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HP Z600 worksation - quadro or GTX help?

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December 8, 2009 6:54:42 PM

Hi,

This is my first post and I was hoping that somebody might be able to help me please?

I am looking to purchase a HP Z600 workstation, but am confused with what graphics cards will / will not work?

I want to use the workstation for my main hobby of 3D modelling using Cinema 4D. I also have some game mapping software that I sometimes use to test my other models / maps out in games (COD).

The problem:

I have been told that Cinema 4D does not benefit from the use of a Quadro graphics card, so it makes sense to fit a gamer card – which also means that I can play my maps if and when, although I don’t do this often.

HP only supports Quadro cards and these seem to run at a very low wattage. HP have also confirmed that the main PCIE slot will only support 150w max for graphics, with 75w each for the other free slots. The PSU is also 650w and has 1No 6 pin PCIE connector loose for use with graphics.

I am a bit worried that the gamer cards I have seen will meet the minimum PSU. But all exceed the 150w which the HP motherboard can support, so:

1. Does this mean that if I fit a gamer card it might fry / ruin the workstation (for example a GTX275 uses a maximum of 219w)?

2. Most gamer cards require 2x 6 pin PCIE connectors for power, but come supplied with molex cables. Some say that this is not a good idea and should only be treated as a temporary connection. The HP PSU only has 1No connection, so it leaves me with no choice – is this ok to do?

3. What graphics card would you recommend?

4. Has anybody got a Z600 with or without gamer / Quadro cards and tell me what they are like please?

Sorry for the long post for such a simple question!

Thank you in advance

HPZee
December 8, 2009 7:47:17 PM

that is weird.. I just reviewed a couple Z600s for my college and the graphics card was a FX 1800. The equivalent to the old 880GS gaming card. The 1800 requires a 6 pin PCI-e adapter and the machine had one...

In general, a 650 watt supply is fine for most gamer cards (exceptions being dual GPUS or huge cards) and the FX1800 is not a power hungry card.

i cannot help much on the specs of Cinema 4D as i have never used the software, but im pretty sure that a workstation card will work as well or better than a consumer grade gaming card.
December 9, 2009 6:06:40 PM

Thank you.

When push comes to shove, it all relates to me having the option of being able to play a game later on. I’ve heard that Quadro cards are no good at games, thus I am thinking of a gamer card - unless I am wrong of course?

The HP statement of the 150w maximum power really worries me as this seems low for a system like this. Surely these machines must be used for game developers who may be using gamer cards? On the other hand I have no idea if this is a standard figure for all motherboards?

I will see if I can find out exactly how much power the GTX card is using…

What did you think of the workstations?
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a c 177 U Graphics card
December 9, 2009 7:03:48 PM

@ HPzee: Do n't worry too much about the motherboard power limit, it's the PCI-E standard.
Most cards using 6 pin connectors draw 75Watts from each source, so it is not likely you will overload the motherboard.

What monitor resolution you will be using? This is one of the most importaint factors in determining which card is suitable for a given system.

The most powerful card without an external power connector is the low power version of the 9800GT, which will run most games out there at at least medium settings @1680x1050 resolution. Obviously older games or less graphically intensive ones will run faster.
For more power the HD5770 matches the GTX260 and HD4870 but only draws 100 Watts at full load and needs only one 6 pin connector. The extra power drawn from the 6 pin is well within the safe range for an Molex/PCI-E adaptor.
I would not be happy suggesting that you run a GTX275 or HD4890 off adaptors, these cards draw far more power than the HD5770 and run th risk of damaging the PSU.
Before making a decision, you might want to check if your software benefits from Nvidia or ATI graphics card acceleration. It would be bad to install a fast ATI gaming card only to discover that Cinema4D runs at 4 times the speed with an Nvidia 9800 installed;)
December 9, 2009 7:49:19 PM

Hi coozie7,

Thank you.

That makes more sense now and has helped me a lot. The workstation has 3No free PCIE slots, with maximum powers of 75w, 75w and 150w for the main slot.

As for the monitor I am using a HP LP2475w 24” LCD at 1920x1200, 32bit. This is the maximum resolution for this monitor and is running on an old Pentium 4 with an NVidia Geoforce MX440 card! I have had no problems with this combo, except for the odd crash when rendering light set ups, but that could be due to my 512mb of RAM!

Out of interest what will happen to the motherboard if a graphics card were to overload it?

Somebody said that I must also check the amperage of the +12v rails on the PSU before fitting a gamer card. But I have no idea what this is all about and if I need to worry about it. Do you know what this is?

I was previously looking at the GTX260, but I have never heard of the HD5770 cards you mention? Somebody on this forum was going to install a GTX260 into a Z600 workstation as was also looking for help – I have sent him a message in the hope to see what happened….

From what I have seen on the C4D café forum it appears that users prefer Nvidia cards to ATI (problems with ATI). Most people also think that Quadro cards are a waste of money for Cinema 4D as its render software is CPU based rather than GPU. I have contacted Cinema 4D before, but they wont comment on graphics card preferences.

I really like and want the Z600 workstation, but my only concern is the graphics card. So for my situation I want to;

Model 3D using Cinema 4D – Nvidia cards are best, Gamer type then Quadro

Test game maps using COD radiant software – so a gamer card is best here

The gaming side of things is not important as I don’t do this often, but I want the option of being play a game if I decide to.


Out of the cards you mention (GTX260 or 9800GT) which would you recommend to use? Or is there a better option of gamer card you know of?

Regardless of above would you say it was better to use a Quadro card?

Also do you think that fitting a gaming card into a workstation like this would be a waste of money because of any under performance issues?

I apologise for my long post and thank you once again for your help.
a c 177 U Graphics card
December 10, 2009 8:38:08 AM

Go for the 9800 low power card.
Taking a look at the C4D Forum was a smart move and I am not going to argue with their specialized knowlage, so the Quadro cards are obviously out.
As for the Nvidia/ATI questions I have used both with no problems but again, they say Nvidia is better for them, then I'm not going to argue that point either.
As you say, the C4D renderer uses the CPU so extra gaming graphical power would be wasted and for simply testing maps that card has plenty of performance.
As an example, I have just swapped over from a 8800GT and play at 1920x1200. Gaming wise the 8800 was OK at that resolution provided I kept AA low or off so, with the 9800 being a slightly improved 8800, I think it will be the perfect solution: Ample overall performance and it draws a measly 70 odd Watts, so no worries with either the MB or PSU.
The PSU will have a rating label on it like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ImageGallery.aspx?CurImag...

The importaint bit is the 12v line or lines.The label shows two 12v lines of 17A each.
December 10, 2009 7:01:00 PM

You have been very helpful and have clarified a lot of things for me. Thank you and I appreciate your help.

I will have closer look at the cards you have recommended to see which best suits me.

At the minute I am starting to wonder what will be best for my money, software usage and overall performance. I have seen another pc, what do you think of the following please:

HP Z600 workstation – (2.4ghz Xeon processor with my first choice of GTX275) £1750 total with 10% discount

This has future upgrade potential (so that I can improve the system later on).

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF06b/12454-124...

Or

HP Pavilion Elite HPE-083uk – (i7 860 processor with GTX260 pre-installed) £1180 with 10% discount

Future upgrades of these types of PC’s are always limited (so this set up is basically what I will be stuck with)

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/ho/WF06b/12454-124...

Do you think there will be any real benefit of the workstation over the Elite. Am I right in saying the elite will run faster because it is 2.8ghz rather than 2.4ghz? There is certainly a big difference in price and I am wondering if putting a gamer card into a workstation would be a waste of money?

I followed your link to see the PSU sticker – unfortunately I don’t have access to the Z600’s PSU to check. I did request this information from HP but they didn’t supply it. Is this an important thing to check?

Thank you
a c 177 U Graphics card
December 11, 2009 8:12:58 AM

The workstation should be a little faster overall: It has triple channel memory while the Elite uses dual channel and the Xeon is more efficient as a number cruncher than the i7.
However, for a non industrial user, I would say the workstation is not worth the extra 600 or so pounds unless you place a high priority on the better warranty and support that comes with it.
Overall, the Elite looks to be the better choice and is of such a specification that it will meet your needs without the possible warranty voiding upgrades of the workstation.
I included the sticker so you could see what to look for if the information is required later, the importaint parts are the +12v outputs, modern computers draw most of their power from these lines.
Given the nature of the workstation, it would not be vital to check the PSU specs, though.
December 11, 2009 2:50:47 PM

Hi coozie7, thank you.

I had a think about what you said and it does seems a bit over the top to pay an extra £600 for something very similar. Just before i checked your message I phoned HP and they have no information regarding the +12v outputs.

I was going to buy the Z600 today, but i think i am going to think it over for another week and make up my mind next friday on my day off. Perhaps the i7 would be more suitable for my varied needs.

Cheers

a c 177 U Graphics card
December 11, 2009 7:35:50 PM

Good to meet someone so leval headed. This is quite an expensive purchase, so you are right to think it over, six hunderd pounds is quite a difference.
If you're still reading, may I suggest you post elsewhere, there are many other Forums around and the Maxxon site seems like a good place to start, after all, it is their software you will be using;)
Good luck and good hunting.
December 12, 2009 5:52:28 AM

Ok, no problem,

Thanks very much and have a great Christmas!
!