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Workstation and gaming card, on the same machine?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 5, 2012 3:20:07 PM

Alright, I'm going for a new rig which is mainly a workstation machine in the near future.
I'd like to be able to play games without buying another PC.

So the question is:

Has anyone successfully installed a workstation and a gaming card on the same machine working in the same OS simultaneously, and OS switching between them depending on the application currently being used (first preference)? Even if it means two displays or using the same vendor.
Or on the same OS but switching between cards by software or changing ports physically?
Or at least on the same rig with dual-boot?

Thanks for taking the time.
a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2012 3:39:42 PM

Hello & Welcome.
What kind of work are you going to do? Most of the new i7 CPUs are superb for video editing, rendering, designs,.....etc.

The problem is do you require a workstation GFX card or a desktop one? Depends on your work.
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May 5, 2012 3:43:35 PM

ilysaml said:
Hello & Welcome.
What kind of work are you going to do? Most of the new i7 CPUs are superb for video editing, rendering, designs,.....etc.

The problem is do you require a workstation GFX card or a desktop one? Depends on your work.


Thanks for the reply, I forgot to mention that the workstation card is actually required, I work with CAD (later, CAM and artistic modeling (3ds Max, Modo, etc)) and even most high-end gaming cards don't cut it.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2012 3:46:39 PM

Yea these applications are optimized to run with the Quadro, FirePro, tesla...and so on.

So what's your total system specs? or you haven't built the PC yet?
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May 5, 2012 4:09:11 PM

ilysaml said:
Yea these applications are optimized to run with the Quadro, FirePro, tesla...and so on.

So what's your total system specs? or you haven't built the PC yet?


Still planning it, hence me asking here.
Generally,
i7 2600k or 3770K
ASUS Z77-V or Gigabyte Z77-UD3H5
8GB of Vengeance 1600Mhz
FirePro V5900.
No SSD.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2012 4:38:21 PM

Well, can't compare FirePro vs Radeon HD but i know that the Firepro is the best for maya, 3D Max and render faster than the top Radeon HD.


I guess you'll have to build another machine, or Physically swap between cards.
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May 5, 2012 5:51:45 PM

ilysaml said:
Well, can't compare FirePro vs Radeon HD but i know that the Firepro is the best for maya, 3D Max and render faster than the top Radeon HD.
http://fireuser.com/images/uploads/specview_perf_maya_8750v5870.gif

I guess you'll have to build another machine, or Physically swap between cards.


Thanks again for the reply,
Both aren't options for me, I prefer to have dual-boot in this case, just wondering if someone tried making it work on the same OS.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
May 5, 2012 6:41:03 PM

In theory, they will work...Windows 7 will recognize them as 2 independent cards, but i don't know if your applications support choosing a specific GPU or not. But i guess the most is not.
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May 6, 2012 6:34:28 AM

ilysaml said:
In theory, they will work...Windows 7 will recognize them as 2 independent cards, but i don't know if your applications support choosing a specific GPU or not. But i guess the most is not.


Okay, I'll wait to see if anyone was successful making them work together.
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May 6, 2012 9:23:37 AM

no problem just plug and play after installing drivers. (used only nvidia for this) haven't tried them with ym quadro and 7970 since got a separate system for work.
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May 6, 2012 10:10:07 AM

Tavo_Nova said:
no problem just plug and play after installing drivers. (used only nvidia for this) haven't tried them with ym quadro and 7970 since got a separate system for work.


Thanks for taking the time,
As you know the performance between the workstation and gaming card differs depending on the application currently running.
How would that work when there are two cards in play, will the drivers switch the cards when I open a game or a CAD software?
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a c 143 U Graphics card
May 6, 2012 11:09:54 AM

I doubt it's a plug and play because of the drivers.
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June 15, 2012 5:44:26 AM

I am quite interested in this as well. There is no best solution because some software works better with certain brands like AMD or nVidia. The new nVidia 6.xx cards have their compute function limited for some reason so not very good with precise calculations. Also, I know several issues with AMD cards still not working properly in Maya, Vue, etc. Most still recommend staying with nVidia regardless.

I too would like to be able to run a workstation card and a gaming card in the same computer and OS. Like a Quadro and a GTX 680/690. Does anyone know if possible or how. Been searching for answers and can't seem to find any specifics.
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June 15, 2012 11:16:20 AM

I haven't found a solution yet, though I'll finish building my PC next month so some experimenting will take place. :D 
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a c 143 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 11:35:28 AM

:lol: 
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a c 143 U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 11:43:10 AM

Again, :lol: 
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June 15, 2012 2:14:17 PM

Quote:
Tesla....... i think you should go read up on what Tesla is used for ;) 


Yes, you're right ... but I'm here to find a solution for my dilemma ... not to point at other's mistakes while they are trying to help. :) 
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June 15, 2012 2:16:21 PM

Quote:
This may be interesting to read:

http://www.techspot.com/news/46253-nvidia-maximus-hybri...

"The Quadro series is more geared toward displaying graphics such as computer-aided design, whereas Tesla is best suited for raw compute tasks."


Thanks ... it is interesting.

But what I find strange is that none has tried this kind of setup so far?! Or I'm just not lucky enough that they would stumble into my thread.
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June 15, 2012 2:20:51 PM

Quote:
I do not know of anyone here who has tried your intended setup.

Are you asking on more forums?


I think I tried [H]ard and Overclock, found a similar question on GrabCAD which is where I thought I would find an answer since it's a CAD sharing website.
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June 15, 2012 2:27:14 PM

Quote:
Hmm, i am not too clued up on workstation cards, apart from their obvious uses.

You could trial and error using the 580 with the Quadro...


I'll be getting a FirePro, prefer it over the Quadro.
And yes, I'll go that route and do some tests but I prefer if I can find someone who tried this before I do on my $2,000 machine which I'm buying with hard work money.
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June 15, 2012 2:34:26 PM

Quote:
Sounds great mate, i am sorry for no one giving you a straight answer here, but we can only give what we know.

Experiencing it first hand is better than anyones opinions :) 


Thanks for the chat, I enjoyed it.
Maybe I'll do the tests on the family computer first, I really doubt anything bad will happen but better fry a $425 video card than an entire workstation.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
June 15, 2012 3:21:51 PM

Probably can be made to work. Recently I installed a Radeon 5870 into a box that already had an nVidia 560. Windows initially booted at low resolution, installed the ATI drivers and immediately started working. I have a dual monitor setup and was able to switch a cable to the nVidia card: the monitor would go black, but using the graphics settings "Detect" button, it found the display again and brought that one up too...all without rebooting. I was able to move windows back and forth between the two screens, MSI Afterburner detected both cards and monitored their temperatures and allowed overclocking either card. Boinc downloaded a second client and started doing GPGPU (Collatz) tasks on both cards at once. Catalyst Control center was confused, I can't remember what it did, but it complained a few times. The biggest problem I noticed was that the boot screen and BIOS would only appear on the first graphics card (slot 1 vs slot 3 in this case).

This was all on Win7 and a box with a new ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. Later I had some weird graphics behavior and decided to pull the ATI card back out and put it in another machine (the behavior continued and turned out to be a driver version issue). Though the other machine was also running Win7, it did not work at all. The motherboard apparently only recognized the first graphics card and I didn't spend a lot of time trying to fix it. The little reading I've done seems to confirm my experience that ymmv depending on motherboard.
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June 15, 2012 3:36:52 PM

Temile said:
Probably can be made to work. Recently I installed a Radeon 5870 into a box that already had an nVidia 560. Windows initially booted at low resolution, installed the ATI drivers and immediately started working. I have a dual monitor setup and was able to switch a cable to the nVidia card: the monitor would go black, but using the graphics settings "Detect" button, it found the display again and brought that one up too...all without rebooting. I was able to move windows back and forth between the two screens, MSI Afterburner detected both cards and monitored their temperatures and allowed overclocking either card. Boinc downloaded a second client and started doing GPGPU (Collatz) tasks on both cards at once. Catalyst Control center was confused, I can't remember what it did, but it complained a few times. The biggest problem I noticed was that the boot screen and BIOS would only appear on the first graphics card (slot 1 vs slot 3 in this case).

This was all on Win7 and a box with a new ASUS Rampage IV Extreme motherboard. Later I had some weird graphics behavior and decided to pull the ATI card back out and put it in another machine (the behavior continued and turned out to be a driver version issue). Though the other machine was also running Win7, it did not work at all. The motherboard apparently only recognized the first graphics card and I didn't spend a lot of time trying to fix it. The little reading I've done seems to confirm my experience that ymmv depending on motherboard.


I greatly appreciate your reply, thanks.
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June 22, 2012 8:59:07 AM

Best answer selected by wingwolf.
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