where the speed of shaders is more important than the speed of drawing and texturing of triangles. The diagram above makes it clear that proper driver optimizations can do wonders and that the hardware resources of a graphics card are but one of several factors that affect its performance in professional design and engineering applications.
Now we will measure how much power workstations with professional graphics cards need. According to our method, we measure the power consumption of all system components (excluding the monitor) after the power supply unit. Thus, the efficiency of the PSU does not affect the result.
Besides idle mode, we loaded the systems with FurMark 1.8.2 running in Burn mode in a 1280x1024 window. Like most professional applications, this test uses OpenGL and loads the graphics subsystem heavily.
Although the Quadro 5000 needs more power than the Quadro FX 4800 at high load, the difference is small. The new card’s cooler is not any louder and its GPU temperature is no higher than 90°C.
The Quadro 5000 looks very good in comparison with the GeForce GTX 470 which is equipped with two 6-pin power connectors. The larger number of active shader processors and the higher GPU frequency of the GTX 470 show up in this test, and the Quadro 5000 consumes 50 watts less when running FurMark.
Take note that the Quadro 5000 needs somewhat more power than the other cards in idle mode. The difference of 8 watts is small but has to be accounted for. This is the tradeoff for the large amount of graphics memory which needs powering up even when idle.