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Complete newbie, building my first PC...what GPU?

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
Hey all. I'm total newb when it comes computer hardware. I've been using my laptop all this time (i3, 160GB SSD, 8GB RAM); but since I do a lot of heavy-duty CAD modelling and rendering, I figured I might try to get something a little more powerful.

So far, I've ordered the following (not the most up-to-date hardware; but I reckon it should fine):

Asus P6X58-E PRO LGA 1366 motherboard
Intel Core i7 960
32 GB DDR3 1600MHz Mushkin Blackline
256GB Samsung 830 SSD

I'm happy that I'm well within my budget at this point ($750, with the maximum I'm willing to go up to is $1300), but I have yet to pick a casing, power supply and graphics card.

Let's just tackle the graphics card for now.

I've heard that I should be looking for at the nVidia Quadro line...but I've heard some more recent reports of people preferring to use the cheaper gaming cards.

What would you recommend? This PC would be used strictly for modelling and rendering (no gaming whatsoever).
 

Quantos

Senior member
Dec 23, 2011
386
0
76
Depends what you want to do, and at which resolution. Considering you only plan on modeling, render and the like, you might want to look into a pro card (quadro or firepro). The power/$ ratio of pro cards aren't very good, but they provide guaranteed compatibility with professional 3D applications.

It's, however, also possible to get a normal graphics card and happen to have no issues at all with such applications. When that does happen, you get much more power for your money.
 
Last edited:

Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
20
81
Hey all. I'm total newb when it comes computer hardware. I've been using my laptop all this time (i3, 160GB SSD, 8GB RAM); but since I do a lot of heavy-duty CAD modelling and rendering, I figured I might try to get something a little more powerful.

So far, I've ordered the following (not the most up-to-date hardware; but I reckon it should fine):

Asus P6X58-E PRO LGA 1366 motherboard
Intel Core i7 960
32 GB DDR3 1600MHz Mushkin Blackline
256GB Samsung 830 SSD

I'm happy that I'm well within my budget at this point ($750, with the maximum I'm willing to go up to is $1300), but I have yet to pick a casing, power supply and graphics card.

Let's just tackle the graphics card for now.

I've heard that I should be looking for at the nVidia Quadro line...but I've heard some more recent reports of people preferring to use the cheaper gaming cards.

What would you recommend? This PC would be used strictly for modelling and rendering (no gaming whatsoever).
What is ur max budget for the card?Also don't go cheap on the PSU.A moderately good case would be fine for ur setup.
 

ShintaiDK

Lifer
Apr 22, 2012
20,378
130
106
Why ordering a dead platform with lacking performance o_O

As for graphics card. It depends if the apps will allow for anything but Quadro. So thats pretty hard to say without telling exactly what you use.
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
Depends what you want to do, and at which resolution. Considering you only plan on modeling, render and the like, you might want to look into a pro card (quadro or firepro). The power/$ ratio of pro cards aren't very good, but they provide guaranteed compatibility with professional 3D applications.

It's, however, also possible to get a normal graphics card and happen to have no issues at all with such applications. When that does happen, you get much more power for your money.
I'm pretty sure the applications themselves won't fall apart if I'm using a different card. But I hear that renderers such as V-Ray benefit from GPU rendering.

And that's exactly where I'm confused: I'm not sure what it is that makes a pro card better at rendering than a regular card. Is it the memory size?
 

Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
20
81
No its the drivers which makes them better for certain apps.Also Kepler has gimped dp performance , 1/24 th compared to 1/8th in Fermi.
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
Why ordering a dead platform with lacking performance o_O
Hard to resist when you're getting it at a bargain ($150 shipped aaaaall the way from the US!). Ideally I would probably have gone for something like the new octa-core Xeon with a LGA2011 motherboard and 64GB RAM; but I honestly couldn't justify the cost when the performance benefits would probably not really be that big. My dual-core i3 has next to no issues at all with handling all my modelling tasks.
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
As for graphics card. It depends if the apps will allow for anything but Quadro. So thats pretty hard to say without telling exactly what you use.
I do my modelling in a number of different apps (SolidWorks 2012, Siemens NX 8, CATIA V6R2012, and Modo); and I use Maya 2012 with V-Ray 2.2 for rendering
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
No its the drivers which makes them better for certain apps.Also Kepler has gimped dp performance , 1/24 th compared to 1/8th in Fermi.
English plez. :p

But seriously...I really don't know what either of those mean, or what they are supposed to do.
 

Quantos

Senior member
Dec 23, 2011
386
0
76
I've used standard graphics cards in the past successfully with 3D applications. Honestly, I've never heard about somebody's graphics card not working AT ALL with an application. Most likely it would be limited to the card not performing as well as it should. Then again, if you're going with a pro card, you're going to get what is probably a last-generation GPU for more money. In raw power they truly are not a good bargain.

The drivers are the difference, I don't believe there is any difference in the hardware.

edit: wow, you use CATIA? We're still stuck with V5 at work here :p You're engineering?
 

Jaydip

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2010
3,691
20
81
English plez. :p

But seriously...I really don't know what either of those mean, or what they are supposed to do.
DP-->double precision ():)

For modelling tasks the DP performance is more important than Integer performance.
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
wow, you use CATIA? We're still stuck with V5 at work here :p You're engineering?
Nah...I'm studying industrial design.

"Stuck with V5"?!

LOL!

You should have seen the uphill battle I had installing V6 (hint: I don't have any legal licenses for any of software I use).

I doubt most of CATIA customers (the entire automotive/aerospace industry) would even want to migrate to V6 and it's exclusive 'cloud storage' system. I foresee a mass movement to NX, what with it's amazingly intuitive interface and ease of use. BMW, Chrysler and Fiat are already in.

Have a look at these products
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814133353
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814195106
I think these will fulfill ur needs.I myself would go for the quadro as the apps u listed are favored on NV hardware.
Thanks for the suggestions. If drivers are truly this big of a deal, then I might as well go for the nVidia.
 

Quantos

Senior member
Dec 23, 2011
386
0
76
Aerospace company here. That application is such a bitch, it's crazy. I'm in IT here and it's a troublemaker. I don't even want to think about upgrading it, eewww.
 

joanne firus

Member
May 16, 2012
31
0
0
That application is such a bitch, it's crazy. I'm in IT here and it's a troublemaker. I don't even want to think about upgrading it, eewww.
Imagine trying to learn it on your own. The fact that proper tutorials for CATIA don't even exist outside of certified training programs takes difficulty to a whole new level.

Up until I used V5R21, I was always puzzled as to how the 2011 version of the most advanced CAD package in the world could get away with the most bizarre, antique, and ugly user interface ever created.
 

Quantos

Senior member
Dec 23, 2011
386
0
76
I wouldn't want to learn the bloody thing. My department isn't providing how-to support for it and I'm grateful for that. The poor souls who have to do that must feel awful (but insanely knowledgeable).

You don't like purple patterns? :D
 

96Firebird

Diamond Member
Nov 8, 2010
5,652
271
126
Yeah, you want to get a pro card since you won't be gaming at all. I use a Quadro 600 at work, and it does everything I want it to in SolidWorks 2011. Not sure what your budget is, but it is quite a bit cheaper compared to the Quadro 2000.
 

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