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Old July 26th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #1
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Quadro FX vs equivalent gamer cards for video editing

I'm looking into upgrading my video card and I've been thinking either the new PNY Quadro FX 560 or the ASUS EN7800GTX. Both are about the same price, with open GL 2.0 support, DDR3 memory, the FX560 having only 128MB of DDR and a 128bit interface while the 7800 has a 256bit/256MB interface with twice the memory bandwith. Both have dual monitor support and video/HDTV out capabilities.

Now I've been recommended the Quadro FXs left and right even for video editing yet nobody has been able to tell me why. I can clearly see the advantage when using CAD and other 3D apps but video editing? Isn't a Quadro FX overkill? What justifies paying a higher amount for a card that seems to have equal or even lower hardware specs than the gamer equivalent outside of the different drivers?

I'm using Adobe PPro 2.0, Photoshop CS2 and Encore 2.0 for pretty much all my projects, and although I don't have it yet, I'm not rulling out the idea of getting AE 7.0 eventually.

But will those apps see a significant increase in performance and/or reliability from using one card over the other? Because outside of the odd plugin like Boris Continuum Complete I don't see where I'd need the Open GL optimization and even in the eventuality that I would need it like with AE, I've also read about people turning their inexpensive Nvidia gamer cards into expensive high end Quadro FXs simply by using RivaTuner after flashing the bios to accept the optimized Quadro FX drivers.

So wouldn't it just be better to buy the best while also cheapest hardware I can find (Nvidia 7600, 7800 or 7900) and turn it into a Quadro FX if need be?

Let me know where that logic fails if it does.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #2
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My understanding is that the workstation cards are much more expensive than the equivalent gamer card, and they have non-crippled/specialised drivers.

However, some programs can get the same performance with either line... depending on which of the graphics card's functionality it uses. So get the gamer card in that case. Check the recommended specs for your software.

I believe the workstation cards are mainly targeted towards CAD work (i.e. automotive industry). Some of the quadros are specifically made for video work (i.e. the quadros with HD-SDI out)... but I don't know much about that.

Quote:
Because outside of the odd plugin like Boris Continuum Complete I don't see where I'd need the Open GL optimization and even in the eventuality that I would need it like with AE, I've also read about people turning their inexpensive Nvidia gamer cards into expensive high end Quadro FXs simply by using RivaTuner after flashing the bios to accept the optimized Quadro FX drivers.
Because you might fry the card and won't have warranty support.
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Old July 27th, 2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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For current versions of PPro, Encore, and Photoshop there's no point an expensive card, but as you pointed out, AE does benefit. I'm not too knowledgeable about graphics cards, but my understanding is that AE will benefit more from large amounts of memory on the graphics card than from the raw speed.

BTW, since I built a system a few months ago, I did read up on the 7800 series cards. They are built on a 130nm process and run much hotter than the newer 7900 series, which use a 90nm process and are faster. From my limited understanding, if you decide you need OpenGL support for AE or other software/plugins, you might be better off with 2 x 7600 or 2 x 7900 series cards using SLI, with at least 256MB DDR3 on each card and still be at a fraction of the cost of a Quadro. I might be mistaken, but I'm kinda doubtful that the price/performance ratio of the Quadro is favorable for most of us.

Hopefully someone who truly knows graphics card technology can chime in about these musings.
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Old July 28th, 2006, 06:35 PM   #4
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I just realized I could probably find a 7900GTX 512MB card for just a bit more than what would cost me a Quadro FX 560 with breakout box. And we're talking quadruple amount of memory, twice the amount of bit interface, so in the end unless somebody comes up saying there's a key advantage I overlooked when using a Quadro FX for editing I think I'll go with the gamer card. The hardware is just so much more powerful for more or less the same price. I have a hard time accepting to pay a premium for "better" drivers.
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Old July 30th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #5
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the quatro cards do get more preformance boost for after fx but if you look at the compatable cards it will still benifit from a lot of graphic cards. its pritty much the only reason i got my 6600 gt...but do make sure you have an adiqit power supply other wise you might burn out the card and other hard ware when doing intensive after fx's work
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Chan
Because you might fry the card and won't have warranty support.

Do you know that for a fact? Where can I find more information about that potential problem?

How would you risk frying the card, because of higher temperature?
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
From my limited understanding, if you decide you need OpenGL support for AE or other software/plugins, you might be better off with 2 x 7600 or 2 x 7900 series cards using SLI, with at least 256MB DDR3 on each card and still be at a fraction of the cost of a Quadro. I might be mistaken, but I'm kinda doubtful that the price/performance ratio of the Quadro is favorable for most of us.

How does dual SLI technlogy work? You plug one monitor on each card?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 12:08 PM   #8
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Probably Overkill

A high-end Quadro FX is probably overkill if you mainly edit video, although NLEs like PPro do recognize and offload work to the Quadro's GPU. Your money will be better spent on more RAM, faster/striped disks or a faster CPU. However, if you find yourself editing content with AE or 3D engines like Maya or Vue, then a Quadro with the Gelato plug-in certainly helps reduce rendering time. A Quadro is also a no-brainer for AutoCAD freaks. Besides, how else are you going to do all the above and also drive two Dual-Link LCDs cleanly at 3840 resolution?

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Last edited by Trenton Scott; August 21st, 2006 at 12:40 PM.
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