6 Replies Latest reply on Apr 20, 2015 10:27 AM by ECBowen

    Question about upgrading GPU.


      Hi there,


      I have a system that I think is bottlenecking on the GPU.  It's not a monster of a system but it gets the job done. However, I'm working on a project now is using a lot of 3D models (via Element 3D) in AE CS6.  I have a couple of lights and some pretty detailed models. I will often get GPU "time out" errors or complete videocard driver crashes when I try to view at full quality.  I tired throwing in an optical flare but can't even render it with the other lights (and shadows on). I'm using Win7 64bit with a very fresh, clean install. Premiere Pro and AE CS6 are my primary applications I use.


      I know GPU acceleration is hugely misunderstood especially in AE (and I don't know much!), but I read that it works for some things, like Ray-Tracing (which Element 3D uses, I believe) and some plugins like Magic Bullet Looks (which I use often).  So I think it would make sense to purchase a better card than the one I'm dealing with now.  But would you mind looking at my specs and telling me if I'm just wasting money on a new GPU or if there is something else I should look at to get these renders moving (they can render overnight- that's not a problem- the problem is that they often can't even render without a crash).


      P9x79 Pro mobo

      Intel Core i7-3930K @ 3.20GHz

      48GB DDR3

      NVidia GeForce GTX670 (with the Cuda hack enabled for PPro and AE).

      Main OS drive is SSD, storage drive is sata 7200 4TB (don't recal the brand off hand).

      Win7 Pro 64bit


      So, I know the drives are not set up for RAID which I know makes a speed difference, but I think this particular issue is not drive speed but rather processing speed, and since I'm specifically running into crashing when using heavy Ray-Tracing, I am assuming it would at least *help* to upgrade the video card to a real CUDA supported card...


      I would like to deliver this project first thing next week, which means if the card will make a difference that I would need to purchase it tonight or tomorrow in order to use it for rendering on Tuesday...


      So my last question would be, what's the suggestion for the card with this particular system?  I would like to stay under $300 if I can, but if my system is still a bottleneck then I wouldn't mind making a small GPU upgrade now and then upgrade everything at a later date.


      Any suggestions?


      Thank you!


        • 1. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

          Ray tracing is legacy at this point and phased out with AE CC 2014. This means none of the current 900 series GPU's will work with it. You would have to pick a 700 series Nvidia card for Ray Tracing if that is what you want to remain with in CS6. If you move to AE CC 2014 then that work is done in C4D. The system you have would work  with a 780GTX or a 780Ti if you can still find one. However the ram configuration you have means you have different size ie density of ram in your system and that is likely not helping. That requires the boards to run asynchronous timings and the system boards do not handle that well especially with Quad channel. You really should go down to 32GB of ram or remove the smaller sticks and go up to 64GB.





          • 2. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
            Stephen.Pickering Level 1

            Thanks Erik!


            So, it sounds like I need to decide when I'll be upgrading to CC... I've held off since CS6 has all the features I really needed, but I know CC has some pretty neat stuff too that I'm sure would become part of my daily workflow.  Would I expect any difference with my hardware as-is by upgrading to CC?  Would it be any better even with my current GTX670 or would it be even worse?  I'm just trying to decide on the fastest, easiest work around for this one project, then I could spend a little more time researching this stuff.


            I know with NAB currently Adobe has a deal for $30/mo (I assume for 12 months), which is pretty sweet... If I go that route, what did you mean by the 900 series not working with it? Would a 780 be better either way, whether I stick with CS6 or if I upgrade to CC? If I go with CC should I forget about the older 780 and spend money on a better card that will last me longer?


            And finally, the motherboard has 8 slots for RAM, so I'm using 6 of those slots each with 8GB sticks. Is this still messing up my system or does that change anything you wrote? RAM is fairly cheap that if those two extra slots will make a big difference I could pick up some RAM, or if in the meantime I would actually gain performance from pulling two sticks from the system, well, that would be easier yet (for the time being).


            I apologize for all of the questions. I really appreciate your insight in this!



            • 3. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

              The 900 series cards work fine with CC 2014. However they don't work with Ray tracer since it's not really supported with CC 2014. C4D is used instead. The 980GTX or the Titan X would be the best cards to get for that system. With 6 sticks your running Tri channel instead of Quad channel. I would definitely get 2 more sticks but they need to be the same model as what you currently have.




              • 4. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
                Stephen.Pickering Level 1

                Hi again Eric,

                I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the 970. I know you recommend the 980, but if I can save a few hundred dollars on the lower 970, that would be ideal... Unless it really doesn't make sense to spend $350 for a card that would be significantly less than the $560 980... I hate to spend 2x the money for a tiny increase in speed, but maybe the speed is more than that.


                And finally. Does it matter what model of the 970/980 I get? Looking at Newegg I'm seeing Asus, EVGA, ZOTAC, etc., some with hundreds of dollars differences. Can you point to one that is lease expensive but good or can you tell me what I need to be looking for when I'm looking at these things?


                Btw, I downloaded the CC trial and have played around with it a little. It looks like Element 3D still uses Ray-tracing, while the "native" 3D stuff would be utilizing C4D.  But I could be wrong on that since I'm still wrapping my head around the hardware/software stuff.

                Thank you again, I really appreciate your patience in explaining this!


                • 5. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
                  Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                  Element 3D uses OpenGL for the GPU acceleration.  I do not know if this is a valid OpenGL benchmark for Element 3D and AE, but here is a ranking that compares one aspect of OpenGL with different GPU's.  Maybe Eric can comment do to his hands-on experience with AE.

                  • 6. Re: Question about upgrading GPU.
                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                    The 980GTX is worth the money but the 970GTX performs very well until you get into more complex 4K timeline work. Either should be good for you. However if you get Octane at some point you will want the 980GTX card. We use Zotac, EVGA, and Asus here because of ease of warranty and reliability.