Nvidia Quadro

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The Nvidia Quadro series of AGP, PCI, and PCI Express graphics-cards comes from the NVIDIA Corporation. Their designers aimed to accelerate CAD (Computer-Aided Design) and DCC (digital content creation), and the cards are usually featured in workstations. (Compared to the NVIDIA GeForce product-line, which specifically targets computer-gaming). Competing products include the FireGL line of workstation graphics cards by ATI Technologies, Inc.. Companies such as Matrox and Avid also focus on specialized hardware accelerated graphics cards intended primarily for DCC.


The Quadro line of GPU cards emerged in an effort at market segmentation by NVIDIA. In introducing Quadro, NVIDIA was able to charge a premium for essentially the same graphics hardware in professional markets, and direct resources to properly serve the needs of those markets. To differentiate their offerings, NVIDIA used driver software and firmware to enable features vital to segments of the workstation market; e.g., high performance anti-aliased lines and two-sided lighting were reserved for the Quadro product. In addition, improved support through a certified driver program was put in place. These features were of little value in the gaming markets that NVIDIA's products already sold to, but prevented high end customers from using the less expensive products. This practice continues even today although some products use higher capacity faster memory.

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