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Nvidia & CUDA - Any Advantage ?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 17, 2011 5:23:47 AM

Hey guys, I'm from India and will be purchasing a gfx card from the US (told one of my friends to get me one, expensive out here).

My options range from HD6670 to the GTX 460 768 mb and with a tight budget of USD 175 (GFX + PSU), I'm not sure which one to go for.

Being a Computer Engineer/Software Programmer I was thinking does CUDA provide any advantage in parallel processing or video transcoding? I want to learn some of this stuff.
Besides is physx any advantage in gaming ?

At the moment my eyes are set on Evga GTX 550 TI, but seems like 5770 is really close to its performance and cheap, 460 768mb is a few dollars away but that demands a 2x6 pin connector and hence the extra cost of psu is out of my budget !

Current Config :
Amd Athlon x2 7850
Memory 2 gb Kingston
HDD WD 250 gb
PSU : Generic 400W
Resolution I play at : 1024x768 - 1680x1050

Products @ Newegg I have in mind :
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

More about : nvidia cuda advantage

a c 172 U Graphics card
May 17, 2011 5:42:31 AM

GTX550 and 5770 pretty much trade blows. The 768MB GTX460 is faster then both, but if you don't have the $$$ you don't have the $$$. CUDA can be used in some applications. I have no idea if your video transcoding program can use CUDA or not. If it can, its WAY faster then using the CPU.

Personally I would get the cheaper of the GTX550 or 5770. Unless your board is CF only, or if you really want to play with CUDA.
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May 17, 2011 12:05:51 PM

Mediacoder is the program I mostly use for transcoding and it has the option for CUDA processing under one its video option tabs. How fast is it in relation with the cpu ?
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a c 173 U Graphics card
May 17, 2011 7:05:20 PM

In some situations and applications Cuda is more than worth the cost of the card. Using a gpu for encoding video has advantages in how long it takes for the video to encode vs a cpu. I suggest that you look through reviews and articles posted on this subject in your own time to have a much better explanation than I can offer.

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a c 172 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 2:34:17 AM

i wouldnt run any of those cards on a generic psu. If you must, then the 5770 has the lowest power consumption of the lot and would be your best bet. All the cards will be bottlenecked by your crappy CPU so you may as well go with the 5770. ATI has a transcoding thing build into CCC, i used it recently on my dads computer. Not 100% sure of the extent of codecs and such it will work with.
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a b U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 4:08:43 AM

CoreAVC plays well with CUDA, but I don't really know if it encodes.

And the APP encoder inside the ATI Catalyst, kinda sucks at default settings; tried it out :p 

Don't know about other CUDA or APP accelerated software though. I think Mediaespresso had 'em both, but thats it.

You should take a look at the doom9.org forums and ask there, virajk.

On the games side of things, either one is a good choice for those resolutions. Also, any good brand and cheap PSU should do the trick. Search for the Antec 500w green.

Cheers!
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 4:49:12 AM

The GTX 460 is definitely the best card you mentioned. I'm not sure why the 2 x 6 pin thing is an issue if you are getting a new psu.
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May 18, 2011 1:08:44 PM

Thanks everyone for your help !

Also the physx part , does is it give gaming any feel or is it just some useless eyecandy ?
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a c 216 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 2:03:13 PM

virajk said:
Thanks everyone for your help !

Also the physx part , does is it give gaming any feel or is it just some useless eyecandy ?


Well, that would depend on the user, but from my perspective, I've seen games that add lots of cool effects (Batman AA) and I've seen it add mildly interesting effects (Sacred 2 leaves), I've seen it over done to the point I don't know if I like it at all (Sacred 2 spell effects and I hear Mass Effect is over done with the glass). I've also seen it in games where I couldn't tell a difference visually with only a large impact on performance (Metro 2033).

It's really dependent on your tastes. What I can tell you is that there is about a total of 21 games that offer GPU accelerated PhysX. If you don't have those games, it has no effect on you.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 18, 2011 6:55:07 PM

21 games, about 5 worth playing IMO and in about 2-3 of those it makes a notable difference. It's nothing to choose a video card based on IMO.
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May 19, 2011 2:38:31 PM

Given that Nvidia does have some advantage over Radeon and later on rather than dumping of a card for a cheap value I'm better using it as a ppu or maybe SLI'ing it, my eyes finally rest on Nvidia.
Either GTX 550 Ti or GTX 460 768mb (hope the prices drop) !
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a c 173 U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 2:43:42 PM

virajk said:
Given that Nvidia does have some advantage over Radeon and later on rather than dumping of a card for a cheap value I'm better using it as a ppu or maybe SLI'ing it, my eyes finally rest on Nvidia.
Either GTX 550 Ti or GTX 460 768mb (hope the prices drop) !


The gtx 460 is a powerful card for the price much like the 6850 but it is not for every one. Many gtx 460 were produced very cheaply and was meant to sell vry quickly but they cut corners with quality but if you know how to make one last then go for it. The gtx 550 is a joke as it is overpriced.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 4:51:44 PM

virajk said:
Given that Nvidia does have some advantage over Radeon

AMD cards have their own advantages like eyefinity and MLAA.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 5:36:20 PM

jyjjy said:
AMD cards have their own advantages like eyefinity and MLAA.


To add further to that higher quality and more efficient hardware compared to most what nvidia has to offer.
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a b U Graphics card
May 19, 2011 8:46:14 PM

Not to mention painless TV configuration on ATI's side... Ugh... The horrors with my GT425M notebook xD!

On the power side, I'd say that the GTX460 is very power hungry for the processing power it gives, but it's still inside "spec" for a low power PSU. Maybe you could get a cheaper one with the ATI card, but that's about it.

Cheers!
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