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How "Worth It" is CUDA, really....

Last response: in Systems
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July 18, 2010 1:09:50 AM

First, the background:

Building an i7-930 rig right now in the HAF 932 case, with a Corsair H50 cpu cooler, and a 750HX PSU. The mobo will be a GA-X58A-UD3R with G.Skill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ (6GB) RAM. OS is Win7 64-bit

The build will mainly be used for photo/video editing using Adobe CS5, as well as the full Nero and Roxio suites. I'd like there to be the open potential for gaming in the future maybe, too


Here's my question: I was originally looking into the HD 5850 GPU (which should be enough to do everything I need now), with the open potential to Xfire later... But now I'm hearing all this buzz about CUDA and how CS5 apparently utilizes it. Since this build will be using CS5 more than anything else, can you guys confirm if CUDA really does anything significant? Should I drop the ATI card and go with a NVIDIA card instead so I can utilize CUDA?... Or is CUDA just a bunch of BS when it comes to CS5 and the gains are bogus in the end (in which case I'd rather stick with ATI)

If you guys DO recommend CUDA, which NVIDIA card should I get?

More about : worth cuda

July 18, 2010 5:26:07 PM

I'd like an answer to this as well

Could one of you experts chime in here? :) 
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July 18, 2010 5:41:16 PM

Wow!

So if I read that correctly, NVIDIA cards currently cripple CPU performance due to poor execution of PhysX??

If that's the case, should I assume that myself (as well as the OP, I guess) should stick with ATI at the moment?

Also, how does CUDA factor into all of this?


EDIT: I should add, I promise I'm not trying to start a flame war here. It's just that the GPU is going to be the most expensive part of my rig and I just want to know what will be best :) 
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July 18, 2010 5:44:23 PM

biff6789 said:
Wow!

So if I read that correctly, NVIDIA cards currently cripple CPU performance due to poor execution of PhysX??

If that's the case, should I assume that myself (as well as the OP, I guess) should stick with ATI at the moment?

Also, how does CUDA factor into all of this?


Speaking as someone with no use for CUDA (I mostly game, don't do any complex editing), you may want to question the bias of a post made at an AMD/ATI forum. CUDA and PhysX are unrelated.

I would suggest googling/reading info on the specific software you use, and see how much performance boost it claims from CUDA.

(Disclaimer: I bought a 5870 for my new rig, after Fermi was released, but would have no trouble buying an nVidia card if it had superior value at the time of my purchase.)

Quick google results:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/632669?tstart=0
http://www.nero.com/eng/moveit-nvidia-cuda.html
http://kb.roxio.com/search.aspx?URL=/content/000081GN

You may also want to check out forums for the specific software you plan to use.
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July 18, 2010 5:52:51 PM

Good point on the bias thing...

I have tried to google and come up with the actual specs, but it's been really hard to find benchmark comparisons between nvidia w/cuda and ati cards when it comes to CS4 or CS5...

If someone could point me to one, they'll be my hero of the month :) 

EDIT: Looks like you edited your post with some links. Thanks. Good karma for you :) 
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July 18, 2010 5:57:20 PM

I didn't find any super specific benchmarks in those links, but I would imagine that if you ask around at forums that focus on video editing or Adobe products, they may be able to point you in the right direction.

EDIT: As far as which card to get, it's sounding like the 1 GB 460 offers the best match of price/performance right now (while still being a gaming card), but since they've only been out for a couple of weeks (or so?), there's only one 1 GB 460 available on newegg at the moment.

To be perfectly honest though, I've only read one or two reviews, I'd suggest waiting for more info unless you need to buy this week.
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July 18, 2010 6:10:40 PM

Thanks to both of you guys (and sorry to the OP for hijacking your thread - but hopefully all this info answers your question)

It looks like not all Adobe programs even utilize CUDA anyway. In fact, according to an Adobe employee on one of the forum posts linked above: "CUDA has nothing to do with After Effects. Among the Adobe video applicaitons, only Premiere Pro CS5 uses CUDA. Also, The Premiere Pro Mercury engine doesn't support/use SLI"

...so it sounds like only a couple of CS5 programs even use CUDA, and even then you essentially need plug-ins to even utilize any CUDA-related performance increases

Hopefully I'm reading into that correctly...
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July 18, 2010 6:21:19 PM

If this computer is for your job, then I'd say it's probably worth it to get something that will allow CUDA, even if it only speeds up one or two applications. If it's for a hobby, then only you can determine whether it's worth any trade-offs for your individual situation.

Research, research, research. :) 
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July 18, 2010 7:42:52 PM

Is CUDA dying?
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