After we saw the NVIDIA RTX A6000 48GB GPU NVIDIA Drops Quadro Designation we reached out to NVIDIA last evening (October 4, 2020) to inquire as to whether the Quadro brand was being phased out. The company confirmed to STH that indeed future products would streamline branding with the “Quadro” brand phased out as we saw the “Tesla” brand phased out on the data center side in 2019.
NVIDIA Quadro Branding Phased Out
For those that are unfamiliar with the Quadro brand, it was NVIDIA’s professional graphics brand that we seen on a wide range of systems. “Professional” does not mean just the highest-end GPUs. We even see Quadro GPUs in systems such as our Project TinyMiniMicro workstations like the Lenovo ThinkStation P320 Tiny.
Although those lower power ~35W GPUs exist, they are perhaps best known on STH for higher-end GPUs over the years. Examples on STH recently include our NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Review and our NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 GPU Review.
The Quadro line was able to use features such as NVLink to span multiple high-end GPUs as we showed in our Dual NVIDIA Quadro RTX 8000 Review with NVLink. We have lots of content spanning Quadro cards between the Quadro P600 to the dual Quadro RTX 8000 NVLink setups.
Now, NVIDIA confirmed to STH that it was streamlining its branding and removing Quadro from the mix. This follows some other streamlining in the GPU branding. For example, in the data center, NVIDIA used to have a “GRID” series of cards such as the NVIDIA GRID M40. That was streamlined away years ago.
In a more recent move, the NVIDIA “Tesla” brand was dropped to avoid confusion with the Tesla cars. The Quadro change is being handled differently. On the Tesla side, the NVIDIA Tesla T4 as an example was rebranded the NVIDIA T4 dropping the “Tesla” designation on an existing product. In the e-mail confirmation from NVIDIA, STH was told that “There is no need to update branding in the past this is just how we are going to move forward with our Quadro brand.” (Source: NVIDIA PR to STH on 4 October 2020) It seems like we will continue to call legacy products Quadro which seems to be dissimilar to what we saw on the Tesla branding change.
We discussed this as part of our GTC 2020 (#2) Hardware video:
You can check that out to hear more thoughts about the change as well.
For many, the Quadro brand has been a big part of their computing experience. Losing a brand with this much history is a bummer. Generally, we like the generic model number and letter designations. It certainly streamlines the number of characters we need to type. At the same time, it feels like we are losing a bit of history by dropping the brand.