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New video card.


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#1
aquevedo831

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I am looking for a new video card. I want to be able to play hd content on it. I don't play games but i will be using engineering software like autocad on it so i would like for it to be able to have at least 2560x1600 resolution and i am running to 24" monitors that support that resolution. My motherboard has 4 pci express slots. So i can run 3 way sli and have a dedicated physics processing card. What do ya'll recommend I do. Money is not too big of an issue.
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#2
nofun

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Despite the high resolutions you want to run at, you will not need a super high end graphics card just to run AutoCAD and the like. 3X SLI is way overkill.

That being said, since money is not an issue, nVidia makes a line of professional workstation graphics cards call Quadro. While nVidia Quadro's are comparable to the GeForce series (which are designed solely for gaming), they are more expensive because they are more solidly built and designed specifically for workstation graphics (such as CAD and 3D modeling). For example while a GeForce GTX 280 is comparable to a Quadro FX 4800, the GeForce costs $260-$300 while the Quadro FX costs $1300-$1500.

Tom's Hardware does a very nice comparison of those two units:
http://www.tomshardw...00,2258-10.html


At any rate, if money isn't an issue, then for workstation graphics you want an nVidia Quadro FX. They are specifically designed for exactly what you need. A mid-range card should be PLENTY for what you want, but it all comes down to how much you want to spend. If you can spend the extra money, then go for a better card! Here's the nVidia Quadro homepage with a listing of their different cards:
http://www.nvidia.co...ofx_family.html

Once you know the specific card you want, just go to Google and type "Buy nVidia Quadro FX ####" (insert the specific model number in place of ####). Google does a great job of searching online retailers for you, and will bring up shopping results.

Just as an idea:

Mid-Range: nVidia Quadro FX 1700 = $300-$700
High-End: nVidia Quadro FX 3700 = $600-$1000
Super-High-End: nVidia Quadro FX 5800 = $3000 - $4000

For example, on my laptop I have a Quadro NVS 140 (costed about $250 for the laptop variety, and it runs AutoCAD great at 1200 x 800). An FX 1700 will blow my NVS 140 out of the water.

Edited by nofun, 16 May 2009 - 11:45 AM.

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#3
aquevedo831

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I have decided to buy a high end card like you said. The quadro fx 3800. However, my motherboard is the following:

EVGA X58 SLI Classified Motherboard - LGA 1366, Intel X58, SATA, SLI Ready, CrossFireX Ready, Triple Channel DDR3, RAID, Hyperthreading


What do you recommend I add to it besides the video card. I already have the core i7 processor and ram. What should i use the other 3 pci express slots for?

Will I be able to play 1080p hd movies through the workstation graphics card?

Edited by aquevedo831, 16 May 2009 - 01:36 PM.

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#4
Ferrari

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What do you recommend I add to it besides the video card.

What about a nice sound card to go with those HD movies?

Sound card: ASUS Xonar HDAV
Cheaper: ASUS Xonar DX
Make Your Computer Wireless: Wireless Adapters I would recommend a pci card, not usb.

And their are all kinds of internal add-on cards to provide more usb ports, sata, firewire, etc. Add-Ons Link

Doing a RAID Configuration may be something to consider, but I don't know much about that yet, maybe nofun can elaborate on that.

Also, there are all kinds of other "extras" you can do. Lights, Heatsinks, Extra Cooling(fans), Bay Devices i.e. Fan Controllers, Media Bays, Blu-Ray Burners, etc.

Hope that helps,
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#5
aquevedo831

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The motherboard already has 7.1 surround sound. Here is a link to the motherboard. Tell me what you think. http://www.tigerdire...p;sku=E145-2058
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#6
Ferrari

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Looks like an extremely nice board. The sound cards I gave links to would be better than what any mobo has to offer, but if you aren't an audiophile or won't have everything hooked up to a nice home theater system, then you don't need a dedicated sound card. Do you need a motherboard with that many PCI Express x16 Slots and all the extras?

Compare your board to this one: Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P It has 2 less SATA Ports, only 1 Ethernet port, 4 less USB ports. HOWEVER, more importantly it has the same: north and south bridge, RAID Capable, offers 2way/3way SLI, same amount and speed of memory (24GB), and many other similarities for only $260. Keep in mind, I'm unaware if you need 2 more SATA ports, 2 Ethernet ports, tons of USB ports. Just a thought.

Thanks,
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#7
aquevedo831

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I don't really need those extras but I really like the evga board :) haha.

Should i get the evga board or get the gigabyte board and a dedicated sound card. I have an onkyo 7.1 surround sound system. I am not only an audiophile. I am an everythingphile haha. I only like having the best
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#8
aquevedo831

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Also I do not know about the dedicated sound card. I usually stream my media to my ps3 and transcode on the fly and my ps3 is then connected to my hd receiver via hmdi which then plays my sound. I don't really listen or watch movies directly on my computer except on a few rare occasions.
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#9
Ferrari

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I don't really need those extras but I really like the evga board

I know what you mean, half of what I have picked out for my i7 build is for looks and other small things, rather than just pure performance. :)

my ps3 is then connected to my hd receiver via hmdi which then plays my sound.

Just stick with the evga board.

What case are you going with? What RAM do you have picked out? (CAD programs will be high demanding in this area) What about hard drives? Do you want or need help in any of those areas?

Let me know,
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#10
nofun

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I'm not sure about the output to HD, it depends on the card, and it should say whether or not it can do it. If it says HDTV out, then you should be alright.

Just as clarification, the Quadro cards are very high quality and are designed for use in professional applications. The question you need to ask yourself is how much CAD or modeling work will you use this computer for. Quadro cards are designed to be used day in and day out, 24/7/365. They are more robust and are equipped with drivers specifically tailored to every major modeling software. They are built to professional standards because professionals expect them to run day-in and day-out without so much as a hiccup. However, they are a LOT more expensive.

With a standard graphics card, you can get much more bang for your buck. For example, this GeForce GTX 260 will give you all the HD output and all the power you'll ever need for CAD, for under $200. The difference is that it is optimized for gaming, and priced for gamers (who look for the most power for the least money). If you take the time to tweak the GeForce drivers (using RivaTuner or similar) you can get them to emulate Quadro performance in CAD or modeling software. What you sacrifice is quality. So that's really what you need to ask yourself. Are you going to be using CAD day-in and day-out for business, or is it only going to be an occasional thing?

If you're using this computer in a professional setting, spend the extra money and get the Quadro. If this is for at-home use, a standard graphics card will give you much more power for your money. A GTX 260 or Radeon HD 4850 should be PLENTY of power for what you want (and both cost less than $200).

Sorry for the wall of text, just think about it before you go blowing $500 on a GPU!

Edited by nofun, 16 May 2009 - 07:01 PM.

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