8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 14, 2012 1:41 PM by canoli99

    go for CUDA or more memory?


      I've googled around for awhile now but couldn't find a solid answer to this question.


      I do a lot of work in 3ds max, after effects and premiere. So i need a solid gpu that can handle polygon rendering and 2d editing.


      I'm building a new pc since mines getting outdated:


      CPU: Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5ghz quad core

      RAM: G.SKILL 32GB 4X8GB DDR3-1600

      HDD: OCZ Agility 4 256GB solid state drive

      HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 7200RPM SATA3 (getting two of them for a RAID0 setup)

      MB: Gigabyte B75M-D3H


      There's two potential gpu's i can get:


      radeon 7970

      nvidia 670 OC


      Both cost the same.


      So my main concern is, do i go with the nvidia 670 because it has CUDA support which is enabled by the "hack". Or, do i go with the 7970 that has 3GB of memory rather than the 2gb of memory the 670 only has.


      That's my only concern, very simple thing I can't find a satisfying answer to.


      Some people are saying get nvidia because cuda makes a huge difference, then I read somewhere else the difference is minor.


      Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

        • 1. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Without a doubt get the 670. It improves rendering by a factor 12-13 x over the Radeon. If you add some more disks you will see even better performance.


          See Benchmark Results to note the difference in results between nVidia Cuda cards and Radeons. The best machine (currently) with a Radeon inside comes out at rank # 182 with a RPI (relative performance index) of 5.3, meaning that in general editing it is 5.3 x slower than the fastest machine.

          • 2. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
            ignatius86 Level 1

            first off, thank you so much Harm for your insightful advice and for the link to the benchmark results.


            i'm not super technically savvy, but how does adding more disks give me even better performance?


            Also, just so we are on the same page, what are you referring to when you mean 'rendering'? Is it the real-time editing of the video?, the time it takes to output a file?, or perhaps something else?


            thanks again for being so helpful.



            • 3. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Usually rendering means preparing for previewing your time-line. But the second use of that term is when exporting and when there is scaling, blending or blurring going on. See http://forums.adobe.com/message/3378434#3378434

              • 4. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
                ignatius86 Level 1

                Thanks Harm, i now have a better understanding of how mercury works now.


                I just did some more research on which gpu i should get and since I'll be doing just as much 3D work in 3ds max as I will be editing in premiere/AE. I was thinking maybe a cheap workstation card may not be a bad idea. I can't afford the really expensive ones, but the two cards i can afford that only cost $200 are:


                ATI Firepro V4900

                Quadro 600


                Out of these two cards, which one would you recommend?


                But, more importantly, how would the quadro 600 ($200) stack against the gtx 670 ($360)?

                • 5. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Out of these two cards, which one would you recommend?


                  NONE. The GTX 670 leaves both far in the dust. The ATI does not allow hardware MPE and is way slower than a CUDA enabled card. The Quadro 600 has only 96 CUDA cores, uses a 128 bit memory bus, uses very slow GDDR3 and has a memory bandwidth of only 25.6 GB/s. If you want to choose a more affordable card, have a look at the GTX 660 Ti.

                  • 6. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
                    canoli99 Level 1

                    Any concern that the 670 isn't currently supported by Adobe for CUDA-based acceleration? Last time I looked the 570 was on the list but no 600-series cards were there (yet). Not sure if that means we have to tweak the gpusniffer file or not...either way I'm sure the Kepler architecture will be on the list sooner or later.


                    I like the 4G 670 card from EVGA - not much more expensive than the 2G 670s and  for PremPro the more VRAM the better.

                    • 7. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      >concern that the 670


                      Back in reply #1 Harm posted the link to the benchmark results... did you see any 670 cards there?


                      The hack is easy http://forums.adobe.com/thread/629557

                      • 8. Re: go for CUDA or more memory?
                        canoli99 Level 1

                        Thanks for posting the link to the hack - by the time I buy the 670 it'll probably be on Adobe's supported list but if it's not it's good to have the info at hand.


                        In the PPBM5 benchmarks you'll find all sorts of configurations. Not sure what that has to do with my question but it doesn't matter. "Supported" cards vs. all other cards only means Adobe tested them and found the MPE works. Newer cards take awhile to make the list we all know that. I was just wondering if there was any reason for concern - something I was unaware of  - that's all.