Which gfx card would be better?

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  04 April 2013
Post Which gfx card would be better?

Hey guys, so I sold my laptop for a desktop pc so I can do bigger projects using 3D software. Great prices, looking into a fantastic pc. The 2 I am looking at getting have a quad core i5 (because that's the most I can afford) and 8GB ram expandable to 16, roughly 3.1-3.4 ghz. I am aware that the i7 is better for commercial stuff but I can't afford that. Both PC's I am looking at have a few differences such as the expandable RAM etc. So here is my question, one is an AMD7770 HD 1GB and the other is a GTX 650 1GB (Ti I believe?). Now as far as my research goes, 7770 is marginally better than the GTX 650 when it comes to running high end games with a lot of frames per second such as Battlefield 3, Crysis etc. Now in terms of ANIMATION which is the main reason I am buying the desktop, which card serves better for 3D softwares such as Autodesk, Cinema 4D and Blender (including Zbrush etc.)? Hope to hear from you all soon, thanks in advance.
 
  04 April 2013
this should probably go in the technical&hardware forum, we're at the bottom of the forum list.

anyway, your best bet is to take a look at each of those software product forums and check their requirements.. they're all different. Zbrush has little performance impact based on the graphics card while those others have wildly different benchmarks from both AMD and nVidia camps. Most often you'll see people regard AMD as superior due to its' cost/value proposition.. but they're strictly OpenGL/CL while nVidia also includes CUDA capabilties.

In short, figure out what you can spend... then make your decision. I personally don't think you can go wrong either way (AMD or nVidia), but my tendency is bent towards nVidia just due to their driver maintenance schedule and just general industry leading factors. but that's a personal bias.. everyone's got one.
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  04 April 2013
I'd also go wih Nvidia because of maintenance. I heard not once people regretted about choosing AMD for 3d. The time you've learned animation, those cards will outdate 5 times, so I wouldn't worry about pperformance. Both are fast, but maybe I'd pick with more vram.
 
  04 April 2013
Nvidia every time. Their drivers are more developed and, traditionally, they work better with companies to make sure they are.
 
  04 April 2013
I'd say go for the ATI

The nVida cards have been handicapped since like the 400 series or even earlier in terms of gpu performance. While its true that they do have more stable drivers, nVidia has crippled the CUDA cores in their GTX gpu's in order to get more professionals to get their Quadro series of cards. While they will work just as well as ATI cards in games, the new GTX cards have incredibly bad openCL performance, which is what you want for most 3d packages. Newer technologies have began to be developed that work with openGL, Mayas Viewport 2.0 for example, but in my opinion they aren't fully ready yet, but they will take advantage of your geforce gpu. Maya's regular viewport won't be able to use almost any of your GPU's power because of its bad openCL performance.

Take a look at these compute results from Anandtech, you can see how the GTX 680, basically more powerful version of your card is not nearly as good as the ATI cards in the benchmarks. This will reflect not in games, but in the performance of most 3d apps.

Its all to do with architecture. AMD has improved their compute performance greatly this generation while nVidia has crippled theirs on the Gaming cards in the hopes that people will buy the professional cards for much more money. And while yes, nVidia cards are more stable and have better support, they are going to be crap for 3d unless you buy a much more expensive quadro model. The GTX 580 is a good card for games, but not for 3d.
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by gtm1260: The nVida cards have been handicapped since like the 400 series or even earlier in terms of gpu performance. While its true that they do have more stable drivers, nVidia has crippled the CUDA cores in their GTX gpu's in order to get more professionals to get their Quadro series of cards. While they will work just as well as ATI cards in games, the new GTX cards have incredibly bad openCL performance, which is what you want for most 3d packages. Newer technologies have began to be developed that work with openGL, Mayas Viewport 2.0 for example, but in my opinion they aren't fully ready yet, but they will take advantage of your geforce gpu. Maya's regular viewport won't be able to use almost any of your GPU's power because of its bad openCL performance.

I don't know how you came to those conclusions, but they are miles away from the facts.
OCL, in first place, has hardly any adoption in our industry whatsoever, a fractional slice of CUDA, and Maya 2014 for windows has picked up the originally max' DX ubershader for the most recent high quality shading, so OGL/OCL are irrelevant.
GPU caching is also a different picture than you paint, radically.

In short: OCL performance matters nothing, at all.


Quote: The GTX 580 is a good card for games, but not for 3d.

The 580 is actually an excellent card in regards to what you outline above, it's the 680 that has had double precision ops crippled, not that it makes much difference in Maya. The Titan has none of the crippling for the record, it's not an architectural issue as you suggest, just a matter of drivers (and in fact the 680 can be resistor hacked to a k5000 quadro).

Lastly, this thread should be in technical and hardware, and a search in that forum would have answered the OP's question several times over, as it's been abundantly discussed.

Originally Posted by Dmorcos: Now in terms of ANIMATION which is the main reason I am buying the desktop, which card serves better for 3D softwares such as Autodesk, Cinema 4D and Blender (including Zbrush etc.)? Hope to hear from you all soon, thanks in advance.

In terms of animation, no card, as the bottleneck is never drawing/shading the model, the bottleneck is almost always CPU dependent.
ZBrush doesn't use the videocard for anything significant other than drawing the final pass of the UI, it's an entirely CPU centric app.
C4D is one of the few apps out there that's always been fine with AMD/ATI cards, Autodesk products are, statistically speaking, usually more reliable on nVIDIA. For more details, use the search function
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  04 April 2013
I bought a game/render slave PC and got an AMD 7950 and was expecting problems with Maya 2013/2014 and other apps but it's fine. I think AMD's reputation in the past is probably bad but it may be getting better.
 
  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: I don't know how you came to those conclusions, but they are miles away from the facts.
OCL, in first place, has hardly any adoption in our industry whatsoever, a fractional slice of CUDA, and Maya 2014 for windows has picked up the originally max' DX ubershader for the most recent high quality shading, so OGL/OCL are irrelevant.
GPU caching is also a different picture than you paint, radically.

In short: OCL performance matters nothing, at all.


Yes but the poor openCL performance is indicative of the compute limitations that you are going to run into with the 600 series. CUDA on the 600 series have been crippled beyond just double precision performance. Its a well known fact that nVidia cripples their consumer cards to up sell their professional ones. AMD doesn't do this, so to me the they are the obvious choice.

Originally Posted by THE_JacO: The 580 is actually an excellent card in regards to what you outline above, it's the 680 that has had double precision ops crippled, not that it makes much difference in Maya. The Titan has none of the crippling for the record, it's not an architectural issue as you suggest, just a matter of drivers (and in fact the 680 can be resistor hacked to a k5000 quadro).


What I meant by an architectural issue is that there is a hardware difference between the 680 and the K5000.

While animation is almost always slowed down by the cpu, and there are some 3d packages that don't use the gpu at all, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't put a card in your computer at all. Why not have something where you can handle more intensive models and shaders rather than limit the computer to only being used for animation?
 
  04 April 2013
I'd have a hard time recommending a radeon card over a geforce one for anyone doing 3D work. Whilst they certainly have the horsepower to do the job, the drivers will always leave you wishing you had gone with the other card.

Even if the GF is slightly slower, I would pick it for the stability
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  04 April 2013
Originally Posted by gtm1260: What I meant by an architectural issue is that there is a hardware difference between the 680 and the K5000.

No, there isn't.
If you look in this forum I posted a link to a resistor hack of a 680 into a k5000 (literally replacing/switching the ID array of resistors, about 30c worth of components) that made the 680 ID as a k5000 for the drivers, and test/bench ABOVE the k5000.

The OpenCL thing being representative of something else remains rubbish, sorry. I don't mean it in a confrontational way, I get what you're saying, but you might have picked the wrong example, because it's simply not the case, especially when OCL is something nVIDIA cares little for, while AMD is trying to push and tweaks drivers to bench well in.

If you look at more objective tests, or at cards without the DP lock (Titan), they absolutely smoke anything else in some important number crunching tests such as multiple FFTs and so on.

OCL, at this point in time, is indicative of absolutely nothing other than whether the card comes from AMD or nVIDIA in our industry. When OCL will have more than marginal adoption, nVIDIA might bother doing something about it and show their true mettle for good or bad, but right now they just don't care, not when CUDA is more mature and popular and they own it.

For the record, AMD also cripple their card at an ID array/firmware level to introduce distinctions between the pro and radeon lines, most of which resolve to locked out settings in the drivers, really.

I have no bias towards either vendor, in fact I'm not all too happy about nVIDIA's behaviour in many regards these last two years, and I hope AMD unplugs their head out of their arse, but it's not quite that time yet in many regards, and Radeons are better than they were, but you are still tossing a coin.

Some people get lucky (softwares used/os/driver version/driver settings combo) and think they rock and that's the same experience for everyone; quite a few others don't, and with AMD's highly erratic driver cycles (inherited from ATI, and not much bettered compared to a horrendous past track record) they are left without features or glitched out of applications for months, and finally decide to change brand and then perpetuate ATI's reputaiton for being unreliable.

If you feel like tossing a coin, or have a friend who's been lucky and uses the exact same software combination you plan to, Radeons are amazing bang for buck.
If you don't feel like tossing a coin or living in fear of every driver update, they are not.
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  04 April 2013
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