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Sharon F

dedicated vs integrated graphic card

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I am searching for a new computer as my old laptop is out of date - running VW Landmark 2017. I've done a lot of research on-line, and am looking for clarification on the following:

True or False?

- a gaming laptop with should not be used for CAD programs (as they have different requirements?)'

- a dedicated graphics card is not always necesssary (as I see some people seem to be using integrated grapics cards, sometime with better results?)

-NVIDIA Quadro P series versus GTX graphic cards (GTX seem to be intergrated cards on most PC's I have looked at) 

- the CPU, not the  graphics card is more important for 3D

- the  graphics card relates to rendering speed

 

I am an independent designer doing primarily residential work.  I dont want to invest $$$$$ in a computer, but also don't want to cut myself short in a new purchase. Prefer PC over MAC as I think better value in a PC, more configuration options. 

 

any guidance /feedback on questions above would be really appreciated as I seem to be getting bogged down..........

 

thanks!

 

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- a gaming laptop with should not be used for CAD programs (as they have different requirements?)'

False, for Vectorworks.

 

- a dedicated graphics card is not always necesssary (as I see some people seem to be using integrated grapics cards, sometime with better results?)

False, for Vectorworks.

 

-NVIDIA Quadro P series versus GTX graphic cards (GTX seem to be intergrated cards on most PC's I have looked at) 

GTX, we do not take advantage of the additional features offered by Quadro cards.

 

- the CPU, not the  graphics card is more important for 3D

False, the GPU is now the most important for 3D (as of 2015ish)

 

- the  graphics card relates to rendering speed
Semi True, the graphics card relates to plan, wireframe and OpenGL speed. If you consider OpenGL a render mode, then it does affect render speed. Graphics cards do not affect Renderworks and Hidden Line renderings.

This should give you some more specific answers per-component:

 

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In addition to Jim's reply, if you get a laptop with a GTX card, try to get one with the number ending in 60 or higher (e.g. GTX-1060) as these have a clear performance improvement over lower versions (even a GTX-1050 Ti is still noticably slower than a GTX-1060). Do not get a GT card (i.e. without the X). I made that mistake once and even though it did work reasonably well for 2D and stable with 3D it was too slow for moderately heavy 3D. If the option is choosing between a 2 or 3 GB vs a 4 or 6 GB VRAM choose the one with the higher amount of RAM, especially if you are going to add an external monitor. Personally I would not go below 4GB VRAM these days.

 

It may initially cost you a bit more but you will reap the benefits from a better graphics card in the longer run as your laptop will remain usable for a longer time than the more lower budget oriented graphics card choices.

 

Another thing to check carefully is how much RAM the laptop can actually support, some laptops come with e.g. 4GB and can support only 8GB. Try to get one that supports at least 16GB or even better 32GB if you are creating very large drawings or 3D models or have multiple programs running at the same time. Supporting 16GB should be sufficient, but being able to go to 32 GB in the future might be something to consider as it can be useful to have.

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@Jim Wilson  thanks - appreciate the info. I had found some of your other articles but the not the one referenced below. I was looking at a Lenovo with a P1000  Quadro graphic card - intereresting that they are marketed as "CAD" cards, but don't really benefit VW.  I have yet to download VW 2018 due to my computer restrictions so this is very helpfull in narrowing down the purchase. 

 

 

On 2/23/2019 at 7:25 PM, Jim Wilson said:

- a gaming laptop with should not be used for CAD programs (as they have different requirements?)'

False, for Vectorworks.

 

- a dedicated graphics card is not always necesssary (as I see some people seem to be using integrated grapics cards, sometime with better results?)

False, for Vectorworks.

 

-NVIDIA Quadro P series versus GTX graphic cards (GTX seem to be intergrated cards on most PC's I have looked at) 

GTX, we do not take advantage of the additional features offered by Quadro cards.

 

- the CPU, not the  graphics card is more important for 3D

False, the GPU is now the most important for 3D (as of 2015ish)

 

- the  graphics card relates to rendering speed
Semi True, the graphics card relates to plan, wireframe and OpenGL speed. If you consider OpenGL a render mode, then it does affect render speed. Graphics cards do not affect Renderworks and Hidden Line renderings.

This should give you some more specific answers per-component:

 

@Sharon F 

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When looking around the web regarding graphics cards for CAD, the recommendation is a Quadro. However, they then continue to refer to AutoCad, etc.

 

If GTX is best for VW, I presume it's also OK for using the other CAD Viewers or Software for multi-tasking.

 

I am guessing from all that I have read, that we should pick the GPU to suit our primary CAD software and secondary CAD software should work, but maybe at a slightly degraded performance.

 

So, if we use VW 90% of the day, and AutoCad 10% then we pick a GTX, but if it were the other way around then we pick a Quadro.

 

What's the opinion on this ?

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6 hours ago, WhoCanDo said:

So, if we use VW 90% of the day, and AutoCad 10% then we pick a GTX, but if it were the other way around then we pick a Quadro.

 

 For 1 or 2 decades ago, I would say YES.

Today I would say that ACAD will also run fine on any current middle class gaming GPU.

VW (like most others too) doesn't make use of any special Quadro Driver Features.

If Pro GPU have really anything else special in Hardware like better reliability, VRMs,

energy efficiency, ... I am still not sure. So just for VW it doesn't make any sense to pay more

for the same GPU power by going Quadro.

It may be worth if you use any of the supported Apps.

 

I think Linus gives a nice overview of the current situation :

 

 

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I've used both Quadro and GeForce cards before, and as far as I'm aware they're noth based on the same hardware architecture. The drivers are different though.

I think the consumer drivers are built for speed, so in some cases it skips or streamlines certain operations, whereas the quadro drivers are designed to be more accurate with thier results.

I couldn't see a benefit when I was running a Quadro card, I paid a lot more but my friend's cost-effective GeForce card was out-performing mine. Ever since then I used the gaming cards. vRAM is my main point of focus these days, so I'm running2x GeForce 1070's at the moment and it's blisteringly fast. VW will only ever make use of one card, but I like to have the two, because when I'm doing a GPU render in 3ds max with Vray, or generating pointclouds I only assign one GPU, so I don't experience slow downs in the GUI while multi tasking.

If I don't need to multitask I'll throw both cards at the GPU tasks and the speed is insane.

 

I think, with regards to VW, it's main focus is being Open GL 2.1 compatible (with enough RAM as well) which is pretty much supported across the board by all modern GPUs.

So my 2x 1070 16GB vram setup is a massive over-kill for VW, but good for my other software

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1 hour ago, RussU said:

as far as I'm aware they're noth based on the same hardware architecture. The drivers are different though.

 

I think we can't really know.

 

Every Gaming card that is not using a reference board, but their own custom design, is different.

There could be used more expensive VRMs, cooling solutions or any kind of design that makes it

better and more reliable. Same for Gaming vs Pro GPUs.

Quadros could have cherry picked Chips and all that stuff.

I just can't really now if they really do different hardware.

If yes, that wouldn't hurt VW in any way.

 

Similar for the Drivers.

The Pro drivers could be a bit better suited for VW although it does not use special driver features.

On the other hand I see lots of Quadro user problems choosing the wrong of both Pro drivers

with VW. And maybe ging into NVidia Settings and do some modifications would also help.

 

I am just not sure if it is worth the effort in time and money to care about Quadros.

Could be 85% marketing though.

Beside I would like or prefer the Quadros or Pro GPUs as it looks more Pro.

If I had mainly Catia, Max, Autocad, or such Software,

I certainly would try Quadros.

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On 3/15/2019 at 12:20 PM, RussU said:

I think the consumer drivers are built for speed, so in some cases it skips or streamlines certain operations, whereas the quadro drivers are designed to be more accurate with thier results.

This is basically the major difference between GeForce and Quadro cards, e.g. for double precision floating point stuff the Quadro cards tend to outperform the GeForce cards but it does require special drivers for the software to take full advantage of this.

 

Another difference is that Quadro drivers are more thorougly tested for stability etc. and are (therefore) less frequently updated than GeForce drivers.

 

For software like Vectorworks that has no dedicated Quadro drivers there is not really much reason to get a Quadro card as the benefits are negligible.

Only if you have other software that does take good use of Quadro functionality then it makes sense to get a Quadro card and spend the extra money on it.

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