I wish I had the time for gaming and spend much more of my time doing business work and some video editing with Sony Vegas. I have not needed to have a separate video card as the on board video in my ASROCK Extreme4 Gen3 motherboard has been fantastic (it really is the best mobo I've ever had, rock solid.) But when I use Sony Vegas, I'm told that rendering times could be cut significantly, even with my i7-2600 CPU that is reasonably powerful.
I would prefer to keep electricity costs down and wish there was an easier way to switch off the video card when not in use. Getting a super powered card would be a waste of money as I don't do gaming. I'm looking for something that will give me a boost and won't suck loads of electricity when used mostly for display.
So I've taken a look at the cards - the GTX 570, 660, 660 ti and 670. I was told specifically to stay away from the ATI cards because of my video editing usage, although the ATI cards are by far the best bang for the buck for gaming and many other purposes. Now I keep hearing about how each GTX card is better at one thing but not as good as others. I just don't know how to rate them. I'd prefer to spend around $200-230 or so but will stretch my budget a little if it really makes a tremendous difference. But I've heard that the 660 ti isn't much to write home about over the 660 and the power consumption is significantly lower on the latter. Perhaps someone can recommend to me a card and explain what are my best options. The 670 seems far beyond my needs.
the key thing you said was power usage. nvidia cards use alot more power than an equal ati card. although u did mention the nvidia 660 card. which has been tuned for great performance and uses less power than the 570 and the 670. now if ur going to use ATI then try getting a HD7770 or a 7750 for around $149 and use about 80-110 watts at full load. at idle them drop down to about 15-20 watts.
Go for Nvidia. Radeon doesn't have cuda, so nvidia is a way better deal for you.
Nvidia doesn't have stream, therefore ATI is a better deal for you.
Thats applying the same logic to the situation, just reversed positions.
Rendering is CPU dependent, but if it has the wiggle room, it will use a lot of the GPU.
ATI is the better choice, you have more wiggle room for a lower price, and they offer the same performance, if not better.
Yes - CUDA is important and that is why I have to go nvidia. I think the question is whether the 660 ti is really worth the extra money. Right now you can the 660 cards for $215! The 660 ti cards are still at $300 and way overpriced. I wonder if they come down in price for black Friday down to $240 or so whether they are worth the extra money.
Wouldn't worry about the GPU's idle draw, its not enough to really be concerned about. The monitor its powering will be using more energy than the card at any given time. If you want to cut down on power usage, you want to be looking at a more efficient PSU and take measures such as undervolting the CPU/GPU.
If its just rendering performance your after, a low end Quadro or Firepro card is probably the best option. Though I don't know enough about them to advise which one to get.
If you stick to mainstream cards, it will depend on what the applications your using can take advantage of.
If it can use OpenCL/GL and GPGPU, then a Radeon is your best bet. They have significantly stronger performance here than Nvidia cards do.
But if it can only take advantage of CUDA, then an Nvidia card is what you want, as CUDA is Nvidia exclusive.
Also consider that it is likely your disk speed is a bigger factor than a GPU. If you only have one HDD, getting another to use as a scratch disc will likely boost performance more than a GPU would.
I use primarily Adobe Photoshop and Sony Vegas. In most of the Vegas forums the experts who use it on an every day basis swear by the nVidia cards and CUDA. While they aren't thrilled at the overpricing, it supposedly renders the best and in some cases appears to be the primary focus of some companies (such as Adobe.)
Thanks for the disk suggestions. Have 2 7200RPM SATA III disks, run off of an SSD and have an SSD scratch space as well to copy large files and use to lower the access speed.
Good point about the power. I guess I figured that I didn't want to add extra power since for most business purposes just having the built in video worked fine without having to use a card. I wanted to use the GPU specifically for those times when I use Photoshop and do video editing in Sony Vegas.
Regarding the cards, I've heard that the new GTX 660 / 670 series is a much better choice than the older cards. It looks like there are many more CUDA cores in the 660 and 660ti than in the 570 series so it seems it's 660 or 660 ti. Then it comes down to just how much "better" is either card for video editing? Which brand? They are mostly similar but my need is just video editing. I don't care about 3D graphics for gaming at all, even though I wish I had time.
I hear lots of different answers here, I think we're getting closer to where we need to be and thank you all for helping me get there. I wish I could select a couple of useful answers.
I do loadss video editing and I use the Nvidia GTX570 which is more than enough card for the job
Asus P9X79 Deluxe Motherboard
Intel Core i7 3930K Enthusiast Unlocked, S 2011, Sandybridge-E, Six Core, 3.2GHz, 12MB Smart Cache, 130W, Retail
240GB OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS Edition Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s 85KIOPS (for operating system)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB x 2 for storage drives
2 x StarTech.com 5.25 inch Trayless Hot Swap Mobile Rack with LCD
1280MB Gainward GTX 570 Phantom, 40nm, 1950MHz GDDR5, GPU 750MHz, Shader 1600MHz, 480 Cores, DP/HDMI
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Iiyama ProLite B2409HDS 24" monitors x 2 (dual screen)
Icy box IB865 USB 3.0 supper speed card reader
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Windows 7 ultimate 64 Bit OS