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Fastest graphic card for Windows workstation use (2D, not gaming)

Discussion in 'ATI' started by Luca Villa, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Luca Villa

    Luca Villa Guest

    I work in Windows Vista and I want to build the fastest PC at any
    price.
    I never use it for gaming nor for 3D things...
    What's the fastest graphic board on the market for this use?

    I see that common graphic board benchmarks on the web, like this:
    http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html, only measure the
    speed for 3D.
    Are there benchmarks for the 2D-Windows speed?
     
    Luca Villa, Dec 28, 2007
    #1
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  2. Luca Villa

    Augustus Guest

    Since one presumes that you won't be building a Vista Basic system, a
    certain degree of 3D capability will be desirable for Aero. You don't need
    the high end DX10 3D gaming cards for this, but you do need something with
    3D ability. Avoid the 64bit interface cards and get something in the $75 to
    $100 range from Nvidia or ATI vendors. I'd be looking at the X1300Pro 128bit
    and GeForce 7300GT 128bit series as the lower end candidates. Cheap and
    plenty fast enough for Aero.
     
    Augustus, Dec 28, 2007
    #2
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  3. * Luca Villa:
    Every gfx card (at least from ATI/AMD and Nvidia, be careful with the
    VIA/S3 ProSavage and SIS crap) of the last 8 years or so is more than
    fast enough for 2D. There simply is no difference in 2D performance any
    more.

    So what you want is a DX9-capable (means: Vista Aero capable) gfx card.
    Even the cheapest low end card will do.
    No, simply because all gfx cards of the last 8+ years are more than fast
    enough for anything 2D.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 28, 2007
    #3
  4. Luca Villa

    Luca Villa Guest

    I think that the NVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL are those that can give
    me the highest speed, more than the gaming cards.
    Are you completely sure that they cannot make a visible difference
    against cheap $50-$100 cards for general Windows use with tens of
    opened windows?
     
    Luca Villa, Dec 28, 2007
    #4
  5. * Luca Villa:
    No, they won't. Both FireGL and Quadro FX are professional *3D* cards
    (the 2D equivalents are Quadro NVS and FireGL MV which are for 2D
    multi-monitor solutions) based on the exact same chipsets as the
    consumer cards (Geforce/Radeon).
    Yes, I am. And yes, I do know the gfx cards including the FireGL and
    Quadro quite good as we have a shitload of workstations with these cards.

    Of course you're free to go out and spend 2500EUR for a Quadro FX 500
    with 1.5GB memory. But for 2D it won't bring you one yota of performance
    benefit over a say 30EUR Geforce FX 5200 or any other low end card.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 28, 2007
    #5
  6. * Luca Villa:
    No, they won't. Both FireGL and Quadro FX are professional *3D* cards
    (the 2D equivalents are Quadro NVS and FireGL MV which are for 2D
    multi-monitor solutions) based on the exact same chipsets as the
    consumer cards (Geforce/Radeon).
    Yes, I am. And yes, I do know the gfx cards including the FireGL and
    Quadro quite good as we have a shitload of workstations with these cards.

    Of course you're free to go out and spend say 2500USD for a Quadro FX
    5600 with 1.5GB memory. But for 2D it won't bring you one yota of
    performance benefit over say a 30EUR Geforce FX 5200 or any other low
    end card.

    The times when 2D performance was a challenge for computers are over for
    at least around a decade now. Even a 1999-vintage Geforce256 gets
    bored with everything 2D.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 28, 2007
    #6
  7. Luca Villa

    Phil Weldon Guest

    | I think that the NVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL are those that can give
    | me the highest speed, more than the gaming cards.
    | Are you completely sure that they cannot make a visible difference
    | against cheap $50-$100 cards for general Windows use with tens of
    | opened windows?
    _____

    If there were meaningful differences in 2D performance, there would be 2D
    benchmark comparisons available. The only thing a more expensive card might
    offer is better sharpness IF you were using analog output to your monitor.
    And if that is the case, consider spending the extra money you seem to want
    to spend on purchasing a digital input flat screen monitor rather than on
    excess 3D power. The Vista Aero interface does require 3D performance
    (probably the 'Show Windows' function, for example), but most of all make
    sure good Vista 64 drivers are available NOW for the card you purchase.

    Phil Weldon

    |I think that the NVidia Quadro or ATI FireGL are those that can give
    | me the highest speed, more than the gaming cards.
    | Are you completely sure that they cannot make a visible difference
    | against cheap $50-$100 cards for general Windows use with tens of
    | opened windows?
     
    Phil Weldon, Dec 28, 2007
    #7
  8. Luca Villa

    DaveW Guest

    You just read the answer to your question on Tom's charts.
     
    DaveW, Dec 28, 2007
    #8
  9. Luca Villa

    Luca Villa Guest

    Thank you all for the answers.

    I made an 1 hour long research and found that he top-of-the-line
    graphic cards commercialized for 2D work according to NVidia and ATI
    would be these:

    - NVidia Quadro NVS 440 PCIe (~$400 on eBay)
    quad-head
    "high-performance 2D rendering engine"
    MPEG-2 and WMV9 decode acceleration
    source: http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_30901.html

    - ATI FireMV 2400 (~$400 on eBay)
    quad-head
    "ATI's FireMV(tm) multi-view 2D workstation acceleration cards are
    designed exclusively for the financial and corporate marketplaces."
    http://ati.amd.com/products/firemvseries/index.html

    Finally, I found a very interesting 2D benchmark comparison between
    these 2 cards and a $3699 priced Quadro FX 4500 X2 here:
    http://www.computerpoweruser.com/ed...rticle=articles/archive/c0801/07c01/07c01.asp

    The Quadro FX 4500 X2 performed significantly better in all the 2D
    (and 3D) tests.

    Now I miss the final prove that I would not perceive this 2D speed
    difference when I'm working with tens of standard Windows applications/
    windows. For example every time I unlock Windows I currently have to
    wait 10-15 seconds for all the windows and icons to be restored/
    painted on the screen. My system has a Geforce 7300 card. I wonder if
    the graphic card can positively influence this speed.
     
    Luca Villa, Dec 28, 2007
    #9
  10. Luca Villa

    Dima Guest

    Dima, Dec 28, 2007
    #10
  11. Luca Villa

    Mr.E Solved! Guest


    What the hell are you going on about? Every time you "unlock" Windows?
    Are you posting via Babelfish?

    If you are using a specialty application that requires a Quadro, you
    should have half a clue more than you do. If you do not, you are wasting
    everyone's time.

    I say spend the $3699 and have the fastest 2d-windows unlocking
    experience this side of DOS.
     
    Mr.E Solved!, Dec 29, 2007
    #11
  12. Luca Villa

    007 Guest

    Could "all gfx cards of the last 8+ years" drive 1920 x 1200 LCD monitors?
     
    007, Dec 29, 2007
    #12
  13. Luca Villa

    Paul Guest

    The OPs original posting mentions Vista. Perhaps the confusion is
    over Aero compositing. If the machine was coming out of standby,
    the video card doesn't have power when the computer is sleeping,
    and the video card needs to be reloaded from the ground up. All those
    composited windows would need to be loaded from system memory,
    or even re-rendered. In my mind, that is not a "2D thing". Something
    entirely different.

    *******
    For some "2D fun", try a benchmark like this old timer:

    "WinTune 98 1.0.43"
    http://comunitel.tucows.com/win2k/adnload/37681_30039.html

    Leave just the "Video Test" selected and let it run three times.
    These are my results, on a 9800Pro and a 3.1GHz P4.

    Summary
    RADEON 9800 PRO -
    [email protected]/pixel
    290±0.42(0.14%) Video MPixels/s

    Video Details

    AccOpt: Normal
    Total video time (s): 3.6
    Window open time (s): 0.0033
    Text scroll time (s): 0.029
    Line drawing time (s): 1.9
    Filled objects time (s): 0.44
    Pattern blit time (s): 0.0032
    Text draw time (s): 0.5
    DIB blit time (s): 0.78
    Window close time (s): 0.017

    Presented more for its comedy value than anything else. There was
    a time when results like that mattered. It'd be interesting to see
    what someone with a powerful system can manage for comparison.

    I tried to find a later version of that benchmark, but haven't managed
    to find a download.

    Paul
     
    Paul, Dec 29, 2007
    #13
  14. Luca Villa

    Fred Guest

    Here you go
    C2duo E6600 running XP

    Summary
    Radeon X1950 Series
    [email protected]/pixel
    340±1.4(0.4%) Video MPixels/s

    Video Details

    AccOpt: Normal
    Total video time (s): 3.1
    Window open time (s): 0.005
    Text scroll time (s): 0.18
    Line drawing time (s): 1.5
    Filled objects time (s): 0.28
    Pattern blit time (s): 0.0012
    Text draw time (s): 0.8
    DIB blit time (s): 0.36
    Window close time (s): 0.0037
     
    Fred, Dec 29, 2007
    #14
  15. * 007:
    Analog (i.e. via VGA): yes. The RAMDACs of gfx cards are fast enough for
    these resolutions.

    With DVI: basically yes except some really crappy Geforce FX
    5200/5500/5700 cards with buggy BIOS.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 29, 2007
    #15
  16. * Dima:
    The decoding of video codecs has nothing to do with 2D performance.
    Exactly.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 29, 2007
    #16
  17. * Luca Villa:
    Yeah, right. Manufacturers websites as the reference. Now *thats* a
    reliable source....NOT
    Funny, the site that opens on my webbrowser doesn't talk about 2D
    performance but multimonitor setups: "We got our hands on a several
    multimonitor graphics adapters and threw them at a mishmash of monitors
    of different sizes and resolutions to see if our personal video wall
    could really improve our productivity"
    Where does the article say that?
    Ever thought why no-one is talking about 2D performance any more nor why
    2D performance hasn't been benchmarked by reputable magazines and
    hardware sites for ages? Again for you: 2D performance of the last ~8
    years or so is *more* than fast enough for *anything* 2D, period. That's
    a fact. And if you understand how 2D acceleration works i.e. under
    Windows and why the bandwidth needed for 2D is incredible low, much
    lower than even the cheapest crap gfx card provides, then you know why
    no-one talks about 2D performance any more.

    BTW: things like video decoding support (MPEG2/HDTV etc) is *not* part
    of the 2D performance. In fact, video hardware support has basically
    *nothing* to do with gfx performance. It's done by a separate part of
    hardware that is integrated in todays GPUs.
    No, it can't. The waiting time has nothing to do with the gfx card. If
    you logon to Windows the appropriate user profile has to be loaded.
    Especially if you're on a network (ADS) this can take several seconds
    because the local Windows has to retrive user data from the server. Even
    on a standalone PC this can take some time, depending on disk
    performance, CPU and memory. The gfx card simply does shit about that.

    You came here for an advice and you got it. If you don't believe us fine
    then go ahead and buy the most expensive gfx card that you can find if
    you think you will getter 2D performance. But I'd recommend you get at
    least a basic understanding how these things really work.

    Benjamin
     
    Benjamin Gawert, Dec 29, 2007
    #17
  18. Then skip the expensive gfx card (That won't help here) and get more ram and
    a faster CPU (That WILL help).
     
    Thomas Andersson, Dec 29, 2007
    #18
  19. Luca Villa

    007 Guest

    Thank you
     
    007, Dec 29, 2007
    #19
  20. Luca Villa

    Luca Villa Guest

    I'm italian and english is my second language but I don't think I used
    the wrong term when I wrote "unlock".

    When I go away from my PC I press WinKey+L to lock my PC or I wait for
    the screensaver to do the same after 2 minutes of inactivity. Then
    Windows writes:
    "Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to unlock this computer
    Luca is logged on"

    If Microsoft used the wrong term here please don't put the blame on
    me.

    Note: don't confuse the "unlock" action with a login.
     
    Luca Villa, Dec 29, 2007
    #20
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