I'm building a machine for several 2D/3D programs, but 3DS Max is my current bottleneck, so I want to tailor my hardware to it.
Here are my top priorities, in order of importance:
1. Viewport performance with thousands of objects. I would regularly be working with scenes that have ~10 million polygons, as well. (I use instances where I can, but lots of unique stuff in them). I want to minimize viewport lag and the need for bounding box substitution. I also want to conquer the distracting "flickering" (flipping back and forth between wireframe and realistic mode).
2. Quick preview renders. I don't care as much about final render speed, as that's something I can get up and walk away from. I spend 95+% of my time in the viewport building scenes. What I really want is fast preview renders, nitrous, IRay, etc...
Things I care about somewhat:
1. Final render speed, should I go the GPU rendering route. I currently use Mental Ray but am thinking of switching to Vray soon.
2. Power consumption
3. Bang for the buck. (Performance is important and I'm willing to spend 1K on a graphics card, perhaps a little more. But if I'm only getting a barely noticeable performance bump for twice the price, then I'll go with the cheaper option.)
4. Photoshop performance/compatibility. This is one of the reasons I wish to stick with Nvidia (I use the Nvidia GPU accelerated features frequently as a heavy duty PS user.)
Things I don't care about at all:
1. Animation rendering/performance
2. Fluid dynamics, particles, etc...
Things I'm not sure whether or not I should be caring about:
1. Error checking (apparently Quadros are better than this).
2. Heat (does this slow down performance?)
3. "Accuracy" - this is a term I've seen thrown around among heavy Autocad users in reference to Quadro superiority, though with what appears to be differing definitions. I'm 95% sure this isn't a priority to me, as I'm dealing with concept art/matte painting and not precision-based software.
1. If I opt to not collapse most of my modifiers, what part of the graphics card handles them? I had assumed that extra processing (CUDA) would play a bigger part of this is the case.
2. Am I correct in assuming that I don't need much memory on the graphics card for viewport performance? I read somewhere that the viewport doesn't consume much, maybe edging on 2GB, so 8GB would be WAY overkill.
3. Is there a hypothetical situation where a large scene could be opened by the Quadro but not by a GTX?
Information about my current build (subject to reluctant change, as I already have these parts):
Processor: Single quad core, i7 4.0GHz). I read that viewport performance favors less cores with more power per core. 32 GB of RAM. Motherboard Hard drive
Not sure if other info is relevent. Oh, and I'm using Max 2014 but may upgrade to 2015.
Nvidia Quadro k4200, GTX 980/970, or something else...?
So I was going to buy the Nvidia Quadro K4200, because I was told that its drivers supported better viewport performance. However, I saw many users on various forums say that they were not impressed by the viewport performance bump it provided, and that it was negligible. They were in the "GTX-has-much-better-specs-for-the-price" camp. "Team GTX"
I've then seen people with the viewpoint that specs don't matter at all, and that it's "all in the drivers." ("Team Quadro") They proclaim that Quadro's superior drivers make a dramatic difference in Max workflow, and is totally worth the hefty price. They also say that there are important hardware differences as well, that it's not just optimized Quadro/throttled GTX drivers.
"Team GTX" then counters that this USED to be true, but that Quadro and GTX have converged in recent years. They give anecdotes on how well their
Many of the benchmarks and discussions online are either outdated (Quadro NON-Kepler series compared, for instance), or they just compare just gaming cards/workstation cards without crossover. I've used head-to-head benchmark sites which show the GTX 980 being superior by a wide margin. But again, the benchmarks seem to be targeted at gamers.
Further complicating things are the GTX 970/980 vs. the Titan. It seems that there is little advantage offered by the Titan to justify the price for me.
I'm new to this sphere, so I don't have much trial-and-error to draw upon, so any guidance would be greatly appreciated. I hope I brought enough specifics to the table that this won't be seen as a generic contribution to the debate.