GeForce or Quadro videocards


Hi all

For one of my customers I’m building a workstation which will be used for SketchUp rendering together with V-Ray.

We’re already clear on most of the components, but still a bit unsure about the graphics card. My first proposal was a GTX 970 but I know that most professional workstations are built with a Quadro card.

For Sketchup specifically, would there be any performance gain using a Quadro card that would justify the higher price? I know there’s a performance gain for CAD applications, but does this also count for SU?


Search the whole forum on “Quadro”. (I think there were users having issues.)

Check the video card sticky thread:
Windows Users - Seeking Video Card Data

Check Video Card benchmarks at:
PassMark Software - Video Card Benchmark Charts


Reported GTX 970 Issues
IMHO occasionally the root of the problem is operator error.


I have not actually used Nvidia cards but they seem to be as reliable as AMD as far as I can tell. From time to time issues pop up from both companies.

As far as i can tell SketchUp does not use workstation type cards and openCL but I am far from expert on this.

I am kind of leaning toward Nvidia for my next purchase because many rendering engines are beginning to use Cuda cores to greatly accelerate photo realistic rendering, But if they do not plan on using the likes of Octane Render and such I guess it is even.


Thanks for the replies, guys. Installing a Quadro would mean an extra cost of €2-300 for a “mid-level” card.

It will be used in a professional environment so I would like to install the best choice when it comes to performance and reliability, while not breaking the bank. If a GeForce is sufficient, I don’t see a point in spending more on a Quadro card. On the other hand, I wouldn’t like to install a 970 card and then get complaints that it’s not performing as expected.

Hoping that someone can give some sound recommendations on current-generation GPUs that work well with Sketchup!



I’m posting this admittedly subjective response because I have experience with both nVidia’s Quadro series and GeForce display adapters. I still use each computer and have noted the comparative differences in performance between the two.

The Quadro 3000M is in a Dell Precision M6600 mobile workstation, which is a very powerful and fast system. A GeForce 840M is the display card associated with the other system, a Dell Inspiron 17. The GeForce is integrated with an Intel HD5500 to equip the system with an integrated display adapter.

The description of the latter system makes it appear to be the more productive computer, however I have observed that the performance of the system with the Quadro 3000M is noticeably faster in responding to file saves and it seems to handle large files more successfully than does the newer Inspiron system.

I use SketchUp extensively and several recent models have approached or exceeded 100 mb in size, in spite of my using frequent purge actions and knowing how to model using groups and components to minimize model size,. I have found that the larger files often result in a “Not Responding” dialog when opening is attempted on the Inspiron while the M6600 opens them after a 10 to 20 second delay. In fairness to the Inspiron, the files do eventually open, but the wait is frequently interminably long.

There is no noticeable difference in graphic resolution or the appearance of colors/visual images so no preference is offered on that account, however, if I were to choose one or the other based on my experience, I would tend to favor the Quadro series even at an increased price point.


Hi JVLE, thanks for the feedback. Are you sure this is not a storage related problem? I would guess that it’s the hard drive catching up. Lower end notebooks in general have 5400RPM hard drives, while the more expensive have SSDs or Hybrid disks.

What’s your experience with the rendering times on both graphic adapters (if applicable in your case)?


I guess that’s possible, but I’m inclined to think otherwise because, despite not being equipped with SSD’s or hybrid drives, each has a similar Seagate drive operating at 5400rpm. Both systems have a high storage capacity drive of 1Tb also. Additionally, I use many external hard drives interchangeably, all of which have a memory capacity ranging from 500 Gb to 5 Tb. I doubt that the drive capacity has any bearing on the performance related to graphic card functionality however.


I can only comment on the rendering capability of the Quadro card at this time because the Inspiron system has not yet been used to perform any of my professional renders. I will post results from that process within the next week or so after I actually go through that process on this new machine.

I have been satisfied with the rendering time associated with the Quadro using the several rendering engines I employ (Kerkythea, Visualizer, Artlantis Studio). Rendering times vary based on the size and complexity of the model, but I am usually able to obtain a fairly high quality output on a consistent basis using any of the engines I have access to.

I’m attaching several representative rendered image examples of past project work. My emphasized caveat first: I profess to have some facility as a designer but perhaps not so much in the electronic rendering area so some of these are a little dark…my clients have been happy with them though.

Unfortunately these were all done a while ago and I don’t remember how much time it took to finalize them and I am guessing that the upper two were done with Kerkythea and the church was done with Artlantis. I do recall that the church on the bottom kept the system busy overnight while the upper two were rendered in less time.


don’t look further and go with a GeForce GTX 750Ti/960/970 (slower <-> faster), better invest the saved money in a fast CPU (clock frequency, not cores) as e.g. the very capable intel Core i7-4790k.

for the GTX check the fine MSI TwinFrozr and Asus Strix models with silent twin fans.

Graphic card recommendation

The game becomes a bit different if you use one of the new GPU renderers (like Octane) to render, but Vray only uses the CPU to render, so in this case OpenGL is mainly used when setting up the views to be rendered, or SketchUp modelling.

GPU renderers benefit of a graphics card with many GPU cores.