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Best openCL video card for under $300

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 23, 2012 12:26:57 PM

I am going to start doing some video editing and am leaning towards using Power Director 10 ultimate. It use openCL to accelerate rendering and on screen previews. Until now I was leaning towards using the adobe video editing suite and so had limited my research to CUDA performance. From what I understand of openCL it is supported on both Nvidia and AMD graphcs cards.

1. Is this correct?

2. What is more important, a large amount of VRAM or the # of cores or the bus width?

3. Can you make a recommendation for the best graphics card overall for less than $300 to accelerate OpenCL workflows?


The machine I will be working on has the following specs (currently using the built in intel graphics)

CPU: Core I7 2600K OC @ 4.2GHZ
RAM: 16GB 4x4 DDR3 1600
OS: Win 7 PRO 64
C: OCZ Agility 3 SSD - OS & Programs
D: OCZ Agility 2 SSD - Scratch Disk
MOBO: GigaByte Z68 D3H
PSU: OCZ Fatal1ty 550w

More about : opencl video card 300

March 23, 2012 2:34:22 PM

Yes, openCL is supported from both. And yes, you need CUDA technology to really push extra perfromance from Adobe's video editing suits. CUDA is mostly and Nvidia thing.

Trying to stay under $300 is going to be tough for video editing. Assuming you will be doing no gaming at all, get a workstation video card. (They have a lot of similarities as gaming cards, but the drivers are optimized for different uses.)

This card would be nice but out of your price range:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This one is closer:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Officially supported:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The card is also supported, and probably better for the money, especially after you unlock it. You'll have to find it off of Newegg though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 23, 2012 6:32:39 PM

It loos like the FirePro V4900 has very similar capabilities to the v5800 at a much lower price due to the new architecture.

Do you know if video editing with openCL is typically more analogous to single floating point or double floating pint computational scores?

the Firepro cards have much narrower bus width and lower amounts of VRAM compared to Radeon 7850. Do the driver differences make that much of a difference? I can see where that would be a factor in the list of "approved applications" where the card modifies workload parameters by detecting which application, like MAYA is being used - but I do not believe the drivers have any tweaks for Power Director.

Also the Radeon supports openCL 1.2 and the FirePro only supports openCL 1.0
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March 23, 2012 8:05:15 PM

I know when I was building a video editing machine for someone else I researched this stuff, but I was in CUDA land as you were at the time. I know then, there were ways to change a gaming graphics card to gear it towards video editing performance, but as I was being paid to give a quality build I didn't attempt it. You might have great performance with the Radeon card for this. The 7850/70 is a beast of a card.

I have no idea about the openCL computational scores.

It's very possible you are correct on the old model FirePro card. If I were in your shoes, and you only want to spend $300. I'd go with a Radeon card and see if you can tweak it for performance geared to the video editing software you are using. $300 doesn't go very far in the graphics editing world at all. A budget card when I was doing this build was $600. Near the bottom of the list on supported cards by Adobe.
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March 23, 2012 8:17:28 PM

Unfortunately the budget for this project is pretty low. I am using it to do youtube product videos for my company and they are begrudgingly letting me spend time and resources on doing a few sample videos to see if they get any traction or increase our web traffic.

That is why had to change from the adobe production suite to PowerDirector -just the software would have been more than my whole budget !

when I was researching CUDA and the adobe production suite I found out that the GeForce cards were actually faster at some parts of the process than the Quadro cards. But the support level and performance in other apps like CAD and MAYA were much better on the Quadro due to more specific driver modifications.

The biggest difference seemed t be in GFLOPS for double floating point applications. When you compare the Radeon vs FirePro the single floating point is much higher for the Radeon cards (7850/70) vs the FirePro (v4900)
But double floating point is better on the Fire Pro.
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March 23, 2012 8:25:13 PM

jbart1981 said:
Unfortunately the budget for this project is pretty low. I am using it to do youtube product videos for my company and they are begrudgingly letting me spend time and resources on doing a few sample videos to see if they get any traction or increase our web traffic.

That is why had to change from the adobe production suite to PowerDirector -just the software would have been more than my whole budget !

when I was researching CUDA and the adobe production suite I found out that the GeForce cards were actually faster at some parts of the process than the Quadro cards. But the support level and performance in other apps like CAD and MAYA were much better on the Quadro due to more specific driver modifications.

The biggest difference seemed t be in GFLOPS for double floating point applications. When you compare the Radeon vs FirePro the single floating point is much higher for the Radeon cards (7850/70) vs the FirePro (v4900)
But double floating point is better on the Fire Pro.


Good information to know, but there is something to be said about what is "officially supported" when it comes to business.

I went the the Quadro 600 on the budget build I did for video editing and I think it's shown good results for a sub $1000 build. I think I remember reading about some of the GeForce cards performing well with some tweaks in the drivers and such back then, but when I was spending someone elses money I didn't risk it.
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March 23, 2012 9:40:01 PM

well I think I found a partial answer here:

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/gpuacceler...

very similar application and there is almost no difference between the Pro cards an gaming cards of the same caliber.


And after further analysis there is a particular feature that is shared between certain Radeon cards and FirePro cards.

128-bit floating point rendering.

this seems to be the feature that turbo boosts openCL based video rendering beyond other graphics cards. The 7850 does not have this feature, but the 6870 does along with the 7890.

The 6870 also has nearly the same single floating point TFLOPS as the 7850 and currently I can find a model with 2GB GDDR5 for $220

Based on the referenced Sony Vegas benchmark that should outperform the Firepro V8800 ($1150) let alone the v4900
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March 27, 2012 4:08:18 PM

jbart1981 said:
well I think I found a partial answer here:

http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/vegaspro/gpuacceler...

very similar application and there is almost no difference between the Pro cards an gaming cards of the same caliber.


And after further analysis there is a particular feature that is shared between certain Radeon cards and FirePro cards.

128-bit floating point rendering.

this seems to be the feature that turbo boosts openCL based video rendering beyond other graphics cards. The 7850 does not have this feature, but the 6870 does along with the 7890.

The 6870 also has nearly the same single floating point TFLOPS as the 7850 and currently I can find a model with 2GB GDDR5 for $220

Based on the referenced Sony Vegas benchmark that should outperform the Firepro V8800 ($1150) let alone the v4900


I agree the FirePro line probably has an extra markup for enterprise use, but I'm skeptical on believing that Radeon cards will outperform cards designed around video editing. I could be in for a surprise however.

I assume the 7890 you are referring to is a typo. As far as I know that hasn't been released let alone announced yet.

This new benchmark may be of use to you, although I think all are outside your price range. Looks like AMD might be perferred over Nvidia for your needs. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-sli...

Sorry for the delay, been busy. I'd be interested in your results if you care to share.
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