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Old 07-21-2010, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default hardware upgrade for 3d modeling/video editing

I completed my first build about 9 months ago, and I've not done anything too taxing on it beyond playing mass effect 2 at the highest settings. I have an Intel i7 920, GTX 260, and 3 GB of Ram. Now I'm going to be installing Maya and Avid Media Composer. It looks like in the specs I'll need to have at least 4 GB of Ram (it didn't list windows 7, but vista 64 bit needed it), and I've been meaning to get more anyway. My first question is would it behoove me to get a total of 9 GB? I've read that I might not be bottle necking there so it could be overkill. Second, I figure I'll need a Quadro FX card, but I don't know how good of one. For Avid it says at least FX 560, but for Maya to perform well what would be the recommendation? Lastly, will this effect my GTX 260? Can they be installed at the same time? Used at the same time? Maybe even SLI? I just recently discovered the need for a Quadro, so I don't know much about it. Ideally I don't want to have to pick either rendering or gaming, but if that's the case so be it. Thanks to all who have input. Any comments will be helpful.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: hardware upgrade for 3d modeling/video editing

With the 920 you'll want triple channel RAM. This means you need your RAM in sets of 3 (3x1GB, 3x2GB, 6x1GB, or 6x2GB are the recommended configurations). If you have 3GB now I'm assuming you mean 3x1GB in triple channel. You could upgrade to 6GB (6x1GB) and 9GB (3x1GB, 3x2GB) would probably also work as long as you grouped them properly (each channel has 1GB then 2GB, the channels must be even).

There is a "hack" of sorts to convert most GeForce cards into their Quadro equivalents. The GeForce and Quadro cards actually use the same chip just configured differently. You can use RivaTuner's configuration settings to change the card into the equivalent Quadro and unlock the professional capabilities (and maybe even some of the disabled shader units to make your card run better).

As far as Quadro goes, the Quadro cards are capable of gaming it's just that the GeForce are more optimized (as they are based on the exact same GPU it makes sense). If you go with a real Quadro you can still play games on it.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: hardware upgrade for 3d modeling/video editing

That was fast. Thanks for the reminder about triple channel ram, but essentially I'm wondering if 6gb will be enough, or if the 9gb will be useful.

The "hack" you mentioned is highly intriguing. I'll definitely be researching that, but if there's anyone who's actually tried it on here, I'd like to know your thoughts. And I've heard that Quadro can game some just like the GTX can render some, but how do you think a Quadro will handle Star Craft 2? Thanks again for your prompt and informative response.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: hardware upgrade for 3d modeling/video editing

I've never tried the hack but I've read about it, it's part of NVStrap I think, a component of RivaTuner. Just as there are multiple levels of GeForce cards, there's multiple levels of Quadro cards. I'd say the performance would be relatively close to the GeForce equivalent though.

I'd think 6GB would be enough. My 6GB (3x2GB DDR3) setup is plenty for gaming but I'm not sure about rendering or editing. My 6GB usually shows around 4.5-5GB free after loading Windows and background apps so you should have plenty of room to work. I would recommend just buying a 3x2GB kit and going with 9GB as the 3x2GB kits are pretty good.
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