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G5-CPU Speed or Video Card Speed


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Us Mac users will soon be faced with the opportunity to buy a new G5. The question comes to mind of where best to invest ones money. The new computer will have several video card options available.

I think it would be valuable to all of us users if the NNA engineers could comment on where we would get the most "bang for our buck". Is there value in getting the top of the line Radeon 9800 Pro? Is there a better choice from another manufacturer?

Or are we better off spending our money on a faster CPU?

With the option of installing up to 8 gigabytes of memory, is there a point where "more is not better"?

Some thoughtful responses now might save us all grief in the future when we plunk down our hard earned money for these bright shiney new computers.

[ 06-26-2003, 08:41 PM: Message edited by: Kevin ]

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Generally, it seems for Renderworks CPU speed is the primary factor in acclerating rendering times, Ram comes next, then the Video card. I think only Open GL Rendering uses the Video Card accleration, so if its ray trace rendering your concerned with the CPU speed is the most important.

Also remember that VW isn't optomised for dual processors, so that won't acclerate the rendering time either, but it will allow you to work in another program while renderworks renders in the background.

Good Luck

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

will confirm what Mike B says, with one small caveat. While VW is not aware of dual processors, the OS is, and some other apps, notably Photoshop, are so there is still a processing speed advantage with the dual system.

It does somewhat depend on what you are doing. I'm doing complex 3D solids modeling, all curved shapes, no straight lines, and lots of rendering. This is the kind of math the G5 processor shines at. I moved from a G4- 500/1 gig to a G5 1.8 single processor/1.5 gig (only because the dual wasn't shipping- today I'd get the dual). A render that took my old system 4.5 minutes completed in about 12 seconds on the G5. Solids operations are incredibly faster. It's a really big leap forward.

I'd guess RAM is very important if you are doing large (lots of pixels) renderings. At one point I was running VW and several other apps while working on two 400 MB photoshop files, and with 1.5 gig of RAM I could see some delays.

I'm not sure about VW, but most apps can't at his point use nearly the amount of RAM the G5 can install, and won't be able to until they are rewritten to take advantage of the 64 bit processor.

It's not just processor speed, either. The data pathways in the G5 system- at least the 1.8 and dual- are a lot faster, and the systems should get more responsive as the OS takes advantage of the processor architecture.

Video cards make a big difference with animations, movies, and games. As fast as the G5 is I doubt you would detect a difference among them in using VW.

Actually, one of the parts of the new system that speeds me up the most is the 23" cinema display...


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