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Adobe CS4 Workstation or Gaming Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 22, 2010 5:25:16 PM

I think an interesting article that is sorely needed is benchmarking the Adobe CS4 apps like Photoshop and After Effects in tandem with 4 GPU cards:

ATI Radeon 5870
ATI FIREGL (insert latest equivalent here)
nVidia 480 GT
nVidia Quadro (insert latest equivalent here)

Then do side by side comparisons of the differences between both companies. Does CUDA work better than ATI's OpenCL?
Why does it work better?
What is the difference between a gaming and workstation card? (drivers and hardware)
Are GPU's today so powerful that there really is no great performance gap between Workstation and Gaming cards?
Is nVidia providing Adobe with incentives to work with CUDA over OpenCL?

I think Tom's Hardware won't do an article on these topics simply because there probably really isn't a great deal of difference between these two cards and if there is it is because they purposefully try to hamper gaming cards through certain workstation drivers code that do not provide the same optimizations. Even though the hardware is identical for a workstation or gaming card except for the bios which "makes" it a workstation card or a single hardware circuit that is present to prevent a simple bios flash to make a gaming card a workstation card.

I think these questions have been unanswered for far too long. I want to know the answers but it seems like nobody wants to write about it. I wonder why?
a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2010 5:56:00 PM

Quote:
Then do side by side comparisons of the differences between both companies. Does CUDA work better than ATI's OpenCL?
Why does it work better?
What is the difference between a gaming and workstation card? (drivers and hardware)
Are GPU's today so powerful that there really is no great performance gap between Workstation and Gaming cards?
Is nVidia providing Adobe with incentives to work with CUDA over OpenCL?


OpenCL=Opening Computer Language... What you are referring to is OpenGL, Open Graphics Library.

1. Adobe Creative suite (in particular Premiere/Photoshop) utilize GPU's for very few effects. Photoshop=zooming/panning and Premiere for Zooming/panning/I think (correct me if I am wrong) previewing videos/effects. So the answer is really neither.
2. If anything at all OpenGL will work better in the future as it has far more compatibility. OpenGL is an open standard, meaning anyone can use it. Apple's products make use of OpenGL often however is not as efficient as it looks like theoretically (on paper). Also Nvidia's GPU's are also OpenGL compatible.
3. Drivers for them most part. A few cards actually have a couple hardware differences but the added hardware is not essential only optional and provides no visual benefit.
4. They're the same cards just different drivers.
5. No I don't think so.. Adobe is however rumored to be receiving incentives from Apple but mostly receives threats from clients to utilize more and more GPU power with OpenCL (as well as OpenGL). I remember reading an article stating Adobe was working on pushing rendering operations to the GPU. With the introduction of Bluray, and HD DVD media and hardware to the public it takes forever to render a massive file.. Something a GPU can do in far less time (your talking about multiple folds of performance not just some 20%) then even a 5 ghz i7 920 can do.

Workstation card's advantages are better shown in CAD software as well as work requiring massive amounts of calculations such as doing all types of science/non science related work: physics, biology, mathematics, astronomy, etc etc etc...

So in short. Getting a graphics card, either for gaming or workstation just for the some purpose of adobe CS4 is money wasted. Now if you want to game then go head and get a gaming card as a workstation card's drivers have pretty bad performance in games.
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