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Graphics Cards/Quadro FX 380 and LP (First complete build)


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#1 imassutse

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 04:47 PM

I am trying to build a entry to mid range PC for doing some basic graphic design with a little 3D rendering. I don't need a beast, but I am looking for a decent graphics card in the 100-150 dollar price range. I have been searching and noticed that the Nvidia Quadro and ATI FireGL are the recommended for this application. The only graphics card I can find in this price range is the FX 380 or the FX 380 LP. The LP is the low profile model and it has a DVI-I and Displayport. The FX 380 has 2 DVI-I.

Here are the other specs

GPU CORE clock Mem clock Mem size Mem type Mem bandwidth
FX 380 450 700 256 128-bit GDDR3 22.4


GPU CORE clock Mem clock Mem size Mem type Mem bandwidth
FX 380 LP 550 800 512 64bit DDR3 12.8

Which one of these would I get the best performance from? I would say the LP, but I noticed the bandwidth is a lot lower. Also it has 64-bit DDR3 and the other has 128-bit GDDR3. I have read that GDDR3 is NOT the same as DDR3 and is closer to DDR2. Is this true?

Would I get better performance for what I am trying to do with a entry level Quadro FX card or a little more higher end GeForce card. How about if I were to use SLI? Which would be a better fit? Can the Quadro series do SLI also?

imassutse

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#2 DJBPace07

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 12:23 AM

Exactly which programs are you going to be using with these graphics cards? Most of the Quadro cards are GeForce cards that have a different BIOS installed. They are very good when it comes to high-end modeling, such as with CAD, but there are instances where a standard GeForce will suffice. GDDR3 is different from standard DDR in some ways, but it has DDR2 at the core. GDDR5 is the newest and is found on newer graphics cards. SLI should be used if you are using performance cards and if the graphics programs you use take advantage of the graphics card along with multi-GPU support. SLI is really best in games or with rendering schemes that can use multi-GPU processing.

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#3 imassutse

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 11:24 AM

I will be using programs like Poser, Bryce, and 3D Studio Max for 3D rendering and of course Photoshop and Fireworks for vector and bitmap stuff. Not too much AutoCAD on this PC. I use enough of that at work.

#4 DJBPace07

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 02:24 AM

I'm not very familiar with the Quadro or FireGL line, but I will help where I can with this. The Quadro will allow you to work with more than three layers of GPU accelerated video, GeForce handles only three, before switching over to software rendering. Consumer cards will handle rendering to keep framerates high, whereas the workstation cards will render to ignore framerate issues favoring mathematical precision. Almost all of the Quadro cards are identical to the GeForce cards, but their firmware and driver package are designed in such a way as to enable features needed almost exclusively by CAD. Most 2D programs do not use the majority of GPU power given to them as they aren't hardware intensive. GeForce and Radeon cards are often better at DirectX since their firmware and drivers are optimized for it. The workstation cards are best used in engineering applications. Both cards can do the exact same things and are supported by those software programs, they just do them differently. I suggest getting a recent card from a recent GPU line, such as the Radeon 5 or the GeForce 200. These newer cards support the OpenGL 3.2 and DirectX 10 or 11. Price may be the deciding factor, a top-of-the-line consumer card may cost less than a mid-range Quadro or FireGL card and do the same things at, depending on application, the same speed as a workstation card. Going back to your original post, those two Quadro cards are very slow and nearly identical to some GeForce 9-series cards. Neither card will so SLI but the higher-end Quadro's will. Currently, in the workstation arena, the Quadro FX 5800 is one of the best. In the consumer market, the Radeon 5970 and 5870 are dominant.

Edited by DJBPace07, 21 March 2010 - 02:26 AM.

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