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To Quadro or not to Quadro.. graphics card dilema!

Posted: July 13, 2010
I'm trying to build the best computer I can with the budget I've got (about 800). The trouble at the moment seems to be deciding on a suitable graphics card. I was going to choose the nVida Quadro FX3800, but at 730 I would need to delay buying it (that's how much the rest of the computer costs!).

It has been suggested to me that instead I use the nVida GTX 470 (or 480). Its half the price of the Quadro, but as a gaming card I'm worried about how it may perform with rendering etc (I don't game on PCs).

My main priority is getting a good performance from Cinema 4D, Maya and After Effects. At the moment I've got a Macbook Pro with a RadeonX1600... which to put it politely is terrible. Some of my work is for professional purposes, but I'm still learning so a lot of it is still my own projects. What I'm asking is if you think its worth holding off a little while and buying the expensive one or buying the GTX 470?

Of course, if you have any other cards that come to mind I'd be happy to hear about them.

Just to give you an idea of the other stuff that will go with it:


Corsair 650TX

Intel i7 930

Crucial 4GB

Samsung HD103SJ 1TB

Samsung SH-S223L
Posted: July 14, 2010
3d artist gallery Andyba
What type of work are you going to create, Rendering, Animation, 3d Modeling?

For rendering you need a good CPU and lots of RAM, I would add more than 4gb if I were you. GPU will not affect your rendering unless you are using some special software for this.

For the rest of 3d work GTX 470 is quite good, unless you are working on AVATAR 2 and have an enormous amount of high detailed 3d objects with huge textures to manipulate and navigate around. For this you will need a professional 3d graphics card that has more memory.
Posted: July 14, 2010
Thank you for your response. I'm trying to develop my 3D skills, particularly in modelling and animating characters. I'm most skilled with Maya, but also use Cinema 4D (because Maya won't work on my mac anymore!)

My trouble at the moment is that my computer is so slow at rendering that I never get to see most of the stuff I make properly. I sometimes use 3D snip bits in my drawn animations (see below), but I can't do it that often because it takes about 2 days to get about 20 - 30 secs of really basic model animation.

The work that matters (paid work) will be generated from what I'm already good at - drawn animation.. usually treated in photoshop, after effects and composited/ rendered out at about 1920 x 1080. Whatever system I get, it needs to at least be good at rendering to this extent.

I've had a think about the system stuff you've said. I'll probably downgrade the motherboard a bit, get the i7 930 CPU and maybe 12GB of ddr3 ram.. maybe that would be better?

Somebody also suggested the gtx 630 - would that do what I want it to?
Posted: July 14, 2010
3d artist gallery Andyba
Yes 12 GB of RAM will be better, but everything should be 64 bit, the OS and the 3d Programs for the RAM to be used effectively. Also make sure that the 12 GB of RAM will work flawlessly on your motherboard before you buy. I had problems configuring my BIOS for my 8 GB to work.

Also a lot of RAM might not help if your animations are simple but you have a lot of frames to render. The RAM is useful when you have complex scenes that are rendered with enabled Raytracing and Global illumination. There are GI settings in most renderers that can be set to use more RAM and render the GI faster.

If you render animations a lot I would recommend you to learn about network rendering and Render Farms. You could use several cheaper quad core processors on cheap motherboards with on-board graphics all connected via network to your main workstation to aid you in rendering.
That will really help, or use paid on-line render farms.

Regarding the GTX 630. I may be wrong, but from what I know, and it has been so for a long time, Graphic Cards like the Quadro or GTX have nothing to do with the final rendering in the current industry standard 3d software. The rendering is done by the CPU, the real time 3d, ie the navigation in the viewports, is processed by the Graphics Card. So if you find it difficult to manipulate the 3d models in real time and to navigate huge scenes you need a stronger GPU - Graphics Processing Unit, if you need faster rendering you need the most powerful CPU or multiple CPUs to do the work for you.

There is one exception to what I wrote above - that's if you use a CUDA enabled Renderer that actually uses the GPU to render. But in this case both GTX 470 and Quadro support CUDA so you will benefit from both.
Now I didn't ever used any such renderers so I can't tell you anything about them or about their render quality. I can only tell you that the standard Maya renderer, Mental Ray, Vray, Renderman and standard 3ds Max renderers do NOT use the Graphics Card for rendering they use only the CPU, so the more cores you have and the stronger each core is the faster they will render.

BTW, why MAYA is not working on your Mac anymore? What CPU do you have on you Macbook pro?
Posted: July 22, 2010
There is this nice topic about GPU vs CPU for rendering, it has valuable info so I suggest reading it.
Posted: September 07, 2011
NO QUADRO !!! I had 3 different ones in the past and it's just wate of money plus in my experience they less reliable than geforce. Two of mine died !
Posted: October 25, 2011
i have only Dualcore with 2*2,1 Ghz and 3 gb ram.
thats enough,hehehhe
have fun