Workstation Card Structure?

Salt-City_Slasher

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I read a really nice forum about the difference between video game cards and workstation cards, one being there made
a little different one being for super high FPS and one for 3D modeling and what not. If I remember right it
had to do something with the clocking or timing.

So I don't know much about the FirePro or Quadro line of cards, but I had a few questions about them!

1st- If I don't play video games, and only produce music and use CS5 for hobbie/school would the workstation card be more suitable for me?

2nd- If I am just doing basic to intermediate web design and graphic design, could you even tell a difference between
regular cards and workstation?

3rd- I read that both Nvidia and ATI make equal counterparts and that Nvidia's cuda is special only to Premiere, but
is there a norm or certain line of products that beginners/intermediate get to start with?

4th-IF you know of a link on some info please post it, I know everything about the video game cards, up until last week
I was just going to one of them, but I thought I would read and look around first.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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I forgot to add, I am building a computer and am positive I am getting a AMD 1090 on a CrossHair 4 w/ win 7 64 home.
My budget area of a card is somewhere between 300-400ish, I came into a lot of extra cash and got a great pt
work study job so I want to get something that should last well into getting my Bacholor(3-4 years from now)
 

Timop

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The workstation cards are physically the same as desktop card, the difference is just the drivers.

Unless you're doing professional applications that can use these GPU optimizations (Maya, solidworks, etc) on a large scale, you'll be wasting money on a workstation card as they are normally 5-10 times more expensive compared to their desktop counterparts. The CPU can handle these just fine.

Nvidia cards do support CUDA acceleration for the mercury engine in Premier Pro CS5 however, which can help improve performance by quite a bit. But even with ATI card, you can still enable OpenGL acceleration in most programs in CS5/CS4 to get some extra features.

Honestly, for you, all you need is a HD5670/GT240, it would be more than enough to cater your needs.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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Thats what I was thinking, I probably can afford a little bit nicer one, like the 5750 or 5770, just to have it.
I was thinking about getting Diablo 3, but I am not after any kind of top notch FPS, just something that would allow me
to play. I do have PC games I just don't play them.

I actually already got a 9600GT, I had a 9800GT and it fryed after 3 years, so this 9600 is only like 6 months old, but
I am not sure how well it runs. I think I will just go with a 1gb GDDR3 ATI!
 

Timop

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1GB DDR3 is utterly pointless. 512MB is perfectly enough.

The basic rule is, under the performance level of a HD5770, 512MB is perfectly adequate, while over that 1GB would help.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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Sorry I meant GDRR5 not 3, I was meaning something with Dx11 and the works
pretty much something like the 5770, cause later if I get into video games
I can just get a second one and have CF-X, which will be up to par with the 5850!
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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I have my eye on the sapphire vapor x, but I like asus products better.
The only reason I wouldn't get an Asus 5770 is because I would only be able to do 2 in cfx,
which actually wouldn't be a big problem for me!

I just read some good reviews on the Vapor X, and I forgot where but it was the best 5770
this site tested. But the Asus is a lot cheap I would save like 30-40 bucks.
I will probably just get Asus, I like there warranty and the software to OC!
 
Workstation cards are designed to run cooler and with more stability compared to their desktop counterparts.. They also feature a very high color pallete (you require the right kind of display of course) and a very low power draw.. They are essential for desktop rendering when working with large data sets in apps such as 3ds max, 3d maya, solidworks etc.. Workstation cards also enjoy a more thorough and seamless technical support compared to their desktop variants.. Its a perfectly safe practise to get a workstation card for a PC which is intended to do anything but game which does not seems to be the case here.. Also, the kind of softwares you'd be using do not need the services of a workstation card.. Get a GTX 460 1 GB, would be my recommendation..
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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Thanks, I am going to do some more looking into on the cards, If I got a nvidia card, I would just be able to get one
but that is still more than what I would need. I didn't know of a 460, Ithought there was 465, 470and 480!

I don't think my 960GT can be used for a psyX card, I think i checked once, but I might look back into going with intel!
Because a 1090 is 300=i7 930, and a Crosshair 4 is 230= a mid range EVGA!
I wanted an Asus board but with Intel I was told EVGA is the best board to go with.

I will just have to look into what I need, not what I think I want!
I just thought a six core was better than 4 core with 2 virutal, and since intels asus rampage or maximus was to expensive
I haven't looked into intel for a while!!
 

notty22

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OMG, You still haven't bought yet ? What are you doing your dissertation on this ? lol
(i'm joking with you)

Here is a recent article on Nvidia's new workstation cards.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-nvidia-fermi-class-quadro-launches-the-era-of-computational-visualization-2010-07-27?reflink=MW_news_stmp
Availability and Pricing The Quadro 4000 ($1,199 MSRP, USD) and Quadro 5000 ($2,249 MSRP, USD) are available immediately through all channels. The Quadro 6000 ($4,999 MSRP, USD) and Quadro Plex 7000 ($14,500 MSRP, USD) will be available this fall. Mobile workstations based on the Quadro 5000M will be available in the third quarter of 2010 from HP and Dell.
 

Timop

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Thuban is alright for general usage, and you don't need a Crosshair 4, ASUS makes plenty of non-gaming board for AMD that perfectly swell and you lose Crossfire with EVGA boards.

Id say avoid the GTX460, you're not gaming and you'll be wasting $230, single card performance isnt stellar either. Even a 5770 is borderline overkill.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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I know I am so sick, but I get another wad of cash with-in 7 days of Aug. 25th. So now I have an offical timer!
It will be 6 months when I buy, when I originally had the idea to get a build together!
Now Thuban, Fermi, and Sata/usb 3 are out, and prices are lower so I hell I guess it's worth it.
I am looking at maybe a 2000$ build if I want, cause I got a PT job with Work Study, so I plan to finance this beast and
pay the remainder by christmas. But I should have around 1500$ cash so I am thinking of going big.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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I was doing some builds to see what I could get, and there is something about hte 2000$ mark, because the best of the best, and everything under the sun can be bought for about 2000$. Like 128gb sdd, 2x4gb's of 2000 memory, blue ray burner,
and so on. Not mention what kind of graphics you could add. But If I had like 5000$ I would buy one of them xeon boards
with 2x 1366's, and get like 48gbs of ram.lol. But that will have to wait.

My dumb friend keeps telling me that the new iMac's are the way to go, but if I can just install snow leopard on a pc,
then Mac is nothing but another AlienWareish monopoly!

but I will look at something on the lines of the 5770, I use to like the 5850's cause they were like the perfect
card for price plus they hung with all the big titles.
 
OK, what exactly are you doing in Premiere? It's very specific scenarios where MPE is even helpful, as Timop mentions, an HD5770 may be overkill. Although I think if 1GB of VRAM is cheap and similarly clocked to the 512 models, it will actually help in any accelerated tasks though, even in OGL it is helpful to have more than 512 for some effects and some post processing and 3D modeling apps outside of CS5.

Currently MPE is not supported on Fermi but you can get it to work on many card with a hack, but again, only if you are doing specific tasks will it matter because even 2 out of 3 of the MPE features are OGL not CUDA accelerated. You're more often than not much better off getting HUGE amounts of RAM and a very fast CPU than getting an expensive GPU. For ATi I would say the HD5770 and for nV the GTX 460 [465 is too hot and too power consuming for the task]) the 1GB models for both are good choice to avoid limitations. Both of those cards will handle anything you throw at them, and if you ever decide to do a little gaming again, they will play all the latest titles too (although you may have to find the best settings, but there is no game they can't play now or even in 2 years' time IMO).

I also wouldn't bother OCing for your situation as it increases the bad things (temps, power, failure rate) and doesn't provide enough of a return in your non-gaming situation. Better to get the model with the best cooling solution, and looks to have the best build quality. 50-100Mhz overclock means nothing compared to a great heatsink-fan assembly and solid card build.


To the original question, on gaming vs workstation, quality control on Workstation cards is higher, usually the cooling solutions are also more robust, and they are also usually clocked at lower frequencies than their gaming counterparts to reduce heat and power consumption and increase longevity and reliability at longer up-times (can be left on days on end running render-outs or other processing tasks). And sometimes they offer things not available on gaing cards, like Huge amounts of VRAM or Stereoscopic connectors for professional 3D glasses.

They are usually not worth it for the average consumer, and if you get the right models of ATi or nV gaming cards you can often softmod them allowing them to run Workstation drivers (which have the OGL optimizations) and get the benefits of a workstation card in the apps.

However it depends on the Apps you're using as to whether it makes a difference, especially if you're running the Direct3D version of a workstation app and not the OGL version, you may see little to no difference between gaming and workstation cards (or even a negative difference due to the slower clocks).

As for iMacs, they are OK but they are for people who don't know how to build or run their own PC, for people with the know-how and want to do more than just the basics, your money is better spent on a top of the line build-your-own, but for people who want an appliance, it's a nice surfing and basic editing rig.

Reviews (not Press Release) on the new Quadros alonside some gaming cards, notice the Cinebanch results for OpenGL performance of the different solutions and how the gaming cards are right there too with their workstation counterparts (don't compare ATi to nV, supposedly the nV drivers aren't optimized yet [which doesn't explain the FX4800 or GTX480 performance], but the important thing is the workstation vs gaming differences) then see that flip in the PRO Apps;

http://hothardware.com/Reviews/NVIDIA-Unleashes-Quadro-6000-and-5000-Series-Workstation-GPUs-Review/?page=3

Also the review of the cheaper ones from last month, really even the low end not worth it compared to the gaming cards unless you're using specific apps;

http://hothardware.com/Articles/AMD-ATI-FirePro-Roundup-V7800-V4800-V3800/
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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That was informative, at this point in time I will only be using CS5 for hobby'n and because the classes I plan on taking, I
will be using it, so by buying my own I can enhance my creativity and further my interests.
But as far as using Premiere solely, no I wouldn't spend more just for it.

I know that by getting a dedicated card it takes a load off my cpu, so I would just go ahead and get at least the lower of the high ends ie 5770 or something around 200ish. Then when I get more deep into I will consider having a workstation card.

I manage my computers very well and keep it in tip top shape, never have I called Cs or Geek Squad people for help
or to repair, cause I have never had any problems that I couldn't fix. So needing a "mac" guy to help me well I really
wouldn't need any help.

I know all musicians use macs but Money ain't a Thang to them so paying 500$ for a raid card isn't a big deal.
I have read articles and mac has pretty close options to a built pc, the only problem is, they charge up the a hole
for the smallest upgrades that should only cost 30$.

So for a PC This is what I was working with:
Phenom 1090
Crosshair 4
HX750
Gskill Flare 2000 lat 7
Haf-X
Win 7 home 64bit
WD caviar black 1tb 6gb/s
CM 212+ or just stock 1090t
Asus dvd burner
Asus 5770=1410 w/ship +40$ mir

I was considering a 2x4gb set of memory, blue ray drive, 60-120gb sdd, and an addtional HD like another 6gb/s or the Crucial
64gb 6gb/s sdd!
 
SSD is a nice thing to have, does make a bit of a difference for big projects, also to have two drives one amin one scratch is nice to have, and 80GB is a sweet spot (64GB is a little tight but ok if you're not adding alot of other random apps) although some are good priced at 120-160. I haven't shopped since buying my intel, but they are nice and the latest ones are still fast.

If you're just testing the waters then the HD5770 is a great card and rather inexpensive too (I would even recommend the HD5750 near term), and then if you feel like venturing into the PRO or GPGPU world then you can decide on what you need with the money you saved this time around (IMO the next mid-range refreshes from ATi and nV will be the cards to go with for GPU-assisted apps, especially once OpenCL takes hold).

How much memory are you currently getting (since you say considering 2X4)?
IMO 8GB is a minimum for a non-gaming semi-workstation rig, especially in Premiere, where even 12GB can get choked-out. I would even be willing to sacrifice a little RAM speed for Size if it was 4GB vs 8GB. You get diminishing returns on both speed and size, but you're on the high side for speed and the minimum to middle-ground for size.
 
PS, wouldn't bother with the GTX470 for your situation, the GTX460 is a much better value if you're considering nV. And really for what you're doing overall, I would say save money now, and then swap out the graphics card in the future, reselling either the GTX460 or HD57xx series will get you nearly the same money in 6-12 months and then you can get the new generation of cards that will be geared towards a more openCL future (the current GTXs [and Quadros] are a little crippled for processing [to avoid competing with the tesla cards]) so when you truly need more power you'll get your money's worth IMO.
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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Well, I was checking how much I will have(in cash) and I should be over the 1000$ mark, since I am financing it
I can earn up to 1875 per semester, so I would probably play it safe with a 1500$ build, and if
it's worth it spend 2000!
I figured I would spend hella on the stuff that you need to buy at initial purchase(cpu, psu, mobo, and so on)
Then I would get stuff like a video card more memory, hd and blue ray and sdd.

I have thought a lot about this and my two friends(who haven't built before) keep thinking I will be better off with the
iMac since I am doing music and CS5, but I considered saving 2000$ and spending 1000$ on a pc and another 1000$ on an iMac. Because in the music "world" its best to have both sides of the game that way when collabarating I can have
access to more stuff. I already have a dell studio XPS laptop, so I thought if I bought a iMac first then put together me
a nice little build, that way I could have my cake and eat it!
The biggest downside is I would have to norm computers instead of 1 beast. This is kinda a problem because they use
logic and then I would end up with Pro Tools and Ableton. and there is a complcation when transfering logic
to pro tools.

IDK, I just wished I had 3000$ that way I would just get both lol
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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If I didn't know about building computers then I wouldn't go with any other company other than Mac, or if I wanted a
prebuilt pc I would go with HP or Asus.

I honestly just want which ever will run my programs the better, so politics aside, will a i7 870 4gb's of 1333, HD 5750,
1tb of 3gb/s, and a 27" inch screen out due a:
1090, Crosshair 4, HX 750, 5770, Flare 2000 lat 7, 2x 1tb@6gb/s, 5770, Crucial 128gb sdd sata 3, Haf-X, Asus DVD burner,
and the lovely Windows 7 for 400$ cheaper!
I am sold guys I am sick of Mac "people" its not so much the actual product but the way they speak as if, the
intel i7 in the mac is some how made better for music than an identical i7 in a PC!
If windows would just make a program so you can install Snow Leopard then NO one would even consider MAC.

When picking out 8gbs for the Crosshair, it says that only slots 3 and 4 will except 1800+, so if I wanted 8gb's
at 2000, I would need a 2x4gb. Plus the only using two slots I heard is better than maxing all four.
I like the flare kits, but 400$ for 8gbs of 2000 seems a little high, but I guess thats how much I would pay at apple for the
upgrade!
 

Salt-City_Slasher

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It looks like the Asus 5830 is 200$ now, thats worth the upgrade from the 5770, they are selling the 5770 for 200$ at the best buy right now!
I just need to figure what I want for memory than what GPU to get or none at all!
I have the 960GT currently so maybe I will save the 200 or so and get a 400-500 workstation in like 6 months

I was thinking about getting 2 sets of Crucial Tracers Red 1600 so I would 4x2gbs or just get the 4gbs 2000!
 
You can get a ATI FirePro V4800, which is a workstation card as you already would be knowing, for about 200$.. So if your system would be used for only works then i'd recommend you getting that.. If you wish to stick to desktop video cards then i'd recommend you getting a Nvidia video card as they work better with productivity apps compared to ATI cards..

P.S. - A mac system was recommended in case you find it uncomfortable or don't have time to build a rig yourself.. No Apple marketing meant on that..
 

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