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Old 28-08-14, 05:23 AM
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rzthrun rzthrun is offline
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Professional vs Gaming Graphics Cards

Okay -
so is it worth it get a Professional GC as compared to a Gaming card of equal power for less $£€¥ ??

My story - at the tail end of 2012 I dropped about 550 +/- USD on a Radeaon FirePro v5900.* It's a 2GB and the benchmarks were acceptable. The primary purpose of the card would be for 3D and 2D authoring using programs like Maya, Photoshop and a litany of others. For these purposes the card has been fine, except occasionally running up against the 2GB memory limit.

I was under the impression that because I had a work purpose as the primary usage, a professional card (being debugged, stable, and consistent) was worth. I choose Radeon for budget reasons. The entry level professional Nvidia gc was over twice the price of the Radeon at the time.
Though Nvidia did offer many gaming cards at the same price point as the v5900.

But is my concern for a debugged card misplaced? Is there that much difference between a professional GC and a gaming GC ? What are the experiences out there? Recommendations / advice?

*Should have spent the extra 200$ or so on the v7900, as the v5900 and Ubuntu do not get along. I primary use Windows for authoring - and haven't had any issues. But I occasionally use Linux and only the Kubuntu flavor of Linux can deal with the v5900. Apparently, starting with v7900, AMD provides more solid support for Ubuntu. This was as of Ubuntu 12.x - haven't tried with latest version. If you're not planning on using Linux ever, then disregard above.

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Old 28-08-14, 05:44 AM
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should have posted elsewhere

"Graphics Cards" would have been a better category then "Graphics - Other" - well - i'm newbie for a reason
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Old 28-08-14, 05:45 AM
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Well these days a lot of the gaming cards are indeed the same cores as the professional ones. They just have much different drivers and usually they change around the amount of memory. If all you do is professional apps and its for a company then its worth it if the money isn't an issue. But if your at home doing it for small jobs and money is more of an issue then its probably worth going for AMD or Nvidia and choosing the features you use to decide which card to get. If you use OpenCL then AMD will dominate over Nvidia but if you use Cuda then Nvidia is the only option(OpenCL tends to be better though). Also OpenGL tends to perform better on Nvidia last i checked too.

In the end it all comes down to needs/budget/wants.
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Old 28-08-14, 06:24 AM
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rzthrun rzthrun is offline
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Hey NBD - thanks for the advice.
I'm kinda somewhere in the middle. I'm the proprietor of a small business - which I am heavily invested in - both time, money and heart. In other words - money is an issue. I haven't needed to work directly with the graphics languages much - and have only spent a bit of time with OpenGL.

At some point in the not-too-distant future, I'm looking to build up another drendering/authoring rig, and just assumed I's need a pro card. But wondered if i did.

I guess what I want is the most for my money. I guess having a debugged card provides some peace of mind, which is valuable - but raw horsepower is too.
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Old 28-08-14, 07:34 AM
NeverBackDown NeverBackDown is online now
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Well pro cards are extremely expensive. Cost upwards of 1k. The pros though are the drivers,drivers, and drivers. The drivers are optimized more so for 3d heavy duty tasks using more specific languages, like the ones i mentioned earlier, than the gaming cards counterparts. Also with the added stability its more of a consistent card that will keep working reliably and earn you money. Gaming cards afaik can not get the professional cards drivers but cost more than half less than the other counterparts.
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Old 28-08-14, 09:00 AM
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yes, that was my reasoning for going with FirePro (RE: 3d heavy tasks) - seemed like a sweet spot, and the most I could put into it with destroying the rest of the budget. Wish I had gotten the v7900 tho, in retrospect it would have been worth it. There's a lot of criticism of AMD, especially of the CPU's - a brand image problem which I think about sometimes.

I'd say the stability/predictability is more important to me at the end of the day.

I am curious why Nvidia Professional Quadros are so much more pricey then the FirePro. -- maybe my info is bad. I haven't seriously looked into building a system in over a year. I would buy FirePro again, but would look elsewhere too.

Does Nvidia have such a lock on the Game Developer market that they can simply charge huge amounts for the pro cards? XBox uses Nvidia if I'm not mistaken - come to think of it, I ran PhysX on the V5900 and it had noticeable frame-rate drop. hmm. There is a huge difference between a 2GB Radeons and 2GB Nvidia pro cards.

I can't imagine the entire price difference is driven by cost of manufactury - what I gather is there is more demand for the pro Nvidia cards.
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Old 28-08-14, 09:02 AM
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barnsley barnsley is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rzthrun View Post
? XBox uses Nvidia if I'm not mistaken - come to think of it, I ran PhysX on the V5900 and it had noticeable frame-rate drop. hmm. There is a huge difference between a 2GB Radeons and 2GB Nvidia pro cards.

I can't imagine the entire price difference is driven by cost of manufactury - what I gather is there is more demand for the pro Nvidia cards.
The Xbox one is AMD powered. Nvidia charge more because they can.
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Old 28-08-14, 09:19 AM
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yes - see that now -thanks
- PS4 also using AMD - jump to conclusions because Nvidia stating that PhysX would be supported on Xbox One.

makes me feel better about my firepro
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Old 28-08-14, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by rzthrun View Post
yes - see that now -thanks
- PS4 also using AMD - jump to conclusions because Nvidia stating that PhysX would be supported on Xbox One.

makes me feel better about my firepro
physX on the Xbox one is done by the cpu, not the gpu. A few game engines do that as well.
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Old 28-08-14, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
physX on the Xbox one is done by the cpu, not the gpu. A few game engines do that as well.
Oh, then framerate drop I experienced when running physX on i7-3930k & v5900 build was due to the 3930.

I'd be very curious to know what game engined utilize the built in cpu graphics core over gpu. Actually - this a subject I am very interested in. I've used PVRC and ETC1 texture encoding to bypass decompression on mobile CPU's and go straight to the GPU, but that is the extent of my experience.

All my scripting is still executed on the CPU (I'm correct in saying that utilizing OpenGL would put those logic threads onto the GPU?). I'm not writing my own engine anytime soon, but drool over Unreal, Crysis and Unity daily.
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