The manufacturer of the popular graphic chips GeForce, NVIDIA, manufactures two chip series: GeForce for end users, and Quadro for the high performance professional market, in applications such as CAD.
A group of Russian and Chinese programmers discovered that the chips from the GeForce and Quadro series are actually the same, the only difference is that the additional features from the Quadro series are disabled in the GeForce series. In other words, it is possible to transform a GeForce chip into a Quadro one. The following table shows the relationship among GeForce and Quadro chips.
|GeForce2 MX||Quadro2 MXR|
|GeForce4 Ti||Quadro4 XGL|
In other words, if your video card is based on one of the GeForce chips listed in this table, you may upgrade your PC without having to spend any money.
There are two ways to convert the GeForce chip into a Quadro. The first way is by altering some resistors in your video card. As this is a delicate procedure, we won’t explain this method. However, if you want to know it, visit http://www.geocities.com/tnaw_xtennis/Quadro1-2.htm. The second way of making the conversion is through software, which is the way we will explain to you.
The conversion is made in the video card driver. You will have to download the updated driver from NVIDIA, run a conversion program (called SoftQuadro) and install the modified driver. Since the modification is made in the video driver files, it is not possible to modify the drivers already installed in your computer, for they are used by the system and, therefore, inaccessible to the conversion program.
The whole process of the conversion is this:
1. Download the updated video drivers, according to your operating system. NVIDIA drivers are for all GeForce models and may be downloaded from http://www.nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp (select Graphics Driver, GeForce and TNT2).
2. Uncompress the downloaded file in a temporary directory (for instance, c:nvidia). That can be done using WinZip, even though the downloaded file is an executable one.
3. Download SoftQuadro (or SoftQuadro4 in case you have a GeForce 4 Ti), from http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner&menu=8.
4. Run SoftQuadro, pointing to the temporary directory where you uncompressed the video drivers.
5. After modifying the drivers, install them in the system.
6. The last step is to check if the programs are recognizing your video card as a Quatro. That can be done using a program called GLInfo (http://mypage.bluewin.ch/TheEdge/files/glInfo.zip). In the Renderer line it should read Quadro now. If that does not happen, use RivaTuner and in the tab Power User set the OGL_ForceGeForce key to “0”.