Pricing and Conclusion


The current street prices for the graphics cards we compared in this review result in quite a wide range:

For readers used to the consumer graphics market, these prices will seem very high. An important thing to remember is, while they may share the same physical hardware, the software side for professional graphics cards is different.

For professional applications, stability and compatibility are key. Extra work is put into the drivers for professional graphics cards to ensure that they will perform day in and day out for users who are making a living from the applications they are helping to accelerate. And for these consumers, the price increase is worth it.

As you have seen from our benchmark results, in the professional graphics market, graphics card choice boils down to what applications you are using.

Important things to consider are what API do the applications you most frequently use implement (OpenCL, CUDA, OpenGL, etc,), the ability of these applications take advantage of multiple compute devices, as well as target system specifications (such as power consumption and physical footprint) to name a few.

It is clear that if you are using applications that are purely OpenCL focused, AMD offers compelling options in the workstation graphics card market. While the launch price of $1500 for the Radeon Pro Duo was difficult to swallow for the performance levels it offers, the current price tag of $800 is very compelling for users looking for very high levels of OpenCL rendering ability, as long as your application will support multiple OpenCL device targets.

For applications that utilize CUDA in addition to or instead of OpenCL, NVIDIA's Quadro GPUs don't disappoint. In Blender, where we could test OpenCL vs CUDA, it's clear that CUDA provides a performance advantage when paired with one of these Pascal Quadros we tested. While the P5000 might not have been absolute winner, it was very close to to the Radeon Pro Duo while running on only one physical GPU.

We're excited to see AMD's eventual FirePro products featuring the high power Vega GPU, but for now, NVIDIA offers the highest performing workstation graphics cards with their newest Quadro products. The Pascal architecture provides a platform on which NVIDIA can build more efficient graphics cards for professional users who are more conscious about size, power, and heat requirements at their desk. Users who are pushing the limits of rendering and compute would do well with one of these graphics cards.

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