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Graphics Workstation graphics card recommendation

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bungletron, 20 Jun 2011.

  1. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine needs a workstation to work with Rhinoceros 3D, a 3D modelling program. I am thinking a sandy bridge i5 2500k with 4 - 8 gb ram should breeze through this. When it comes to graphics card I was thinking about including a workstation grade Quadro or FirePro card but I really do know very little about them and their features as opposed to consumer cards, any thoughts/recommendations?
     
  2. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    Budget? Quadro hardware ranges between £20 and £3500 so budget is important. :D

    OpenGL performance is one thing that puts Quadro way ahead of Geforce because the Geforce cards are optimised for Direct3D, not OpenGL.

    In saying that, many Rhino users seem to get on fine with the older consumer hardware like ATI 4000 series and Gefore 200 series, so it might be worth considering that before dropping a money bomb on pro hardware. :)
     
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  3. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    I can't speak for rhino, but programs like max and maya work fine with consumer cards but if it absolutely *has* to be a pro card, i'd go for a quadro over a firepro.

    as for the difference between quador/geforce and firepro/radeon, generally the 'pro' versions are lower clocks and have more memory than their consumer counterparts, while the gpu is 'optimised' for different things similar to how Xeons/Opterons are different to Core/Phenom
     
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  4. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    I haven't used rhino in *ages* but if you like (and you're not in any hurry) I can give it a quick go with an 8800gts/x and a fx4600 , both a couple of generations old obviously, but quite often the differences between geforce/quadro aren't just speed, but line quality. With geforce cards lines in certain cad packages appear jagged if off an x,y orientation (i.e. anything at an angle other than 0-180 or 90-270) whereas their quadro brethren give beautiful smooth lines.
     
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  5. Pete J

    Pete J Unemployed dole scum

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    In my experience, quadro cards produce a better image quality compared to their geforce counterparts. Additionally, quadro cards also seem to be happy to be left on as long as you want - geforce cards can 'spaz out' after a few hours resulting in CAD orientated programmes showing nothing but black in their window and may require a system reboot to clear.

    Unfortunately, I don't know where the cost/performance ratio meets for the two types of card. If anyone finds a review, let us know!
     
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  6. IvanIvanovich

    IvanIvanovich будет глотать вашу душу.

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    Pretty much the only differences as stated that mater in workstation cards is opengl performance. Most desktop cards are optimized for direct-x as it's more used in the desktop or gaming space. Either way for a 3D workstation its nvidia all the way, as there is huge cuda support for most 3D applications. Some cards are even the same with different firmware when you get down to it. If you want a cheap solution a pair of gtx295 in sli is still a great set up if you're doing cuda rendering and can be had for quite cheap. If there are no gpu rendering possibilities for rhino, then probably any card with full opengl support will be sufficient.
     
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  7. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    I would say somewhere between £100 - £200. Not sure how the program works but basically the card should render as quickly as possible and the image quality should be excellent.

    Very kind, in fact the spec is more an idea at the minute, he may infact upgrade his workstation a few months down the line so no need to dust off the equipment just now, appreciate the offer tho buddy!
     
  8. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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  9. Bungletron

    Bungletron Well-Known Member

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    I did see those and ran a quick check they were listed as 2D workstation cards for business users? Can you SLI them or something?
     
  10. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    Why not considering a phenom X6 for 3D ... always nice to have more cores, but I didn't worked with sandy bridges, so I'm maybe wrong .... and go with 8GB, those kind of program are RAM hungry.
     
  11. Fingers66

    Fingers66 Kiwi in London

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    I just had a quick browse through the NVidia forums with the search term "rhino"...

    Apparently the 4 series Fermi GPU's have crippled OpenGL through the drivers so as to not steal potential business customers from the (more expensive) Quadro GPU's.

    OpenGL performance measurement of Fermi cards against older cards: http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=284014&page=1.

    The 8800 series or a GTX 260 however seems to be a popular choice for Rhino and other CAD on a budget.

    Forum link: http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showforum=214
     
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  12. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Ook ? Ook !

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    OMG, what a disapointment ! I'm actually using my IGP (GF-9300) since my GF 9600GT died a year ago. I'm saving to buy a new card and was going for a GTX560 / 570 .... I'll be playing but I'm also using CAD a lot and I develop using openGL.

    Does someone know how it is on the AMD side ? Bad news for Unix / Linux users.
     

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