PC graphics cards

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  • PC graphics cards
  • Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Hi, I recently bought a second hand Dell Precision for my work and started adding bits and bobs to spec it up a bit.

    I am a bit at a loss about graphics cards though and am not sure it the on in the Dell is good, bad or excellent.

    It’s a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 290

    Rest of the PC is: t3400 dell precision
    Dual core 2.33Ghz processors
    6Gb ECC RAM
    Running Vista, which was included with the sale and I like it.

    A thing in Windows rates my graphics card as “1” while it rates the RAM as “5.3” and write speed to disc as “5.1” giving an overall PC score of performance of “1”

    Looks like the graphics card is holding it back some then?

    Main use for PC is CAD drawing and surveying data, spreadsheets, and running dual screen set up.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    Looking at this the interface is PCI- Express:

    http://uk.insight.com/en-gb/productinfo/graphics-cards/PNYOG290B

    This is the most common current interface.
    Questions to ask are will the case fit a full height graphics card, or a just a slim one like the picture in the link.

    Next question is do you need passive cooling (ie no fan noise?) Most graphics cards have a fan on and are optimised for 3D power.

    For your purposes the card should not be taxed too much.

    There are two main brands of processor: NVIDIA and AMD (was ATI).
    Focus on the chip code and memory, and you will see that rival brands (Saphire, XFX etc) sell essentially the same graphics card but with their twist on it. I tend to buy AMD cards, but there is no reason beyond loyalty for this.

    Lastly, what interfaces do you want for the monitors? DVI, VGA, HDMI?

    Different cards have different ports.

    There are some great cards out there for £40-50.
    I tend to buy ones in the £90-£140 bracket, but then thats because the kids use them for gaming.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Ahhh, so much choice.

    I have a DVI 59 already and like this as its easier to pull a DVI lead off the splitter cable in case I need to use the laptop and a proper screen.

    A full height card would fit as the slot is at the top of the card slots but can’t sit deeper as the WiFi card is below the graphics card.

    But, my current card would be costing over £100 new, I don’t think I’ll be buying a new card as I feel I’d have to spend loads to gain a bit extra.

    Thanks for the help. It’s not that I think it’s a crap card, more like windows things it’s a crap card.

    Premier Icon TrevorB
    Subscriber

    Have you installed the latest drivers from Nvidia? The card you have is an entry level CAD product and should give a much higher result.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Yep, downloaded the latest driver a few days ago.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    The card you have is probably optimised for 2D work (ie CAD).
    Most applications and windows tests focus on 3D work as this is what gamers want (texture shading, lighting, anti-aliasing etc).

    So if the card functions OK for you then just ignore the windows score as an anomoly.

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    If you’re doing 2D cad ‘drawings’, then you’ll be absolutely fine with what you have.

    If you’re wanting to drive 3D CAD packages like SolidWorks and do decent sized assemblies, for your own sanity it’s worth getting something better. For SolidWorks (which uses OpenGL for graphics), ideally you want an NVidia Quadro range, or if AMD, look at the FireGL cards. Not sure whether other CAD vendors use OpenGL or DirectX for driving graphics, so can’t recommend.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Thanks all

    after an update the Windows Performance Information now says

    Processor 5.2
    RAM 5.9
    Graphics 3.5
    Gaming Graphics 4.5
    Primary Hard drive 5.9

    Guessing its out of 6!
    😀

    Its actually out of 5.9 if I recall correctly…

    PlopNofear
    Member

    Its actually out of 5.9 if I recall correctly…

    It’s higher than that. My RAM score is 7.9 so it might be out of 8.

    Wibble89
    Member

    It says its out of 7.9 at the top of the score page.

    Vista is 5.9 and Win7 is 7.9

    scuzz
    Member

    Just for reference, the AMD FireGL dedicated workstation (CAD) cards are identical to the consumer gaming cards – you only need to modify the drivers to get all the ‘hidden’ functionality without forking out for the price. Details are sketchy and all over the place – if any one is interested I can dig the threads up for you (eg. I configured my 4850 into the equivalent FireGL card for Solidworks)

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Vista is 5.9 and Win7 is 7.9

    The cynic in me wonders if that’s solely for the benefit of Vista > W7 upgraders. “See, it’s faster now!!”

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    Running Vista so happy with my scores.

    Processor 5.2
    RAM 5.9
    Graphics 3.5
    Gaming Graphics 4.5
    Primary Hard drive 5.9

    The cynic in me wonders if that’s solely for the benefit of Vista > W7 upgraders. “See, it’s faster now!!”

    Like amps that go up to 11 then.

    avdave2
    Member

    The cynic in me wonders if that’s solely for the benefit of Vista > W7 upgraders. “See, it’s faster now!!”

    The second you take Vista off a machine it instantly becomes better, even if you don’t bother replacing it with anything, at least that way you’ll not waste any of your life on it. I reckon Vista was just done to prove that ME wasn’t the worst operating system that mankind could possibly come up with.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
    Subscriber

    I’m quite liking Vista myself.

    Having come from a corporate laptop running XP and then a borrowed laptop with Windows 7, I’m finding Vista perfectly acceptable. Sad that Ubuntu wouldn’t run Draftsight though.

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