30 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2016 8:56 AM by ECBowen

    What is the best graphics card for my system?

    FWG99 Level 1

      I have an AMD Radeon HD6670 graphics card mounted on an Asus MB M5A99FX EVO r2.0 with Six - core AMD FX CPU (3.3 GHz) and 24 GB RAM but after my upgrade to Windows 10 the graphics side of the system seems somewhat sluggish! I think my HD6670 which only has 1 GB memory is probably the weak link so I am looking to upgrade it but the question is "with what?" Surprisingly both LR and PS "like" this card!

       

      I do not play games but use Lightroom and Photoshop for photo editing with occasional use for video. Does anyone have RECENT experience with the latest graphics cards under Win 10 on a similar system?

        • 1. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
          cc_merchant Level 4

          The weak links are both the video card and the CPU. Start saving for an Intel system with a Nvidia card.

          • 2. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

            An Nvidia Geforce 960 GTX card would be more than enough and you definitely want an Intel based system if it's in the budget.

             

            Eric

            ADK

            • 3. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
              RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

              a gtx 750ti or 950 for around $110-$140 are some other options. a gtx 960 4gb would be better to carry over to a new system, if you plan on doing that.

              • 4. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                DamienJL Level 1

                If rendering and 3D is your primary work, I agree completely about getting an Intel system but I recommend getting an AMD graphics card over an nVidia card. AMD cards have much stronger raw horsepower in many computational workloads using DirectCompute and OpenCL (Premiere CC now utilizing the latter).
                cc_merchant seems to really be against AMD cards, despite rendering graphics and GPGPU being their strongest advantage.

                • 5. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                  Cuda GPU acceleration performance in Adobe Premiere is still far better than Open CL and stability is better. I would suggest avoiding the AMD cards. Only go the AMD card if you are just using PS and want better Open CL performance for just PS.

                   

                  Eric

                  ADK

                  • 6. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                    DamienJL Level 1

                    If that is the case I highly recommend for Adobe to improve OpenCL performance if they want to keep their Mac customers with Intel Iris and AMD Radeon/FirePro graphics from moving to a program that is more graphically powerful, efficient and utilizes OpenCL the way it should be utilized, namely FCPX. (I should note I dislike FCPX). 
                    However from a comparison that LinusTechTips did, comparing Cuda/OpenCL on nVidia's and AMD's highest end cards respectively, it seems like that isn't the case. I am going to assume Linus's tests are relatively accurate as he has been known to be sponsored by nVidia in the past so I don't think he would balance any tests in AMD's favor..

                    • 7. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      The problem with your GPU recommendation is that in all Windows versions of Premiere CC that have been released to date, the OpenCL renderer in Premiere's MPE is permanently disabled with an nVidia GPU. Therefore, the only choices for a renderer with an nVidia GPU are the CUDA renderer and the software-only renderer. And the CUDA renderer will not work at all with an AMD GPU or any other non-nVidia GPU since CUDA is nVidia-specific. Plus, the CUDA renderer is at this point far more developed than the OpenCL renderer.

                      • 8. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                        ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                        Testing with Adobe's GPU acceleration specifically for years has consistently shown Adobe's Cuda acceleration outperforms the Open CL acceleration by a significant margin. I have yet to see or test showing otherwise. Adobe has far longer time in Cuda development since Open Cl was added far after and has less mature development tools. Implementing MPI's such as Cuda or Open CL are not vanilla and the performance as well as problems are specific to the application's development. You can't base Open CL performance on general GPU Compute benchmarks. It has to be compared in each application. FCPX for example was done around Open CL. Adobe was not.

                         

                        Eric

                        ADK

                        • 9. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                          DamienJL Level 1

                          How does the OpenCL renderer in Premiere's MPE being permanently disabled for nVidia GPU's affect AMD performance? That's not a very good rebuttal. Anyone with an nVidia GPU should absolutely use CUDA, I wasn't saying they shouldn't. I was saying that from most recent tests with the latest PP CC, that the AMD graphics cards running with OpenCL perform identical to the nVidia cards running CUDA, in some tests even beating them by a small amount.  If you look at CC_Merchants comment you may see why I think it's not very fair to say AMD hardware is a no-go as he has told many people in these forums, using an outdated source.  I hope this clarifies what I'm trying to show.

                          • 10. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                            Where do you see the Open CL performance outperforming Cuda? What were the system configs? The system specs alone have a huge impact on GPU acceleration. Once again I have yet to see Open CL and AMD outperform Cuda with a 5960X at 3.9Ghz+ with 32GB or 64GB of DDR4 at 2666 and a 980Ti card for example. It's not even close.


                            Eric

                            ADK

                            • 11. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                              RjL190365 Level 4

                              It does not affect AMD GPUs' performance per se. Rather, it is disabled for nVidia GPUs so that nVidia's performance scores won't look bad against AMD GPUs using the same GPU acceleration API. And nVidia's GPUs have historically been relatively poor in OpenCL performance veersus otherwise comparable AMD GPUs.

                              • 12. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                DamienJL Level 1

                                These were not GPU Compute general benchmarks, Linus did a test using Adobe Premiere CC.
                                I'm sure Linus has a lot more experience with a lot more hardware configurations as someone who also predominantly reviews nVidia hardware over AMD hardware.
                                As I said, there is zero reason for him to favor AMD.
                                I can link you to the video if you would like, and if Adobe's forum would allow.
                                I would like to hear from Adobe themselves that they recommend CUDA over OpenCL instead of someone who favors nVidia hardware.  I strongly believe that they would do everything in their power to make sure that both OpenCL and CUDA perform on parity, therefore only allowing the GPU's to have an advantage on a hardware level. It is after all, in the customers and their best interest.

                                • 13. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                  RjL190365 Level 4

                                  Like what I tried to state, the only way that one can fairly compare the two companies' GPUs is if both of them were using the exact same GPU acceleration API. For Adobe, if CUDA were superior, then nVidia should license the technology to other GPU companies (which I have already known it won't). And as I stated many times, AMD's GPUs cannot use CUDA at all.

                                  • 14. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                    I can assure you Linus does not have more experience with different hardware configurations especially with Adobe than I as we are a system configurator and I have been in this industry in some form for almost 20 years now. Please feel free to link the page or video. I would like to see it.


                                    Eric

                                    ADK

                                    • 15. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                      DamienJL Level 1

                                      "It does not affect AMD GPUs' performance per se. Rather, it is disabled for nVidia GPUs so that nVidia's performance scores won't look bad against AMD GPUs using the same GPU acceleration API. And nVidia's GPUs have historically been relatively poor in OpenCL performance versus otherwise comparable AMD GPUs."

                                       

                                      • and I think that is entirely reasonable, as both an nVidia (home) and AMD (work) user, I think that is in the best interest of customers with nVidia hardware.

                                       

                                      "Like what I tried to state, the only way that one can fairly compare the two companies' GPUs is if both of them were using the exact same GPU acceleration API. For Adobe, if CUDA were superior, then nVidia should license the technology to other GPU companies (which I have already known it won't). And as I stated many times, AMD's GPUs cannot use CUDA at all."

                                       

                                      • As you say, it is very hard to compare but if we look at the bigger picture, the AMD cards are very well known outside of Adobe to yield very good compute results, and to see AMD cards finally starting to receive equal treatment from Adobe's devs is very encouraging, and as far as I can ascertain from LinusTechTips' Premiere Cuda - OpenCL comparison AMD's consumer cards (Radeons) runnng on OpenCL are now performing similarly to nVidia's consumer cards running on CUDA. Is that not a good thing?
                                      • 16. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                        DamienJL Level 1

                                        AMD vs Nvidia for Video Rendering - Adobe Premiere and Media Encoder - YouTube

                                         

                                        In case I wasn't clear, I don't think it's in Adobe's best interest to favor CUDA especially when a large amount of the professional industry is running Mac's with AMD hardware (Which is why I believe they released OpenCL support first on OSX back in CS6)  To tell people to avoid AMD graphics cards completely isn't very healthy when right now, their performance is great and is only going to improve with updates from Adobe.

                                        • 17. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                          RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                                          i agree that opencl on amd cards is closing the gap vs cuda/nvidia cards, but the main reason i recommend nvidia cards is for compatibility, as some programs and plugins still only work with nvidia/cuda. as long as the person buying knows that the software they are using doesn't require cuda, i have no problem with them choosing amd.

                                           

                                          linus tech tips channel is kinda like that top gear car show, its an entertainment show and not exactly accurate or informational...

                                           

                                          @eric, amd currently doesn't have a card as powerful as the gtx 980ti, so your statement doesn't apply to what Damien is talking about.

                                          • 18. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                            Are you discussing the threads from 2013 and 2014 or are there current hardware configurations with testing and high performance media such as R3D 4K, 5K, and 6K testing done to compare? Using H264 or XAVC for testing gives a very narrow view that is not accurate for many configurations or workflows. Almost everything has changed since 2014 especially hardware such as DDR4 now available that was a significant bottleneck to GPU acceleration with the higher end cards. If Open Cl is performing as well with the High end hardware with out crashing nearly as much as it was or random frame encoding errors of red frame anomalies for example then yes that is a very good update. However just the past instability and crashing with Adobe and Open CL was enough for me to push People away from using the AMD cards with Adobe not to mention the performance difference. This is nothing against AMD or their hardware. This is just the current State of Open CL development and most media content applications. Red for example had far better performance and stability with RedCineX and Open CL when they implemented GPU accelerated debayering. Cuda was done after and had horrible performance and stability. Eventually they improved the Cuda though Open CL still is a little more stable. This refinement takes time since most of these issues and performance differences have to do with memory management and caching models used and refined.

                                             

                                             

                                            Eric

                                            ADK

                                            • 19. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                              I was using the 980Ti card as an example of a current Nvidia card which shows the best performance you will likely see with Premiere and it's current GPU acceleration performance. I am fully aware of what AMD has.

                                               

                                              Eric
                                              ADK

                                              • 20. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                BerniceR Level 1

                                                Considering no-one makes DDR3 graphics cards anymore, the memory point is just wrong nowadays. Size may not be the be all and end all, but more games are coming with high resolution textures that require 4GB of VRAM at 1080p. So while you can get away with running games on lower settings with a 1GB card, if you want games to look good then anything lower than 3GB will just screw you over. A good example of this is GTA V. With all of the settings turned down to their lowest settings the game uses 1069MB at 1080p. With textures at 'very high' that goes up to 1871MB. If you want that game to look half decent you can't have 2GB VRAM.

                                                • 21. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                  I was referencing DDR4 system ram. GPU acceleration pipelines through the system ram to Vram. This is why the amount of system ram and the total throughput the system ram can handle is very important to GPU acceleration especially when dealing with 4K+ frame sizes with 4x to 8x the amount of data or more than 1080. This also means systems with less system ram cannot fully utilize GPU's with vast amounts of vram just like systems with slower system ram cannot fully utilize video cards with far greater bandwidth available for Vram.

                                                   

                                                  Eric

                                                  ADK

                                                  • 22. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                    BTW I watched the video and the testing via a virtualized server with slower Xeons and 32GB of ram would not give an accurate view of Adobe's or Davinci's GPU acceleration at all. That is not the way to test GPU acceleration for media content applications. It could potentially work well enough for Octane but that particular Render engine handles GPU acceleration caching far differently than most. Hence why the numbers reflected by the testing did not vary much. The GPU acceleration Adobe uses is a pipeline that starts at the CPU which is why the CPU cores and clock speed has such an impact. Linus method would be the equivalent of testing the GPU acceleration on an underclocked 4790 system in Adobe's and Davinci's GPU acceleration implementation. Along with this the PCI-E lanes available to those cards are effected once the boards initialize those cards whether the virtual host loads the driver or not. This will also effect the results of the tests significantly. Cineform threads very efficiently with Adobe's CC 2015 but rendering the H264 shows far greater performance with higher clock speed CPU's especially at 8 threads or 4 cores. Unfortunately this means very little can be taken from this test beyond the fact Open CL performs similarly to Cuda with Adobe on lower end hardware where the returns diminish very quickly due to limited system resources. Hence why the system configuration greatly impacts the GPU acceleration performance besides the codecs and this makes each editors workflow key to what hardware would work best for them. The test though would probably work normal or relatively close for many Open CL compute apps where the amount of data decode and ram buffering is not nearly as significant as media content apps.

                                                     

                                                    Eric

                                                    ADK

                                                    • 23. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                      DamienJL Level 1

                                                      How can you tell what Xeon's were used? He doesn't list the specs of the graphics card server rig...  Surely it's pretty high-end, having 8 PCIe lanes and being designed for high-end gaming servers etc.
                                                      All I'm trying to say is, AMD's performance in Premiere is much better than what it use to be and is only going to get better. That's saying a lot considering Adobe originally partnered with nVidia.
                                                      You seem to know a lot about how the Adobe engine works, do you get to talk with the devs? Can you suggest features etc?

                                                      • 24. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                        ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                        By the description of more consumer based Xeons on a dual Xeon board but using virtualization to just assign 8 cores/threads. The E5-2600 series Xeons can have far more cores and threads than the i7 chips but at a much lower clock speed and the DDR4 speed is locked to a max 2133 on those Xeons.

                                                         

                                                        Eric

                                                        ADK

                                                        • 25. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                          DamienJL Level 1

                                                          Why does HP use Xeons in their workstations models?, a lot of which are in Adobe's supported and recommended list.

                                                          • 26. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                            They are being encouraged by Intel with special discounts to spread the "Xeon is best for you theory"..

                                                            • 27. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                              DamienJL Level 1

                                                              It would want to be better! Why the hell would Intel make their consumer chips more powerful than their pro chips?!? o_O

                                                              • 28. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                                RjL190365 Level 4

                                                                DamienJL wrote:

                                                                 

                                                                It would want to be better! Why the hell would Intel make their consumer chips more powerful than their pro chips?!? o_O

                                                                Here's the thing:

                                                                 

                                                                Heat (or the excess of it) is the number one killer of CPUs. The Xeons are limited in their clock speed primarily because they have been engineered for reliability/durability first, performance second. Whereas Intel's consumer enthusiast CPUs are engineered for maximum performance at some expense of reliability. This is all due to a given CPU design's maximum TDP (Thermal Design Power). Had Intel designed its consumer and pro CPU lines using entirely different designs from one another, then both lines would have been far more expensive than they currently do cost.

                                                                • 29. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                                  ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                                  HP like other Tier 1 OEM's separate their model series by platform and push any workstation into the Xeon sphere since those systems are often used as servers as well. The HPC media content production industry is relatively small compared to general corporate and business IT use. So that makes sense for them to have all the workstations with Xeons since the majority of customers would want them. The media content industry either has to find other solutions or pay for the more expensive Xeon solutions ie the 2687W chips and up to get the performance desired or required for Media production.

                                                                   

                                                                  Eric

                                                                  ADK

                                                                  • 30. Re: What is the best graphics card for my system?
                                                                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                                                    Evidently Intel finally raised the ram lock from 2133 to 2400 on the new V4 Chips. That will help the Xeon platforms offset some of the performance different with the i7 Chips. The turbo speed is also higher on a few of the Xeon chips which also helps.

                                                                     

                                                                    Eric

                                                                    ADK