* Prices may differ from that shown
=== Purpose of Purchase ===
I purchased this graphics card as a replacement for a previous graphics card, and I was under the impression that this card will perform better. The specifications clearly showed me the card to have twice as powerful memory, higher data to graphic transfer rate, better processing capabilities, and a better cooling system with an exhaust.
I wanted to purchase the card, but I had to wait a month or two for the price to go down a bit, because its cost was about two hundred pounds. Upgrading components can be quite expensive, especially if you're buying them quite regularly. I decided to wait a while, and as soon as the prices went down; I'd check again, comparing prices automatically through certain websites and Firefox add-ons, as well as looking at a number of popular online stores.
I had looked at the prices in the local stores beforehand, so I wasn't going to bother looking there again; the cost was more than two hundred and fifty pounds. The store with the lowest price had a special discount offer for a week, which was way too expensive compared to the online stores I found.
=== Purchase, Installation, and Using the GPU ===
I purchased the GPU (graphics processing unit, short for graphics card) from a seller on ebay, who I've purchased items from before. I sometimes find that it's not good practice to trust all sellers by default, even if their ratings are good. I prefer to buy from sellers I can trust; I saw the GPU a pound or two cheaper from a few other sellers, but knowing ebay's lack of buyer protection, I took the safer option and purchased it from a known seller.
The GPU arrived within a few days, packed in its original box, and had the standard warrantee. I noticed the GPU required a PCI-E 2.0 slot, which didn't exist on my motherboard. I had thought of upgrading the whole computer before, and skim reading the specifications of the GPU before purchase resulted in more than an upgrade. I ended up making a new computer altogether. A lesson to be learnt is, to read the specifications carefully.
All the other components totalled to about three hundred pounds at most, some were purchased online sellers, and others from local stores. Now that I had a complete new system, I could test out the new graphics card. I installed a trial of Windows, used it for a few days, then I cleaned the computer and installed Ubuntu. I found the performance of every component better in Ubuntu, than in Windows. I decided to keep Ubuntu.
The GPU driver installation in Ubuntu was simple, involving less than a word of the bash shell script. Typing "sh ./" before the driver installation filename was sufficient for the installation. Changes enabling hardware accelerated graphics support took place upon restarting the computer. I installed GIMP to see the graphics quality of shading, colours and other effects related to bitmap graphics. I tried a few high quality Youtube videos, which displayed a somewhat noticeable improvement in quality.
=== Overheating & Dust ===
Unlike on Windows, using Linux had better GPU management, which led to less overheating. I noticed a huge improvement as soon as I switched to Linux. This however didn't solve the problem with dust, which collects inside the fan and exhaust to slow down the cooling system, and increase noise.
To tackle the overheating problem, I bought an additional fan and exhaust system. The new cooling system was better quality than the tiny fan and exhaust on the GPU, and helped keep the whole computer very cool.
To tackle the problem of dust, I've kept a few spare paint brushes at hand. Whenever the computer needs dusting; the paint brushes remove dust far better than anything else I've tried.
=== GPU Features ===
The nVidia Quadro 600 has a hundred and twenty eight bit memory size of one gigabyte, which may be written as a thousand and twenty four megabytes. The hundred and twenty eight bits is the memory word length, which is used to store program instructions in machine code, as well as data. To give an example of that, is the following (a random hundred and twenty eight bit number): 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000. In terms of quantifying data, that can store huge values. The exact number is just under four point three billion (4,294,967,295).
The graphic processor has ninety six cores, and has the capability to transmit data to graphic output at unimaginably high speeds of up to twenty five gigabytes per second. The maximum supported resolution is thirty eight forty by twenty four hundred, which I've never used. The highest I've used on that card is nineteen twenty by twelve hundred.
=== Compared to the 8600 GT ===
I bought this GPU to replace the 8600 GT, but then ended up making an entirely new computer for it. The computer with the 8600 GT was later upgraded to a different card. The most important question that comes to mind is; was the graphics card worth buying as a replacement for the 8600 GT. I'd say no, even if I was to already have a motherboard to support PCI-E 2.0.
The 8600 GT isn't an extremely powerful card, so I never need to worry too much about overheating and dust issues. The 8600 is also much cheaper than the Quadro 600, and I'd say the Quadro 600 doesn't quite seem to be much value for money, when compared to the GeForce 8600 GT.
=== My Conclusion ===
I would recommend the Quadro 600 once the price goes down a lot, but for now I'd say it's better to buy a cheaper alternative unless you have plenty of money. The GPU is very good quality, but the cooling system isn't so good, so you'll be spending extra money. It's somewhat value for money as a powerful GPU, but isn't so much value for money when compared to some others such as the 8600 GT.
Due to performance being the most important factor, I'd give the graphics card a four star rating. One star is deducted due to price and overheating problems. I am overall quite pleased with the quality, and the performance of the GPU.
=== Summary ===
I bought the GPU as an upgrade, but due to skim reading the specifications; I ended up making a new computer. The GPU is expensive, but very good quality, although the cooling system isn't quite good enough, so extra cooling is required.
The card has best performance in Ubuntu Linux, for which the original manufacturers drivers are available to download and easily install with a short script.
Comparing to a previous card, I didn't find it as much value for money, but I wouldn't advise anyone against buying it.
[Team Dooyoolympians relay entry]