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Is it worth to buy Thinkpad W520 with NVIDIA Quadro 2000M?

The only difference is connected with the number of CUDA cores and Max Power Consumption. The same Thinkpad with 2000M is at least $100 more expensive.

NVIDIA Quadro 2000M:

  • 192 Cuda Cores
  • Max Power Consumption 55W

NVIDIA Quadro 1000M:

  • 96 Cuda Cores
  • Max Power Consumption 45W

How will I use it:

  • Programming
  • Editing raster graphics
  • Occasional gaming (not necessarily new games)
  • Basic video editing (mostly short videos)
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Programming

Neither GPU has any impact here.

Editing raster graphics

It depends somewhat on what sort of editing (and how large the graphics are), but most editing can be handled adequately by a modern CPU. Note that GPU-accelerated editing is generally only present in high-end software; if you're using something like Paint.Net or GIMP, you probably won't see any benefit.

Occasional gaming (not necessarily new games)

Neither GPU is suitable for gaming. The optimizations that make the Quadro line good for rendering or CAD also greatly impairs their gaming performance. Expect performance comparable to the slowest of gaming GPUs, or worse.

Basic video editing (mostly short videos)

This is where the 2000M may shine over the 1000M. If you're transcoding video, or performing operations that modify the entire video (scaling, shake reduction, contrast adjustment, etc.), the 2000M will perform almost twice as fast as the 1000M. If your editing consists mostly of local changes (cuts, fades, etc.), the difference will be low.

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  • Regarding gaming performance: Even GTA V runs with the 2000M (tested @W520 series). Not at high FPS but it is playable. – holzkohlengrill Feb 7 '18 at 10:29
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Mark's answer covers most of the main points, so I'm going to add this:

There are different types of GPUs. It's a common misconception that any GPU will work for any graphics intensive task (video editing, gaming, etc) - not so. The M series GPUs in your question are more geared to be editing GPUs - their optimization was mainly focused on calculations relating to video and graphics editing, rather than more physics-based multiple-step calculations that are used in gaming.

For your intended use, there's not a massive amount of difference between the two - if you're editing videos, especially long videos, then the 2kM will perform far better - but if you're only intending on doing basic, occasional editing then the extra $100 isn't worth it. Neither is there a massive difference between the two in gaming performance - if you want a good platform for gaming, you'd be better off looking at a console or gaming-optimized GPU'd PC.

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