View Full Version : Help me decide on graphic card

01 January 2013, 10:08 AM
I'm looking to get a new workstation and having problems making a decision regarding the graphic cards. main use (by priority) are:
3.after effects

I did a lot of reading and although i now "know everything" there is to know, but i can't decide because each on of the programs i use benefit more from different card the best:

1. maya- viewport is based on openGL. i understand that Nvidia gaming cards are no longer recommended because they have been somehow "crippled" on purpose and do not give good performance when working with more that 500000 polygons in scene.

it tern of professional cards- seems that ATI firePro are better choice than quadro in MAYA as you can read here:

2.mudbox- the larger the memory- the better. would love to have 3gb at least.
although it's easy to find gaming cards with 3gb of ram, it's getting difficult with pro cards - and you really need to go for expensive high-end card to get more than 2gb of ram

3.after effects- Nvida quadro (and also the geforce with) has Cuda cores which some features can benefit from them...

so what do you think guys, i know i need to compromise on something but still cant find the best solution.
remember though- most important to me is maya performance.

If only the geforce cards like gtx660 would give good performance in maya viewport than i will not have any dilemma..
anybody has experience whit them in Maya and can confirm or give some input on the subject?

high end cards like quadro 6000 our not relevant because they are way to expensive


01 January 2013, 01:01 PM
Hey man,

Could you provide us with a more exact budget?


01 January 2013, 01:36 PM
the graphic card is part of a new workstation i'm getting at work.
they prefer to buy a complete workstation from a known supplier like dell, Hp etc..
so i would say the whole rig should cost somewhere between 4000-5000$. and the card itself between 500-1300$

for now, it looks that from the professional the v5900 - (now upgraded by the w5000) is the way to go. not so expensive and good result in maya (from the article that i have posted).


01 January 2013, 01:59 PM

how can you explains such different results??
how can someone decide when even professional test make you confused :),3265-8.html

02 February 2013, 10:21 AM

02 February 2013, 09:51 PM
If you want to use mudbox the choice has been more or less made for you.
Mudbox still has a mix of issues and limitations in AMD cards compared to nVIDIA.

Some features work off the 32bit precision instructions (ambocc), so they are nVIDIA only, and on top of that it's still possible to make any given AMD card freak out with certain lighting/shading combinations.

After effects uses Optix (nVIDIA's engine) to render text, and AFAIK quite a few accelerated filters are also nVIDIA only.
Some staple plugins also work off CUDA and have no OpenCL equivalent for AMD cards to do the same. So again, nVIDIA wins it for features supported, which comes before one even bothers with performance.

Maya is generally fine with either brand.

While reviews might be confusing, if you had looked for compatibility and feature matrices on the internet for the applications you plan to use you would have found out all of the above.

02 February 2013, 10:14 PM
Hi Jaco
I greatly appreciate you help.
happy to read such a straight and unequivocal answer from you. it takes out much of the confusion.
actually I did look for compatibility and feature matrices for the applications I'm using
such as in here : .
ATI cards were so superior in maya and mudbox that i almost purchased one..
than while start reading more and more i got really confused..
to make it clear this is approx how i will use those applications:
maya- 70%
mudbox- 20 %
AE- 10%

still thinking that nvidia is the way to go?
say yes and i will try to end this dilemma :)


02 February 2013, 10:34 PM
I am admittedly not a huge fan of ATI/AMD videocards.
I do try them once in a while, and while they are getting better quickly (and I suspect might gain the upper hand in Linux soon enough if nVIDIA keeps pissing the OSS community off as they have recently done), I still find them a bit below par.

That said, I use Linux a fair bit, and I haven't given AMD as fair a chance as I did nVIDIA, so you should take my opinion with a pinch of salt.
I'm not a hardware loyalist either though.

At present time, I'm still buying and recommending nVIDIA because I find peace of mind, platform support and feature support to be more important than pure performance (which AMD does win on on many fronts bang for buck). It depends on what your priorities are.

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