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Desktop Graphic vs Professional Graphic

The last couple days I've read the 2 wonderful articles about most anticipated GTX680 and GTX680 SLI vs AMD Radeon 7970. In both articles, the author had mentioned that the Radeon has more computing power, so a question came to mind that if the GTX680 is the most powerful single GPU card priced at $500, then why there are cards that cost much more like the Quadro and FirePro (seen on Newegg)? Does it mean that the Quadro and the FirePro have more computing power but under perform the $500 GTX680??? Can someone please explain?

Should I get the 680 when it becomes available or an Radeon? My purpose is for photo editing. Currently I have the GTX 560 ti but high res pictures load so slow in Windows Photo Viewer when I scan them. I know my system is not that bad and all my SD cards are SDHC 10. Pictures also load slow even when they're from my SSD drive. Please advice. Thank you all for your pass and continuing supports. Cheers.

My rig
i5 2500k @4Ghz
Gigabyte GA-Z68-UD3P
2x4GB GSkill RAM 1333Mhz
Corsair Force 3 SSD
Corsair HX850 PSU
Sony GoogleTV 1080p monitor
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  1. The Quadro and FirePro cards are professional cards used for 3D rendering and are not specifically designed for gaming. Therefore, gaming performance will be rather low. The two primary reason why they cost so much are as follows:

    1. They are designed for a specific task.
    2. You receive custom driver support. If the video card has issues while rendering something, then if necessary they can tweak the drivers for you to resolve the issue. Of course if you ask tech support to tweak the drivers so that you can get better performance in BF3, then they will likely hangup on you.
  2. Thanks for your response. I'm a photographer and I like to have a card that can load high resolution photo quickly in Windows Photo Viewer. I just want to speed things up when I look for a certain photo. Any suggestion?
  3. Best answer
    jaguarskx sums up the reasons for the difference nicely. I'm not a pro but have had DSLRs for some years, currently a Canon 7D. You have a nice system - definately more than capable! It's very odd that your photos are loading slow even from an SSD - I'm wondering if Photo Viewer is doing extensive RAW pre-processing before displaying the picture and/or your SSD has configuration issues.

    1. Are you viewing RAW files? - much larger in size and need preprocessing by the software+user before display correctly. While these may not display 'instantly', there shouldn't be a big delay in your system.
    2. How large are the files you are trying to view?
    3. What GFX card are you currently using?
    4. If you have an NVIDIA card have you considered gfx software supporting CUDA e.g. Photoshop? Photoshop does make quite a difference when CUDA features (some are plugin-dependant) are being used. Many non-supported NVIDIA cards can be CUDA-enabeled for Photoshop via a simple 'fix' - this, of course, won't be an issue if you have a newer card e.g. 500-600 series. There is other gfx software that makes use of GPU (e.g. CUDA) computing - a simple Google search will show. Premiere's current Mercury playback engine is another good example of CUDA use.
    5. Benchmark your SSD - there may be some configuration issues, though I'm sure your Windows boots off this - and does so speedily? Compare the benchmark results with what the SSD company states...allow a little leeway - you won't get exactly the same.
    6. Photo Viewer is not the best software to use - do you use Microsoft software to edit your photos also? I'd definately suggest a company that specialises in graphics software. There are quite a few - not just Adobe.
    7. If you just want to view quickly(instantly, and not for processing pre/post analysis) then you could convert your photos into jpg's to match your monitor's resolution - but even this step definitely shouldn't be required on your system - jpg viewing should be instant right now.
    8. A faster (newer?) NVIDIA card usually equates to faster CUDA processing.
  4. Best answer selected by Sonny73N.
  5. Sonny73N said:
    Thanks for your response. I'm a photographer and I like to have a card that can load high resolution photo quickly in Windows Photo Viewer. I just want to speed things up when I look for a certain photo. Any suggestion?

    Certainly there are other things to consider. Your processor will have a tremendous impact on loading any files as well as overall system performance. Most professional editing and rendering software will support multi-core CPU's and perform best with hyper threading.

    I would assume your rig would be able to load images quite fast. From your configuration, it appears you have your i5 2500K overclocked. This will increase performance, however if not done properly, reduce performance and cause system instability. If you haven't already, make sure your voltages are not choking your CPU. Also, have you taken the necessary steps to configure the "Gigabyte EZ smart response"?
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