Excellent card for graphics desktop / workstation

A Review On: PNY Quadro 2000 VCQ2000-PB Workstation Video Card

PNY Quadro 2000 VCQ2000-PB Workstation Video Card

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Price paid: $400.00
powerhouse
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Pros: Ease of installation, quiet, VGA passthrough under Xen, color fidelity with wide gamut screen

Cons: The proprietary Nvidia drivers don't work under the (Linux) Xen hypervisor, though they do work with native Linux

I replaced my PNY Quadro 600 for this Quadro 2000, since the former 600 didn't support VGA passthrough. The Quadro 2000 and some other select graphics adapters are specified by Nvidia as "multi-OS". This means they can be "passed through" to a guest OS running on a Xen hypervisor.

Installing Windows 7 Pro 64bit as a guest system on a Xen / Linux and passing through the Quadro 2000 worked flawlessly - no special settings, no compilation, nothing but ordinary guest configuration. Once Windows was installed I downloaded the latest Nvidia driver and it just works.

Running the WIndows Experience Index benchmarking utility I got a 7.0 for games and desktop - not bad when considering that this card isn't made for gamers.

I have a wide gamut NEC screen connected to the card and use SpectraviewII software and spectrometer to calibrate my screen. Screen calibration under Windows (mind you, Windows is running as a guest system under Xen) works perfect. The resulting LUT (color adjustment curve) is then automatically loaded into the NEC screen via the DVI link.

Responsiveness under Lightroom when doing various adjustments to photos is almost instant. I'm not sure how much this is due to the graphics card, but the Quadro 2000 sure doesn't slow down things.

I haven't played any games so far (I'm not a gamer), but the PNY Quadro 2000 is perfectly suited for a graphics desktop/workstation running Photoshop, Lightroom or whatever used for graphics processing.

The card uses 10bit per color channel and delivers beautifully nuanced color tones when combined with a wide gamut display.

The card uses very little power (somewhere 75W maximum) and the fan is reasonably quiet under load. I was worried that running two low-powered graphics adapters (I also use a Sapphire AMD 6450 for Linux) without separate power connectors on the cards would cause problems with the motherboard (an Asus Sabertooth X79) but this is not the case. The system is totally stable even under full load in both Windows and Linux, where both run concurrently.

I give this card a rating of 4.5. The reason for not giving it a 5 rating is the lack of driver support under Linux with Xen hypervisor. Without hypervisor on native Linux, the Nvidia driver works.

Windows performance is very good thumb.gif.

I can recommend this card to anyone who does graphics processing (under Windows), and especially to those who run Windows on a Xen hypervisor with "VGA passthrough". For gamers, this card is a bit expensive when looking at its gaming performance.

2 Comments:

Thanks for this preview powerhouse!

I have been looking into the use of Quadro cards in Xen for some time, but have not found anybody's experiences, until I saw your preview here.

Did you build your system on Xen 4.2 (just released earlier this month)?

Thanks for this. Now I know which GPU to use for VGA passthrough.
Hello romihs:

Here the answers to your question:

I use Xen hypervisor 4.1.2 from packages. No modifications, no compiling.

I also use the vanilla kernel that comes with Linux Mint 13 / Ubuntu 12.04.

With regard to Nvidia Quadro cards: Not all Quadro cards support VGA passthrough !!! Only cards specified as "multi-OS" are supposed to support it. The Quadro 2000 is the "cheapest" of them, the Quadro 600 for example doesn't work (it's not "multi-OS")! Check the Nvidia website and look for "multi-OS" support in the data sheets, or they also have a section on their site explaining this feature.

It goes without saying that your CPU and/or motherboard must support VT-d (IOMMU or whatever it's called in AMD slang).

I have 2 graphics cards, the primary for Linux dom0, the secondary (Quadro 2000) for Windows. It might be more difficult to pass through the primary card if you only got one card, so I strongly recommend using two adapters (also for convenience).

Here is my how-to using Linux Mint 13: http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=112013. This should work similarly with Ubuntu 12.04.