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Running a Quadro and an 8600GTS

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi guys, my first post in over 2 years

I have a dilemma. Right now, I have the setup denoted in my signature and recently I tried to use it to do some work with 3D scanning/CAD software.


Droopy Dog could have recited all of Hamlet in the time it took to even move a model around. The rendering is so slow that the setup is literally useless.

Clearly, I need a Quadro card if I am to get any work done, but I don't want to just get rid of my 8600GTS because I need it for other things. This leaves me with some questions as to this regard:

1. What Quadro card should I go with? I want something cheap, just enough to get the job done. The one 3D scan I'm working with has just over 1 million vertices. I would be happy with a Quadro equivalent of the 8600GTS, whatever that may be.

2. Is it possible...or should I say swap between cards? My mobo has onboard graphics. I'm thinking:

1. Start with the 8600 installed.
2. Switch to onboard graphics, disable 8600 in device manager.
3. Remove 8600, install Quadro.
4. Switch to Quadro in device manager, disable onboard.

is that possible, driver wise etc?

3. Could I just run a PCI-E x1 based Quadro card? I have a spare port, but will such a card be suitable for any kind of CAD work?

4. At worst, I could simply buy an extra hard drive and boot into a separate installation of Win 7 with Quadro drivers and all my CAD software

Personally, I'm most interested in option 3 and most likely thinking option 4 will be the solution. Either way, please recommend what Quadro card would be suited to my needs.


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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 01:11 PM
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1) Assuming you're running Autodesk 3DS, the cheapest certified Quadro card is $150. The 8600 isn't even on their "all cards" list for GPUs they support/recognize. The quadros they recognize on their current 3DS software start from what are essentially 200 series cards.

2) No. You cannot do this. PCI slots are not hot-swappable and you will fry your hardware doing this. No you cannot run both cards in your computer with the same driver installed, in one OS. There is no practical way to run both in one PC and having talked to Nvidia about this a few years back, they never plan for there to be a way.

3) No. It would be just as stupid slow as your 8600 is now. The issue is throughput... Also, see my info on (2) where you can't run a Quadro card in the same OS, on the same driver as a GeForce card.

4) This is possible, but it will still be slow unless you dump a lot of money into the requisite quadro card to get the desired performance out of it... but see (5) below.

5) You really don't NEED Quadro. High-power, mainstream GPUs are getting more support as GPU compute cards. AutoDesk (on their 2012 software) includes the:
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
NVIDIA GeForce GT 220
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 285
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 465
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 480
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580
If it were me, I wouldn't buy anything below the 250 AT A MINIMUM. I would probably spring for the 465, the 470 (which isn't listed, but is the bigger-almost-identical-brother to the 465) or the 580. 480's are still expensive, and for the relatively low cost to get a 580 instead it's worth the money for lower heat, better performance, etc.

6) CAD programs can also be CPU intensive. You may also look into upgrading your CPU to a Quad core, however the GPU will be the bigger improvement and would get my money first.

Term of Service: If I can google your question and get a correct answer in the first 5 links, on my first try; I reserve the right to link you through Let with the number for the correct answer.

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