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Building a workstation

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February 14, 2012 12:16:26 PM

Hello,

I'm building 2 workstations for rendering purpose, My budget is low so I can't really afford new Xeon 10 core processors, but I'm going for i7 3960X extreme processor. I'm a 3ds max user and I'm going to use v-ray for my renders.

My question is:
1. If I buy a Ati fire pro or Quadro with i7 3960X processor, while rendering, is going to use GPU or CPU; Or GPU and CPU together?

2. How do I get to know, whether the ATI firepro is better or the Quadro?

It would be nice to get a feedback on these...

More about : building workstation

February 14, 2012 1:22:15 PM

Which your total budget?
Do you need monitors? Do you have any spare part to use?
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February 14, 2012 1:37:08 PM

Yes! I'm looking for 1 Viewsonic 3D monitor and 2 dell ultra sharp monitors, my budget is around 7,000 USD for each workstation... And I'm also going for 32 GB Ram for each workstations...
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February 14, 2012 6:15:03 PM

hey, it depends on renderer. are you using GPU version of iray? if yes, so any card will use GPU for rendering, no matter which one.

Yet, about quadro and firepro, there's another deal, at the moment firepros are newer generation and thus perform better, but in fact quadros tend to be better optimized and more stable.

you can buy quadro 4000 and few geforces and dedicate them for rendering(don't know about v-ray, but iRay can do this). thus you'll get both - performance and stability, place quadro as your main card(you'll get stability) and geforces for rendering(those are faster for much cheaper price).

Don't know how to make this, but people do this.

and, my question is, why do you want 32GB per station?? half of it will be really enough.
yet, if you want only for rendering, you don't need nice GPU at all, mein thing there is that Max won't crash when you'll open big scene, and this can be achieved with even cheapest quadro(stable they are).
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February 14, 2012 6:43:12 PM

janiashvili said:
hey, it depends on renderer. are you using GPU version of iray? if yes, so any card will use GPU for rendering, no matter which one.

Yet, about quadro and firepro, there's another deal, at the moment firepros are newer generation and thus perform better, but in fact quadros tend to be better optimized and more stable.

you can buy quadro 4000 and few geforces and dedicate them for rendering(don't know about v-ray, but iRay can do this). thus you'll get both - performance and stability, place quadro as your main card(you'll get stability) and geforces for rendering(those are faster for much cheaper price).

Don't know how to make this, but people do this.

and, my question is, why do you want 32GB per station?? half of it will be really enough.
yet, if you want only for rendering, you don't need nice GPU at all, mein thing there is that Max won't crash when you'll open big scene, and this can be achieved with even cheapest quadro(stable they are).



Thank you for your reply.

Basically, these 2 high end workstations are going to be used for High poly modelling, Arch Viz and Game art. I'm running a lot of projects, which I'm handling with i7-930, but this seem to be less.. I've started my own company, so initially, I'm getting 2 workstations for the company, and will get few other mid range PCs, with i7-2600K...

For rendering purposes, I'll be using 3ds max 2011 X64 with the v-ray render engine. I'm working on a lot of animations and also supporting stereoscopic 3D...

A lot of projects require cities or environments, thus I require a really good workstation to support the projects...

I've never used Quadro or Ati Firepro, I'm currently using GTX 260...

A quadro or a Firepro is much higher price; On the other hand, according to different forum, people say Quadro are no use, a good GTX card do the work...

I would like to know what really the difference is if I use a Quadro 5000, or a Quadro 4000...

Thanks for your reply again... :) 
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Best solution

February 15, 2012 12:05:19 PM

you know, main point is stability quadro drivers have and real Open GL support(you can check open-gl tests like SPECviewperf benchmark, just use youtube and search "quadro 600 vs geforce gts" or something similar). Most such apps use Open GL, and one of those which does not uses Open-GL is 3ds Max(it supports it, but is not optimized).

And, unlike geforce drivers - drivers for quadro will be supported for years, you will not encounter(very rarely) Max crash on 5 years old quadro(most of crashes are because of card driver actually)

then, again, you'll see much smoother viewport. those vertexes will be selected which you'll press to select.

Plus, there's 3ds max (2009, 2010 and 2011 only) optimization driver for Quadros and Firepros.


P.S. it's very important - there's two versions of v-ray: GPU and CPU. I've never used vray and don't know are they bought as one(is one product) or are separate products.

but, on another hand - if you want GPU rendering, your card should have enough ram on it(e.g. rendering may crash or anything similar may happen; very same as if your motherboard ram is 2GB and was rendering with CPU - you know what will happen)

but, wait for half year - newer generation workstation cards will be out.



Conclusion: if you want really smooth viewport, or you're just using Open GL, buy 3 times costy workstation card.

Otherwise, there is no reason to pay 3 times more than you has to.
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February 15, 2012 12:37:45 PM

Thank you for the answer... it has got more clear now... Thanks a lot... :) 
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February 16, 2012 12:50:23 PM

feel free to ask if you're interesting in something else
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February 23, 2012 3:19:35 AM

Best answer selected by makarim178.
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