Graphic Card suggestions

Looking to upgrade my graphics card and want to spend less than $500. Looking for suggestions, would like to play around with cycles more, so something with some GPU strength. New to all of this so any advice helps. Thanks

$500 in which currency? if its AUD, you could probably get a GTX570 – and a 650w psu for that much –

US dollars

wait a month or two. amd just released the beastthat is the 7970 that is the fastest stock. and you can over clock it big time. it is over the prices will come down. they are also releasing the 7950 later this month which should launch at 500 or less. google the amd 7970 and you’ll see how powerful it is, it can be over clocked safely to beat the 6990 pt the nvidia 580…the dual gpu highest cards from last gen. buying right now you’ll probably be buying right before a major round of price cuts. the 7970 is still selling out, once supply catches up with demand it will force down the price of everything else.

Which is all very cool, but for Blender it’s CUDA or bust for the moment. Whether AMD gets its act together and fixes their OpenCL drivers is still unknown.

Moved from “General Forums > Blender and CG Discussions” to “Support > Technical Support”

Instead of starting a new thread to ask basically the same thing, I’ll join in here.

I just looked at a few nvidia cards, most were about $100 or less. I really don’t want to spend a ton (my current one gave me the Christmas present of going solid orange screen on me on the 25th). They have so many models it’s hard to tell which is best. I’d love to get away with spending 100 or less, but not if the card isn’t strong enough to handle what Cycles throws at it.

While I’m forced to be in the market for a new one, I may as well get something well suited to Blender and Cycles. Any recommendations from the long list of nvidia cards that would be a good match for a 2008 Mac Pro?

Check the specs on your Mac’s power supply. Then pick the nVidia card that best matches your system. You may want to look around the gtx 460 range. If you check the specs page and scroll to the bottom you will see that this card requires PCIe 2.0, 2 slots width and 450W power supply minimum. I am not sure how much room are in those 2008 macs…?

Totally agree with you. It now makes it hard for Mac users like me who want to use GPU rendering in cycles but can’t because AMD are useless with thier drivers. I may build a PC with an nvidia card.

Go for the gtx580, atm best for modeling and CUDA rendering.

Also check out Nvidia’s MAXIMUS project, it’s about combining Quadro and tesla or smt…

@rdo3: I have a 460 and it works fine in Blender. If you look at the 260 specs you will see that the 460 has about twice as many cuda cores (may be useful later down the road), OpenGL 4.1 and supports DirectX 11. The 260 does not. Oddly, the 260 requires more power to run than the 460.

You never really know, with all those 3rd party vendors making barely works versions of nVida cards. I chose the Sparkle brand because of the price. It had about a 50% customer satisfaction rating. I guess I was lucky, I got a card that worked. The fan was a bit louder than I expected, but it runs in my render box in the basement so it is not a big concern.

Fermi cards are slow when modeling, Radeons are much faster in OpenGL. But there’s no CUDA then :wink:

You should stop suggesting it in every thread if you don’t even know what it is.
Maximus are nvidia workstation with quadro(s) and tesla(s) in it, tailored for 3dsmax+iray, catia, mathlab and such.

For instance with a Tesla C2075 and a Quadro 6000. Nice workstation, however they are both slower with cycles than a GF580 would be and in OpenGL a Quadro has no benefit in Blender besides the non-crippled OpenGL performance wich might be yesterdays news soon due to Brechts backface shading patch. However a Tesla C2075 costs 2200 Euro, a Quadro 6000 SDI costs 7000 Euro.

Great recommendation, 9200 Euro in cards alone for no benefit in Blender lol.
I am sure the average blenderhead wanting to spend 500 USD just throws 10000 Euro on the table and says “…keep the change and have a nice afternoon…”

As for the GF200 it’s at the bottom limit, keep in mind that Cycles currently needs CC 1.3:

Thanks for pointing that out Arexma…

By saying “As for the GF200 it’s at the bottom limit”, you mean that one shouldn’t buy a lower card because it wont support cuda anymore because of the cc1.3…? Just checking i’m with you here…

What card would you suggest:

  • For a low budget, and the intention to change it in the future when…
  • For a normal budget, and keep it for a good while and than change it, or back it up with a second one…


As i am using a gtx 260 I know there are some limit even on 1.3 CC cards.
For low-middle budget the best card is the gtx 550 2GB for about 100 Euro, it is not very fast (192 cores) but you are not limited with VRam and it is the latest CC 2.1 and this is future proof.
Even cheaper mainboards have two pcie slots and you are able to buy a second one later (~gtx 560 performance).

Cheers, mib.

I was kind of fooled myself into getting a Quadro 4000 when I read about the OpenGL issue. Blender viewport is performing great now, and with 2GB of on-board memory I’ve been able to pull off some crazy stuff (mostly by taking hi-res fluid simulation to unreasonable extremes :D). But I must confess that its 256 CUDA cores left me wanting for more (much more, actually, considering a GTX590 is worth the same price and sports 1024 CUDA cores).

Well, live and learn. At least I stayed within budget and can still fix the situation with a dedicated geforce for GPU rendering.

Okay, I am now officially 100% frustrated, confused and locked up. I just don’t know where to go. WAY too many choices, WAY too hard to tell what’s compatible and what isn’t, and perhaps worst of all, the pricing makes absolutely ZERO sense. Why on earth are some the newer models on Nvidia’s site priced at $100 - $200, while the 8800 GT that my system had and is now on the “older products” list is listing for closer to $300? And why when I click on the purchase options do I get a long list where the same stores appear multiple times? What’s the difference between New Egg and New Egg? Or Amazon’s 3 different listings, etc. Even the Apple tech I was just on the phone with basically shrugged and said “I wish there was more I could tell you”.

My machine is a 2008 Mac Pro, the current card is an 88010 GT. The specs I found online say it has a 300W maxium combined for all PCI express slots. I really don’t want to spend more than 100 - 200 right now, money’s extremely tight as it is. What do I choose, and where do I get it from? Is it normal that parts become MORE expensive for older computers. Is a 3 year old computer so atiquated that the specs for things like power supply totally outmode it already?

It should be clear and simple. I just want my computer back and working, with something compatible with my system that doesn’t cost multiple hundreds, and preferably. $300 to get a refurbished version of the card it came with 3 years ago isn’t the option I’m looking for. This is getting hugely frustrating now…

people really need to stop buying macs…
come on already…
you like to play around and “tweak” your software for better performance,
why not “tweak” your hardware as well? and be limited by Apple’s lame corporate design.

I to am looking to get a new graphics card and don’t really know whats what. Could anyone tell me how good this would be:

for use with cycles etc.


deleted… (omg can’t delete post?)

Thanks, that’s very helpful, and will probaly save me a bit to. I can’t believe NVidia would do that.