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Thread: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

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    Question Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    I have been rendering for years with Vray for Rhino, from my laptop. My school, RPI, used to allow us VPN access for distributed rendering, but the adminstration does not maintain the system, so the only way to render is without textures (why render at all?). I have recently started rendering with Mental Ray on 3ds max, which will continue to work for several years outside of college because of the 3 year key.

    In my thinking, I want to build my own render station. I have a budget of $2000. I have added a picture of my newegg cart, with options for gpu. Please let me know what you think!

    Capture.PNG

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    Veteran Member dtolios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    3DS has no real affection for workstation cards. The Radeon will work just fine.
    Forgive my rants - I can be laconic in Greek if you prefer.
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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    Better not the X model. These cards have an incredibly long list of problems with their Vram oc'ing and driver issues. THe R9 280 should be sufficient and more reliable. Could you mention the other parts that you are planning to buy?

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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    I believe the photo I posted had everything I need. I don't understand why people buy workstation GPU if the gaming ones are more powerful, on paper. I realize there's a difference for drivers, and updating drivers makes a HUGE difference, but still... why?

    I like to do animations and this will be separate from my T530 laptop, which has a workstation GPU K5400 NVS? I like ATI better, since it's cheaper. i don't think it matters much, correct?

    Does anyone also know if student licenses through Autodesk work on multiple machines?

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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    I suppose I missed the power supply after checking image again, supposedly my list is public, but I can't find the link anywhere.

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    Veteran Member dtolios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    Haven't heard any memory issues with the R9 280X (or other radeons tbh) - at least not in hardware levels.
    The R9 280X is an updated 7970 GHz GPU, pretty much proven design over the last 3-4 years.

    Workstation cards are pushed by computer companies simply because they can mark them up for a greater profit.
    They do have their application in for of optimized drivers, slower / more stable timings & often more Ram or ECC Ram (usually only for the top of the line models, past the $1-1,500 mark).

    Some software engines love WS cards, others - like most Autodesk products - don't really care.
    Usually OpenGL applications favor them, but D3D applications - like most Autodesk products - run fine on gaming cards with "generic" factory drivers, and since you can get gaming cards with the same if not more raw performance for much less money, it is hard to justify a workstation card unless you get some significant perks to outweigh the extra cost.

    Solidworks, Catia, Siemens NX, ProE etc, all put them to good use. Maya does ok with gaming cards since Viewport 2.0, Rhino is probably more CPU limited to benefit from uber-fast GPUs, same for Sketchup.
    3DS, Revit, AutoCAD etc are all D3D, and quite often Quadro/FirePro drivers might even introduce issues, and manufacturers often don't even bother to pay Autodesk to add them in the hardware compatibility list.
    Forgive my rants - I can be laconic in Greek if you prefer.
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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by dtolios View Post
    Haven't heard any memory issues with the R9 280X (or other radeons tbh) - at least not in hardware levels.
    The R9 280X is an updated 7970 GHz GPU, pretty much proven design over the last 3-4 years.
    Back in Greece, Dimitri, the problems with 280X cards are a very well known issue, especially with some editions from Asus, XFX and others. Greek tech forums are load up with complaints and reports about RMA requests. Fact is that these "X" editions are factory (highly) overclocked versions that have reached the hardware limits of this card, especially in the VRAM field. That leads to artifacts in many cases. I though I should mention this, since I've whitnessed many forum threads about faulty 280X's up to now.

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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    Do you know if this one still has the issues?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...2E16814121840R

    What programs use GPU acceleration for rendering? I think Mental Ray does, since it is such an awesome renderer.

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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    Quote Originally Posted by matthewhickey View Post
    I don't understand why people buy workstation GPU if the gaming ones are more powerful, on paper.
    It is mostly because of marketing. If the decision maker is uninformed, it is just easier for them to stipulate "Autodesk Certified" hardware.

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/autodesk-design-suite.html

    There is a long legacy of users hacking the gaming cards to accept the professional drivers, proving that there is little difference in the hardware.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nvi...000,21656.html

    Since it is considered a professional application used to make money, they charge differently for it. It is not much different than Dell/HP/Lenovo etc charging a premium for "workstations" that have the same or in some cases under-performing components compared the their "gaming" offerings.
    Ben Steinert
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    Default Re: Desktop Workstation Build - Workstation GPU or Gaming?

    For some reason these posts don't appear under my profile for cgarchitect.

    Thanks for the help, I assumed Benjamin was right, but I kept wondering why do they pitch the difference, I've heard the driver argument, but I never knew they could force the quadro/firegl drivers onto a "gaming" card.

    Considering that most gaming cards are more poewrful on paper and in the real world I figured I go with those.

    I got an offer from a student at my school for his machine, but I feel it isn't worth it, or is it? Let me know what you think, I feel the computer might be worth the price he wants to sell it for, although I wouldn't buy it for that. But is it a start for a greater machine?

    I've also heard rumors about the R9 390X coming out soon, I believe they'll drop the prices on the current generation, so that might make more sense to me, to wait, that is...

    Here is the machine I am being offered:

    Hey!
    These are the desktop specs:
    Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4GHz
    Graphics Card: XFX Radeon HD 5770
    RAM: 8GB OCZ DDR3 at 800 MHz
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black Edition WD6402AAEX 640GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

    I am asking for $400 for the complete desktop with the case and power supply. I think this is a fair price considering I could sell the parts individually and easily get $500 out of it all. Let me know if you have any questions or offers. Thanks

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