11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 17, 2016 5:56 AM by Szalam

    Quadro vs FirePro

    paula9479566

      Looking to upgrade to a new PC for editing, vfx, and Element3d.

       

      Not understanding the difference between OpenCL and CUDA, I have two graphics card options:

      Quadro 4000 vs AMD FirePro W7000

       

      Quadro: 475Mhz Clock, 700MHz Memory Clock, 2Gb Memory, 89.6 GBs Bandwidth

      FirePro: 950MHz Clock, 1200MHz Memory Clock, 4Gb Memory, 154 GBs Bandwidth

       

      My question is simple. Is the FirePro a better option? I've heard very confusing info about OpenCL/CUDA, and that one is better for 3d while the other is better at rendering etc.

       

      Could someone please explain in simple terms what to look at in a graphics cards.

       

      Many thanks!

        • 1. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Since After Effects doesn't use the GPU for much, you may not get a lot of useful info here (the obsolete ray-traced renderer can be accelerated by the GPU, but only certain NVIDIA cards - again, it's kind of an obsolete feature). If you're looking to use Element, I'd check with the people at Video Copilot (I'm pretty sure the NVIDIA GTX 970 beats both of those cards for Element). I would also suggest asking over at the Premiere forums since Premiere Pro uses the GPU.

          • 2. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
            paula9479566 Level 1

            After Effects doesn't use the Graphics Card? Ah man, this is all so confusing!! :S

             

            So hard to get a foothold on the components required (and what affects what) from anywhere! *sniff* I just want to be able to render effects quickly!!

             

            I thought, in layman terms, GeForce cards were best for gaming, Quadro/Firefox for 3d or motion graphic/visual effects work?

             

            I know this is a huge query, but could someone point me in the right direction, or at least have a stab at trying to explain it in such a way as my brain doesn't explode?

             

            The main work I do is editing and visual effects. I also want to start doing more 3d work in either Cinema 4D and Element3d.

             

            The system i am looking at is:

            Lenovo ThinkStation S30

            Intel Xeon [E5-1620] 3.66GHz, 32GB RAM, 128GB SSD boot drive + 1TB HDD storage drive, DVD/RW

            With AMD FirePro W7000 4GB GDDR5 High definition DSP professional graphics card

            With Windows 7 Professional (upgradable to Windows 10 free) + 12 month RTB hardware warranty

            • 3. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              paula9479566 wrote:

               

              After Effects doesn't use the Graphics Card? Ah man, this is all so confusing!!

              The link I gave you explains AE's use of the GPU. Hopefully it makes things less confusing. Basically, if your GPU supports OpenGL 2.0 (pretty much any card in the last ten years does), you'll be good for AE as it comes (unless you want to use the dead ray-traced renderer [hint: you don't]).

              If you want a third-party plugin for AE that uses the GPU (Element, Red Giant Universe, etc.), you'll need to check their requirements.

               

              paula9479566 wrote:

              I thought, in layman terms, GeForce cards were best for gaming, Quadro/Firefox for 3d or motion graphic/visual effects work?

              Not really. Quadro's strength is more in durability for lots and lots of extended use - more like scientific simulation running. Compare the number of CUDA cores on that Quadro vs. on a GTX 970. For Element 3d, you definitely don't want a Quadro. The GTX will be faster. (And much cheaper.)

               

              paula9479566 wrote:

              Intel Xeon [E5-1620] 3.66GHz,

              Unless you're getting dual Xeon chips, you get more bang for your buck with an i7.

              After Effects is a pretty single-threaded piece of software. So, for much of your AE work, you'll want the fastest clock speed you can get. Number of cores is a secondary concern. For a number of years (starting in CS3 [AE version 8]), After Effects has had simultaneous multi-frame rendering which uses multiple cores to render your composition. However, that was an old, kludgy workaround to make AE's aging code work with modern machines. It worked really well for some things, but not others. The wrong effect or expression would render it moot and you'd be back to rendering on basically one core.

               

              With CC 2015, the AE team introduced the first pieces of a brand new architecture. For the first time in AE's 20+ year history, the renderer and the UI are running on separate threads. This is a HUGE deal. But the AE team isn't finished with the new system, so there are many things not working yet under this new architecture. So, I work in CC 2015 and then open the same project file in CC 2014 to render with multiprocessing (assuming my project benefits from it). If I were buying a new computer solely for AE work, I would seriously consider an i7 with 4.0 GHz clock speed over any Xeon.

               

              In a future version, the AE team plans to release the new renderer which should take more advantage of multiple cores, but until then, higher clock speed is king for AE. This is not the same for C4D, by the way. If you plan to use Cinema 4D, the overall clock matters more (that is, clock speed multiplied by the number of cores you have). But, again, unless you have dual Xeons, you're probably wasting money.

              (Especially an older Xeon like the one you're looking at.)

               

              paula9479566 wrote:

              With AMD FirePro W7000 4GB GDDR5 High definition DSP professional graphics card

               

              Again, check with the Premiere Pro community on this one but I know, for a while at least, NVIDIA cards worked much better in Premiere. And, for Element, you're definitely going to get better bang for your buck with the GTX 970. (If you plan to use Element extensively, check out the hardware suggestions in the Video Copilot forums.)

              GPU doesn't matter for Cinema 4D much either. A reasonably decent one for the OpenGL viewport and that's it. It doesn't use the GPU for rendering or anything else. (Unless you get a third-party renderer [like the very popular Octane] which uses the GPU to render, of course.)

               

              Does that help?

              • 4. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                paula9479566 Level 1

                The main thing I would use AE for are relatively simple things such as Greenscreen, Compositing (and by "compositing", I mean I do work within 3d space in AE - but not the "CAD design" type 3d), Lighting/Shadows, Element3d, Trapcode Particular, and stuff like that (are all these things all categorised as the same thing?) - I will NOT be handling complex 3d.

                 

                Could you please categorise my usage and (hopefully) clear up what PC factor I should be looking at here. I see you're recommending moving away from Xeon and going with the beefiest i7 I can get. Would this change of focus be the best move for the applications I've highlighted above?

                Also, could you let me know a little more on the ray-traced renderer? Has this been replaced? Am i right in thinking this is what you use when compositing in 3d space in AE (ie and is very relevant to me?)

                 

                • 5. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                  Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                   

                  paula9479566 wrote:

                  I see you're recommending moving away from Xeon and going with the beefiest i7 I can get. Would this change of focus be the best move for the applications I've highlighted above?

                  Beefiest i7 would probably be the best bet if you're not doing any complex 3d stuff. ESPECIALLY better than a single Xeon. (I say probably because some of this is dependent on how you work too.)

                   

                  paula9479566 wrote:

                  Also, could you let me know a little more on the ray-traced renderer? Has this been replaced?

                  Short answer: it worked okay if you had a certain kind of NVIDIA GPU, but it was unusable if you didn't.

                  Read this page for a quick summary of the demise of the ray-traced renderer: http://motionworks.net/after-effects-3d-future/

                  And this page for a bit more info about its replacement: details of CINEMA 4D integration with After Effects CC

                   

                  paula9479566 wrote:

                   

                  Am i right in thinking this is what you use when compositing in 3d space in AE (ie and is very relevant to me?)

                  No. The ray-traced renderer was just a way of creating 3d geometry in After Effects. You could basically extrude your text or a shape layer. Nothing to do with compositing. Totally irrelevant for you. Only useful for some motion graphics tasks and, even when it was introduced in CS6, there were usually better ways to do the things it could do. I know of very few professionals who ever used it in motion graphics and nobody used it for compositing or vfx!

                  • 6. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                    paula9479566 Level 1

                    So, so very helpful. Thank you very much.

                     

                    SO - to summarise (I hope I get this right!!!)

                         For general After Effects usage, including compositing in 3d space, etc - CPU is king. Get the best single i7 processor possible, as AE is single-processor. The Xeon I have looked at has 4 cores or 3.66Ghz, and although this is nice and shiny, AE doesn't take advantage of this. YET. However C4d DOES, as the overall count is used.

                         For (some) plugins, including Elemend3d, Trapcode Particular, etc, the GTX970/4Gb is one of the best options out there, beating Quadro cards (i've read this in a bunch of places).

                         RAM is obviously a huge piece to the puzzle, and 32Gb will be fine for all my needs.

                     

                    I hear what you're saying about the Xeon multi core not being used currently, but if AE is headed that way, I'd be very tempted to stick with the Xeon and hopefully get that benefit later down the line. Especially as it's 3.66Ghz, which is pretty zippy...

                     

                    Would you say that's an accurate summary?

                     

                    Again, I can't thank you enough for your help!

                    • 7. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                      Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      paula9479566 wrote:

                       

                      The Xeon I have looked at has 4 cores or 3.66Ghz,

                      The highest end i7 has four cores too, but is 4.0 Ghz, so it's actually significantly better than that Xeon you're looking at. If you were comparing a Xeon with six or more cores running 3.66 Ghz vs. an i7, it'd be a more interesting discussion. As it is, the new generation i7 will blow that processor away in C4D or AE.

                       

                      paula9479566 wrote:

                       

                      AE is single-processor.

                      Well, mostly.

                      You can open your CC 2015 projects in CC 2014 and render with multiprocessing (assuming you're not using an effect or expression that disables it).

                      • 8. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                        paula9479566 Level 1

                        Great. I follow. The main reason I'm going for the Xeon is down to the cost options I have. I have access to the following as a refurbed unit, with full guarantees and warranty, but the i7 isn't available (and is much, much more expensive as a brand new machine)


                        Lenovo ThinkStation S30

                        Intel Xeon [E5-1260] 3.70GHz, 32GB RAM, 128GB SSD (boot) + 1TB HDD (storage), DVD/RW

                        With Windows 7 Professional + 12 month RTB hardware warranty

                        £550 (ex)


                        Then getting a GTX970 extra.


                        Would you say this system is going to be the type of system I should go for? (I understand i7 would be quicker, but it would also be +1 kidney worth of spends......

                        • 9. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                          Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Going used is a great plan. That's what did for my home studio. I just obtained a used workstation, bought some processors (yes, dual Xeons) and RAM (72 GB) on eBay, grabbed some SSD's on sale, and am getting ready to rock a machine that rivals the one at my full-time job for around $700. There's no warranty, since I'm building it myself, but it's got some great horsepower! I can't wait to start playing with C4D on it! (I haven't had time to get in there and work with it yet.)

                          paula9479566 wrote:

                           

                          Lenovo ThinkStation S30

                          Intel Xeon [E5-1260] 3.70GHz, 32GB RAM, 128GB SSD (boot) + 1TB HDD (storage), DVD/RW

                          With Windows 7 Professional + 12 month RTB hardware warranty

                          £550 (ex)


                          Then getting a GTX970 extra.


                          Would you say this system is going to be the type of system I should go for? (I understand i7 would be quicker, but it would also be +1 kidney worth of spends......

                          That system sounds like it's pretty good. I'd suggest getting a larger drive for your OS and programs and/or a second SSD to use for AE's cache (having an SSD for AE's cache makes a big difference in working with AE), but you can add that yourself later down the road if you need to. I'd also check to see if the motherboard in that machine would support dual processors because adding a second one later on could be fun too!

                          • 10. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                            paula9479566 Level 1

                            So massively helpful, Szalam. Thank you very much for your attention and help. Very much appreciated.

                            • 11. Re: Quadro vs FirePro
                              Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              No problem. Have fun with your new machine! Make cool things.