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Best graphics card for 3D animation

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 22, 2011 3:48:16 PM

Hi,
Trying to build a rig for my 3D simulation needs based on i5 2500 with 8gb or ram. Will mostly use for simulation and less of rendering. We are used to work with Quadro FX cards at professional level but it seems like those cards are out of my league altogether apart from Quadro FX 600. A friend was suggesting GTX 570. so am a little confused.
Here are my priorities
smooth Maya interaction
Cloth hair simulation.
animation.
no gaming at all
mostly no rendering

Plz suggest.

Sud I look at ATI options??? Like Fire GL etc.. are they cheaper than Quadro??
a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 4:02:18 PM

"Best" is Quadro or FireGL. Need to list a budget otherwise. And you should use an i7 instead of an i5.

Edit: there was a video on nvidia's website that compared two $100 cards for pro work, speed in render, speed in movement, and quality. The $100 quadro beat a $100 "gaming" card by far.

Also this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63QuR7-Jyfc
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December 22, 2011 4:16:10 PM

search toms, there is an article on making a cheap render farm. Thats the way to go, pick up a 10 old pc's and farm away. BTW 10 seems to be the optimal number because they require close to the 15 amp max found in a typical houshold circuit! Unless you are going cuda, most rendering is done with cpu's not the vid cards so amd is not useful.
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December 22, 2011 4:17:22 PM

+1 on the Quadro or FireGL, I would lean towards FireGL for reliability, I'm speaking from experience.
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December 22, 2011 5:38:34 PM

walshlg said:
search toms, there is an article on making a cheap render farm. Thats the way to go, pick up a 10 old pc's and farm away. BTW 10 seems to be the optimal number because they require close to the 15 amp max found in a typical houshold circuit! Unless you are going cuda, most rendering is done with cpu's not the vid cards so amd is not useful.

Since the OP mentioned very little rendering, a render farm would be overkill and also raise the electric bill substantially. Running 10 computers could add two hundred dollars or more to your monthly electric bill even with average use. For his use, the best video card he can afford would be far more effective. If the programs being used rely on openGL, avoid the nVidia gaming cards since they have apparently crippled openGL performance to force people to the Quadro cards. Both the AMD gaming and pro cards don't have this issue with openGL.
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a c 109 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 5:47:52 PM

Get an i7-2600k, or an i7-3930k.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 5:50:01 PM

Max Collodi said:
Since the OP mentioned very little rendering, a render farm would be overkill and also raise the electric bill substantially. Running 10 computers could add two hundred dollars or more to your monthly electric bill even with average use. For his use, the best video card he can afford would be far more effective. If the programs being used rely on openGL, avoid the nVidia gaming cards since they have apparently crippled openGL performance to force people to the Quadro cards. Both the AMD gaming and pro cards don't have this issue with openGL.


They did not so much cripple the cards as they have better drivers and some hardware bits on the Quadro cards for pro work. Most of the cost of Quadro cards comes from the work it takes to create the special drivers for various applications.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 6:59:45 PM

hang-the-9 said:
"Best" is Quadro or FireGL. Need to list a budget otherwise. And you should use an i7 instead of an i5.

Edit: there was a video on nvidia's website that compared two $100 cards for pro work, speed in render, speed in movement, and quality. The $100 quadro beat a $100 "gaming" card by far.

Also this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63QuR7-Jyfc



That video is pretty horrible imo. Rotating faster or is he just moving his mouse faster? Thicker wireframe? That's an adjustable setting. This is better. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258... Workstation cards are much much better handling 3d software. I can't find a good vid but here's something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0BJsagOowg&feature=rela...

But it is project size dependent. I've had no issues running some projects on a 8800gt or 5670. Especially with maya sims being completely cpu based calculations. And some bringing my 560ti to it's knees where a quadro 600 handles.
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December 22, 2011 7:06:49 PM

hang-the-9 said:
They did not so much cripple the cards as they have better drivers and some hardware bits on the Quadro cards for pro work. Most of the cost of Quadro cards comes from the work it takes to create the special drivers for various applications.

While you are correct about the special drivers for Quadro cards (and also AMD's pro cards) with certain programs that can utilize the drivers, there are problems with openGL apps that do not use special drivers when using nVidia's gaming cards. These issues do not appear with AMD's gaming cards. People using nVidia's gaming cards with openGL apps have been having serious issues with poor performance and are not being recommended by the creators of these programs at this time.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 22, 2011 7:31:53 PM

k1114 said:
That video is pretty horrible imo. Rotating faster or is he just moving his mouse faster? Thicker wireframe? That's an adjustable setting. This is better. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/quadro-fx-4800,2258... Workstation cards are much much better handling 3d software. I can't find a good vid but here's something. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0BJsagOowg&feature=rela...

But it is project size dependent. I've had no issues running some projects on a 8800gt or 5670. Especially with maya sims being completely cpu based calculations. And some bringing my 560ti to it's knees where a quadro 600 handles.


The wireframe quality is adjustable but if you leave the settings the same, the non-quadro card tends to lower the setting while moving the object, a good pro video card will maintain the image during rotation. Wish I could find the video on the nvidia site, it was really good at explaining things.
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a c 177 U Graphics card
December 23, 2011 4:54:54 AM

Oh don't get me wrong, you are right and I've worked on them. I would gladly take a quadro because I know first hand the benefits but I game so my rig has a gtx. But my point was that the vid was a horrible example.

I know of the opengl issue was on 400 series and was carried over to the 500 series. After some searching today, it might have been fixed with an updated driver. Some issues were fixed in 275.xx and everything seems to be fine in 280.xx. http://developer.nvidia.com/opengl-driver But without some benchmarks I can't say for sure.
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a c 158 U Graphics card
December 23, 2011 12:44:45 PM

k1114 said:
Oh don't get me wrong, you are right and I've worked on them. I would gladly take a quadro because I know first hand the benefits but I game so my rig has a gtx. But my point was that the vid was a horrible example.

I know of the opengl issue was on 400 series and was carried over to the 500 series. After some searching today, it might have been fixed with an updated driver. Some issues were fixed in 275.xx and everything seems to be fine in 280.xx. http://developer.nvidia.com/opengl-driver But without some benchmarks I can't say for sure.


Yea that video was not too clear, I was hoping he's show actual frame rates. The nvidia one was amazing though, very high quality but I can't find it on their sites. It was a night and day difference when the guy was demonstrating a $100 Quadro NVS and a $100 game card.
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