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ATI graphics/worstation APPS/firestream vs cuda

1779 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  pulse223
I am quickly finding myself caring less and less about gaming (I haven't gamed at all in about two weeks, and the last time was only for about an hour), and I am more interested in raw power for experimenting and tweaking around with various things. I want to have a powerful machine for powerful tasks, like video rendering and photo editing, not that I do any of these things, but I might. I have a second HD 4850 that will likely be coming back very soon from my RMA, and I will be going back to crossfire then. However, I am musing with the idea of trading for a set of nvidia cards possibly sometime down the road. I want to know which cards work better at workstation apps.

I am also extremely interested in firestream and CUDA. I know that CUDA can be coded with simple C, but I don't know if it is quite so easy to do so with firestream. I was wondering which is overall better, or what the main features of each are.

Links to benchmarks would be great
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CUDA, isn't that PhysX technology? It's built into all 8 Series cards, including the 8500.
PhysX is one aspect of CUDA. I am more interested in the programs and performance gains of CUDA over ATI's Stream in video rendering, photo editing, and power house applications.
In terms of hardware and pure rendering power, i would think Nvidia cards would be better. Just because the geforce/quadro cards have higher SP counts and fatter memory bandwidth, it should give them an edge in video/3D rendering.

I dont know too much about the programming aspect tho.
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