NVIDIA Quadro M6000 Review: Maxwell Goes Workstation

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Conclusion

Performance Summary: The NVIDIA Quadro M6000 isn't as much of a jump over the K6000 as the K6000 was over the legacy Quadro 6000. That's not particularly surprising -- NVIDIA chose not to release a workstation version of the GeForce GTX 580, which means the K6000 replaced a chip that was already two generations old. It was also the first time NVIDIA had gone for a full-fat workstation chip instead of using the same GPU core for both consumers and workstation cards. Depending on your application needs, the Quadro M6000 may or may not be a significant upgrade.

If you want to sit at the cutting edge of GPU workstation performance, however, there's no substitute for this card. While our 4K tests are preliminary, its strong scaling means this is the card to buy if you're trying to futureproof a workstation build for 4K or even 5K use. AMD is rumored to be working on a consumer GPU with High Bandwidth Memory support, but that chip won't come to the FirePro family for some time, and early HBM hardware will likely be limited to smaller amounts of RAM than the workstation community is used to.
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Find the new NVIDIA Quadro M6000 On Amazon, when available...

concludeLast July, we noted that the FirePro W9100 was a much more competitive card than the W9000 had been and congratulated AMD on its positioning and overall performance. The Quadro M6000 doesn't completely erase that fact and AMD's competitive value proposition, but it definitely puts some holes in it. Against the K6000, the W9100 had a solid, near-universal price/performance win -- it wasn't as fast in a number of tests, but it was definitely competitive on price. The new NVIDIA Quadro M6000 weakens that argument significantly.

There are now cases -- and more than just in SpecViewPerf 12 -- where the M6000 is a better deal than the FirePro W9100, even on a price/performance basis. Our results suggest that AMD will have to cut the price of its 16GB behemoth if it wants to stay competitive with NVIDIA's Quadro line. At $2000 - $2500, the FirePro W9100 would be more competitive again with the Quadro M6000. For now, however, NVIDIA clearly has the high-end workstation market locked down. We'll have to wait and see if AMD's new architecture can challenge it later this year.

 

  
  • Maxwell's performance still rocks in workstations
  • More DP 1.2 ports, better 4K support
  • Modest power requirements
  • AMD still has the largest frame buffer you can buy (16GB vs. 12GB)
  • Quadro M6000 isn't always a significant upgrade over the K6000.


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