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Old   July 20, 2009, 05:03
Default Graphics cards
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Gavin Tabor
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Hi everyone.

I have some money to spend on a new postprocessing workstation; I'm looking at a dual Xeon machine with 48GB RAM for looking at really big datasets. I have a choice of graphics cards, and I'm uncertain which to go for. I usually just choose the most expensive one I can afford, which in this case is the nVidia Quadro FX3700 with 512MB GDDR3. However I happened to notice that the machine can also be supplied with an nVidia GTX295 which provides 1792MB GDDR3; at around 1/2 the cost of the Quadro card. I understand that the Quadro cards are intended as "professional" cards; whilst the GTX series are "gaming" cards; the sysadmin here in Exeter recommends going for the Quadro as being more robust as a result. However I wonder, given the large datasets I am intending to process on this machine, whether the GTX card would be better, simply as a consequence of the large memory associated with its GPU. Does anyone have any guidance/recommendations/experience with any of this that they would be able to share with me, please?

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Old   July 24, 2009, 07:02
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Stefano
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I've never used a workstation so powerfull. My advice could be useless!.
In any case I think the choice of Video Card depend on choiche of PrePost software you use.
There are some software that could run with a gaming card without problems and others that crash often if used with a video card.
It depend also on wich OS you run.
this link could be interesting for you:
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=539

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Old   July 29, 2009, 03:45
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Bram
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basicly gaming cards will try to maintain a certain frame rate by dropping detail if demands are to high.
Pro cards do the exact opposite, they are dedicated to maintaining detail at all cost.

Is the price off a pro card justified, in most cases no ( you can use a game card) However in the other cases where your drivers dont support your thing, you where going to wish you had bought that pro card.

So make sure up front if you can do it with a gaming card
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Old   July 29, 2009, 05:40
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Brendan Sloan
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There is an archived article on tomshardware.co.uk dealing with this. I recommend you go do a search of their site for it.

The upshot of it is, a much cheaper workstation graphics card (at ~150) will outperform a top of the line desktop card.

I was surprised too.
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Old   July 30, 2009, 09:03
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Some gamer cards can used with a modified driver to become a very good CAD card!
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