Choosing nvidia card for workstation

Not even sure if this is the right place, but let’s give it a try :cool::

I’m FINALLY getting the chance to build my own animation workstation (very excited!)! Will it be the greatest? No, but it’s gonna be my new baby (hush :p). Anyway, my budget is between $700-800, and I’d really like to include an Nvidia Quadro card as it seems to be the best series for intensive 3d work. I understand the graphics card isn’t as important in Blender/Maya terms as CPU speed and RAM, but I do also game and love movies. With that said, I’m not really sure which card(s) would be best for my budget. I could only spend $150-200 on it, so obviously the high-end ones are out, but which of the lower end ones would still work well?*

Below is my potential configuration:

CPU: Intel i5-2500k processor
RAM: 8gb RAM (4x2) 1600 MHz DDR3
HDD: 500gb Seagate, 6gb/s, 16 MB cache (7200RPM SATA)
Motherboard: Asus (not sure which yet, approx. $150)
Other: case, power supply, optical drive

*While I would like to stay in the Quadro series, I’m open to different suggestions, as it may very well be overkill. :slight_smile:

Thanks for any and all help! :cool:

Ah, crud! So, what I’m reading is that my options with Nvidia are really… none! And I don’t care much for the AMD side. Suggestions? This is a real killer. :confused:

Granted, the 6900 series is not very attractive (hot, loud, no OC, high power intake) but other than that, the cards are fine.
HD5870/1GB, on ebay for ~100-120 euro sometimes cheaper, new for 170 euro, if you OC it a tad, it is as fast as a GTX480.
Their Linux drivers ain’t really smooth but they’re on it and under windows it works just fine (got a HD5850 in one of my systems)

Or get a GTX285, you get them for ~70-80 Euro on ebay, even the 2GB version, however they only have CC1.3 and no DX11.

Actually considering both (5870 and the 285). Just never had good experiences with them (AMD). It was with their processors, which turned me off to their cards pretty quickly, not to mention Nvidia’s rep (til now). I’ve also read about glitches in Blender and Maya with Radeon cards. Don’t know if that applies to the 5800 series, though.

Again, this is mainly going to be my 3d computer - Blender, Maya, Photoshop, some 3ds max - so, I really need a card that can hold its own in these programs without any issues (don’t we all).

Okay, so after some research, I’m somewhat torn between the GTX285 and HD5850. The 5870 is out of my price range, while I can get either of the other two at around $200 (140 euros) on eBay.

While the 5850 is just a tad pricier for what seems like much better performance and DX11 support, I’ve read more than once that this card is notorious for the gray screen of death, as well as not working great with Linux. (Arexma, I believe you were one of my sources.) Does anyone know if this still holds true? Have updated drivers fixed these issues? Another conflict, though more minor, is Nvidia’s support of CUDA, which may be useful to me in the future.

Thoughts? :slight_smile:

I have a 5850. work totally fine in Linux, never had an issue. I don’t know where all the hate for AMD/ATI comes from. I have been using there products for 10 years and have never had a problem(in both windows and Linux). never heard of the gray screen of death. As for cuda, if you are talking about cycles than it is not an issue because cycles will support CUDA and openCL eventually.

Haha. Thanks, Chippy. As far as CUDA, yes, I’m mostly talking about Cycles and Octane Render. Right now, I’m just using LuxRender, but I would like to move on to Cycles shortly. If that is the case (eventual OpenCL support), then I may very well go with Radeon.