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Old 07-20-2011, 10:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Workstation graphic cards

I am going into my fourth year of architecture school and I am building a desktop. I plan on using my system for Adobe cs5, CAD, Revit, 3ds max, Maya, Ecotect, Virtual Enviroment, Rhino, and Grasshopper. I am having trouble deciding on a graphics card. Is it necessary to have a workstation graphic card to do 3d modeling with these programs? If so, what type of card would you reccomend, Nvidia or ATI?

List of requirements given by the school:
Intel® Core™ i7
12 GB+ Memory
2TB Hard Drive
Dual 20"+ monitors
DVD±RW Drive
Dedicated ATI or nVidia video adapter with at least 1-2GB memory
Wireless Network Adapter
Windows 7 ® Home Premium (64-bit)

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Old 07-20-2011, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Workstation graphic cards

If your going to be doing some serious 3d modeling and rendering then you'll want a good workstation card. I've used Quadro drivers with my GTX 480's but if the card doesn't support a particular feature the driver just isn't going to help. For complex drawings the workstation card will usually speed up the process, but a good card is going to be expensive. If I had a $500 video card budget I would go with a gaming card because it will have more sheer power than a $500 workstation card, the workstation card will be weaker but it will support a few extra features. If you buy a $1000+ workstation card it will have the extra features plus more power. Generally speaking Nvidia usually has better performing workstation cards.

What is your budget for this system?

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Old 07-20-2011, 07:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Workstation graphic cards

I have a budget of $2,000 dollars. I have my whole system picked out so far (except for graphics card) and I have $500 left to spend.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Workstation graphic cards

I have read good things abut the Quadro 4000, but the price is a little steep. I just wonder if the "extra features" that workstation cards have are worth sacrificing the power of a lower priced gaming card.
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