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Old 05-16-2018, 07:03 PM   #1
mr.travo
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Question Which Graphics card? Is it worth it to go big?


It's time to upgrade this graphics card in my Dell Precision T3500 workstation. It came with a 256MB ATI FirePro v3750. It has dual DVI connectors and I run two HDMI HDTV's as my monitors. I don't game with this computer, but have multiple windows opened and arranged to work in. I will watch YouTube as well. The TV's suite me well and in 1080p the quality is just fine.

I am, however, starting to get some lag in switching windows and I believe the graphics card is starting to struggle with keeping up. I have not upgraded the processor and it's still running the quad core Xeon W3530 2.4ghz with 24GB ram (maxed out). I also have a 256GB SSD as my primary drive, so speeds are pretty good overall for being a 2010 computer.

Dell created these workstations to all support dual monitors and I need it to stay that way. To keep things as simple as possible, I am thinking to just stick with a graphics card that originally came with the system. The options offered at that time were:

NVIDIA® Quadro™ FX 4800
NVIDIA® Quadro™ FX 3800
NVIDIA® Quadro™ FX 1800
NVIDIA® Quadro™ FX 580
NVIDIA® NVS 295
ATI® FirePro V8700
ATI FirePro V5700
ATI FirePro V3750

I was looking at the 512mb v5700 and the 1GB v8700. On eBay they are selling for under $60. The 5700's are about half as much as the 8700 (as they should be).

What do you guys recommend? I am thinking just go bigger, but will I 'notice' any difference between the two? It's been about 15 years since I have done any graphics card research and the game has sure changed!

Thank you for your help!

~T
 
Old 05-17-2018, 02:00 PM   #2
Keruskerfuerst
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What mainboard bus does your computer use?
If PCIe, then choose a modern graphics like the Quadro 1000 or better.
 
Old 05-17-2018, 06:25 PM   #3
mr.travo
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Smile

For graphics, I have two PCIe x16 v2 slots.

The reason I was avoiding a more "modern" card is because of the cost and also I would probably have to upgrade my power supply as well. I believe I have the 525w right now. Like I said, I am looking for something to run both of these HDTV's with ease. I do zero gaming on this computer and nothing (other than websites) is graphically intense. I just added a USB 3.0 card (still need to set it up) and my controller only supports up to SATA 2. What I am getting at is this is no modern day powerhouse. It's fast for browsing the internet and running the terminal and that's what I am sticking with for this guy. In another 3 or so years, I will probably retire this one and get another used CPU. Other than the graphics card, the only upgrade left to really do is the processor. I can swap out this one for a hex core. After that, this motherboard will pretty much be maxed out.

I just am needing to be smart with what I put into this desktop. Am I heading in the right direction with those thoughts/reasons?

Thanks!

~T
 
Old 05-17-2018, 09:53 PM   #4
tofino_surfer
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Is there any reason you need the overpriced "professional" Quadro series instead of the consumer GeForce line ? Also why are looking at what seems to be 10 year old graphic cards ? ATI doesn't exist anymore as it was bought out by AMD many years ago. I had to check the date of this post to make sure it wasn't 10 years old.

Unless you are using professional software that needs the Quadro line such as medical imaging software you only need the much cheaper consumer NVidia GeForce line.

Quote:
The reason I was avoiding a more "modern" card is because of the cost and also I would probably have to upgrade my power supply as well. I believe I have the 525w right now.
The latest generation NVidia uses 14 or 16 nm transistors and is much more efficient than anything made even five years ago. It will likely use less power than your existing card. For example a GT1030 uses 30W max.
 
Old 05-17-2018, 10:13 PM   #5
ballsystemlord
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Personally, I have an HD7770 it runs my 1366x768 monitor with games very well! Even Xonotic can be turned way up. It is the first of the GCN generation. I have looked into pro-line stuff, but that is because I need better 64bit float support .
For the pro-cards you probably want a FirePro W5000. It uses less than 75 watts. Your current card uses 48 watts and the W8700 uses 151 watts! Because you were thinking of using such a high wattage card with respect to your power supply, I'm not sure what your power budget is .
As for why your computer is running slower, I'd imagine that the GFX card can't decode youtube's x265 encoded videos (in which case you would need something like a Radeon Pro WX 2100 and the W8700 would be a waist of money and time ), or that the CPU is overloaded in some other way. My reasoning is that a GFX card does not become slower with age (well, not by much), and your setup sounds static.
Please try running top and capturing the output wile causing the slowdown before making a decision.
 
Old 05-17-2018, 11:44 PM   #6
Keruskerfuerst
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A modern PSU costs only 60-80 €, which has efficiency of 80+ Gold.
 
Old 05-18-2018, 05:50 PM   #7
mr.travo
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Awesome, thank you all for the help so far. Like I said I want to be able to run dual monitors so dual HDMI slots would be prime (in my opinion). I didn't know that these newer card had gotten so much better. I was just trying to grab something a little bit better for under $100.

What would be a good card for dual monitor HDMI that is good for browsing and light graphical use? I edit a non-profit newsletter so I am on Libre Office quite often as well. I would LOVE to keep the price under $100 but keep it pretty simple to install for Linux.

Thanks!

~T
 
Old Yesterday, 09:41 PM   #8
ballsystemlord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.travo View Post
Awesome, thank you all for the help so far. Like I said I want to be able to run dual monitors so dual HDMI slots would be prime (in my opinion). I didn't know that these newer card had gotten so much better. I was just trying to grab something a little bit better for under $100.

What would be a good card for dual monitor HDMI that is good for browsing and light graphical use? I edit a non-profit newsletter so I am on Libre Office quite often as well. I would LOVE to keep the price under $100 but keep it pretty simple to install for Linux.

Thanks!

~T
I don't have the Internet bandwidth to do a search of everything GPU on your account. Moreover, with the advent of crypto mining, card pricing has been all over the place. If you search today the prices can, and have been, +$200 within 2 weeks. I don't know how much this applies to the Pro models though.
I already suggested a Radeon Pro WX 2100 but when you talk Pro you talk expensive and I can't change that. Let me see... here is one that is $139 or best offer. You might be able to talk the fellow down a little.
Newegg also has one for $137. I really don't see the prices coming down any time soon.
Also, you could go non-pro and replace your whole system with an AMD APU, such as the $99 2200G for what you are doing, thereby skipping the question of powersourcs, processor, and graphics card all together. BUT be forewarned that the AMD APU's DO NOT have great Linux support yet AFAIK. There is also Intel's APUs (they start in the ~$40 range) which would also be adequate, but you might need a better model. I really have not looked into dual screens on an APU, but a single screen at 1080p is easily supported by the weaker, bandwidth constrained, integrated GPUs. Let me see...
Here is a $121 quad core without hyperthreadinng and a $46 dual core celeron. And dual monitors IS doable. Also relevant, is that Intel's graphics are slower than AMD's, but they tend to support everything out of the box.

If you are going to buy, now is a great time. Competition is fierce, prices are down, except for GPUs.

Aside from what I have listed above I can offer nothing else, except, when you need a new system, you need to buy a new system, and having fallen back onto an ancient P4 after my newer/old computer went kerfluffle, boy do I need to buy a new system . But the GPU is just as good as ever .

Last edited by ballsystemlord; Yesterday at 09:44 PM.
 
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Old Yesterday, 10:35 PM   #9
mr.travo
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by ballsystemlord View Post
I don't have the Internet bandwidth to do a search of everything GPU on your account. Moreover, with the advent of crypto mining, card pricing has been all over the place. If you search today the prices can, and have been, +$200 within 2 weeks. I don't know how much this applies to the Pro models though.
I already suggested a Radeon Pro WX 2100 but when you talk Pro you talk expensive and I can't change that. Let me see... here is one that is $139 or best offer. You might be able to talk the fellow down a little.
Newegg also has one for $137. I really don't see the prices coming down any time soon.
Also, you could go non-pro and replace your whole system with an AMD APU, such as the $99 2200G for what you are doing, thereby skipping the question of powersourcs, processor, and graphics card all together. BUT be forewarned that the AMD APU's DO NOT have great Linux support yet AFAIK. There is also Intel's APUs (they start in the ~$40 range) which would also be adequate, but you might need a better model. I really have not looked into dual screens on an APU, but a single screen at 1080p is easily supported by the weaker, bandwidth constrained, integrated GPUs. Let me see...
Here is a $121 quad core without hyperthreadinng and a $46 dual core celeron. And dual monitors IS doable. Also relevant, is that Intel's graphics are slower than AMD's, but they tend to support everything out of the box.

If you are going to buy, now is a great time. Competition is fierce, prices are down, except for GPUs.

Aside from what I have listed above I can offer nothing else, except, when you need a new system, you need to buy a new system, and having fallen back onto an ancient P4 after my newer/old computer went kerfluffle, boy do I need to buy a new system . But the GPU is just as good as ever .
I appreciate it! No- my intention is not to have you do my homework. I am just trying to see what's a good line that is compatible (meaning not a nightmare to install and configure) with Linux Mint and can handle dual HDMI. I can bargain hunt if I can narrow it down to a couple/few midgrade cards. Anything made after 2015 would be a pretty huge upgrade I would think

I appreciate the help and will look up what you have listed. Is there anything I want to avoid in a graphics card? Like I have said, cutting edge tech is not where I am trying to be with this old rig, just a little boost.

Thanks!

~T
 
Old Yesterday, 10:59 PM   #10
ballsystemlord
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.travo View Post
I appreciate it! No- my intention is not to have you do my homework. I am just trying to see what's a good line that is compatible (meaning not a nightmare to install and configure) with Linux Mint and can handle dual HDMI. I can bargain hunt if I can narrow it down to a couple/few midgrade cards. Anything made after 2015 would be a pretty huge upgrade I would think

I appreciate the help and will look up what you have listed. Is there anything I want to avoid in a graphics card? Like I have said, cutting edge tech is not where I am trying to be with this old rig, just a little boost.

Thanks!

~T
...Thinks...
As I said much before now, youtube is now making extensive use of the latest VP9 video codec (I'm not certain about x265). I know for a fact that the P4 I'm on is too slow for x265 and I'm sure that youtube will be using that sooner or later (I hove not yet tested VP9). Only the latest video HW supports VP9 if I'm remembering right. You can use a CPU to do the work, but yours might be too slow (HINT: top). My processor was an AMD 1090T Phenom II 6 core 3.2 GHz base, and let me tell you: I LOVED IT! And it could do x265 and VP9, but then it was 800MHz faster than yours and had a better GPU and faster RAM too...

Intel's cheapest VPro enabled processor is the Core i5-8500. It has 6 cores 6 threads and 24 EUs.
Also, the older Intel skylake CPUs are the same chip, but made on a less refined manufacturing node. So, they should also be a (possibly more cost effective), option for you although they have less cores.

Reading about the recent specre & meltdown vulnerabilities is a requirement.

Older is not a great choice for AMD CPUs/APUs (cough, faildozer, cough).

Aside from that, no, I can think of nothing else. Pretty much any modern GPU, integrated or otherwise, should fit your use case and anything smaller than an AMD 570/Nvidia 1060 should fit your power budget.
 
Old Yesterday, 11:03 PM   #11
mr.travo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballsystemlord View Post
...Thinks...
As I said much before now, youtube is now making extensive use of the latest VP9 video codec (I'm not certain about x265). I know for a fact that the P4 I'm on is too slow for x265 and I'm sure that youtube will be using that sooner or later (I hove not yet tested VP9). Only the latest video HW supports VP9 if I'm remembering right. You can use a CPU to do the work, but yours might be too slow (HINT: top). My processor was an AMD 1090T Phenom II 6 core 3.2 GHz base, and let me tell you: I LOVED IT! And it could do x265 and VP9, but then it was 800MHz faster than yours and had a better GPU and faster RAM too...

Intel's cheapest VPro enabled processor is the Core i5-8500. It has 6 cores 6 threads and 24 EUs.
Also, the older Intel skylake CPUs are the same chip, but made on a less refined manufacturing node. So, they should also be a (possibly more cost effective), option for you although they have less cores.

Reading about the recent specre & meltdown vulnerabilities is a requirement.

Older is not a great choice for AMD CPUs/APUs (cough, faildozer, cough).

Aside from that, no, I can think of nothing else. Pretty much any modern GPU, integrated or otherwise, should fit your use case and anything smaller than an AMD 570/Nvidia 1060 should fit your power budget.
Awesome! Thank you for the help. It's a lot to go over and consider, but I will figure it out sooner or later.

~T
 
Old Yesterday, 11:04 PM   #12
ballsystemlord
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Last minute thoughts.

As for avoid, the R9 290 is out of your price range and it is infamous for performance regressions.

Were you aware that AMD opensoured their drivers and they are now in the Linux kernel!
Also, several of the AMD graphics cards have been renamed over the years with no real changes to the architecture or process.

Last edited by ballsystemlord; Yesterday at 11:06 PM. Reason: spelling error
 
Old Yesterday, 11:08 PM   #13
mr.travo
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I was reading up and read that it was included in the version 4 kernel (if I remember correctly?). From what I am seeing AMD is the way to go as far as "ease" because NVIDIA still requires closed source drivers and that can go either way from what I understand...
 
Old Today, 02:56 AM   #14
Keruskerfuerst
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If you choose a Nvidia card, then you can also use the opensource driver Noveau.

A modern Quadro low cost card (like the Quadro P400) only consumes 30 W.
Only costs 120 €.
 
  


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