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With the introduction of the Quad Core Power Mac, Apple silently introduced the NVIDIA Quadro line of graphics cards on the Mac.


  • For 3D artists, the absence of professional graphics cards had always been a reason to stick with Windows-based machines.
  • The hardware is mostly (some say absolutely) the same as the non-Quadro (aka Geforce) version of the graphics card; the driver is what makes a Quadro a Quadro. For example: a Quadro FX 500 is the professional version of a GeForce FX 5200. Among other things the quadro driver adds support for hardware accelerated lines (way faster wireframe rendering)
  • Professional 3D graphics cards may be slightly slower in some games utilizing DirectX than their corresponding consumer versions. It is because of this that the decision to purchase one should be solely based your needs in CAD and/or Digital Content Creation (DCC). Given the fact that most of these professional applications utilize OpenGL for their graphics acceleration API, these graphics cards are designed and certified primarily for OpenGL rendering. The exception to this is applications like 3ds Max which can use specialized drivers for the Quadro, such as the MAXtreme drivers.
  • In Windows, it's possible to mod a GeForce to a Quadro with a little tool called SoftQuadro or RivaTuner. It is speculated however, that the latest GeForce 7800 series cards are unmoddable.
  • Much the same, ATI has Radeon series as its consumer card and the FireGL series as its professional card (which is not available for Mac at this time).
  • At this time, the QuadroFX 4500 that can be purchased with new PowerMacs does not perform as well as it should under Mac OS X.[1]