I am truly hesitant to post a “which video card” post, so, sorry if this is annoying, but I can’t seem to google this up: GTX 750 Ti vs GTX 950?
There is a 4GB 750 Ti at newegg for $150… (GV-N75TWF2OC-4GI). It has 640 CUDA cores.
The GTX 950 seems significantly faster in all the reviews I read, and has 768 cores, and is available for ~$170, which would seem like a no-brainer, but the card is apparently unavailable in >2GB configurations (true?).
I’m a very amateur Blender user, and won’t be doing big complicated scenes, but I read a lot about how the GPU memory is pretty crucial and I don’t want to bump up against that if I can help it… so I’m trying to decide if the memory issue trumps the rest of the specs.
My CPU is and i7-4770K with 8GB RAM.
Thanks for any ideas! It’s hard to know how to weigh all the factors properly.
This is a tough question. On one hand, that 750 TI probably won’t be much faster than the cpu, and on the other hand, the 2 GB wall is quite limiting (with current overhead, you’re left with ~1.2 GB). Looking at the 950, for a little extra cash (about $10-$15 more), you can get a 960 with 1024 cuda cores and 2 GB VRAM. A 4 GB option is also available, but not worth it as the price nears the 970.
Honestly though, none of the above are appealing options. Unless you’re gaming too, I’d say stick it out on cpu for awhile longer and hold off, see where the market goes, and more importantly, the advancing OpenCL support in Cycles. A Radeon card may be more than viable in a few months.
Assuming that you are looking for a good card to render with Cycles (not only display viewport) if you already have an i7-4770K, my opinion is that anything smaller than a GTX 970 is not worth (if we talk only nVidia side):
You continue saving money and buy something big later (and when you can, you also consider increasing these 8GB of RAM)
Wow, thanks for the very helpful advice. Really glad I asked here. I had no idea my CPU was that fast relative to what budget GPUs have to offer. And good to know that Radeon might be viable soon. I’m in no hurry, so I’ll just wait, as you both advised, and see how things develop.
Just one clarification though, re: RAM – when we say “small scene” or “complex scene”, what are we meaning, roughly? Meaning, in terms of rough poly count or whatever the simplest metric would be? The last time I worked with 3D programs was the mid-90’s, so I’m not sure where the current definition lies. I’m just curious because there’s a chance 1.2 GB could be plenty for me – I’m mostly using Blender for simple visualization of projects (microphones and other tinkering things I do) as opposed to sophisticated artistic stuff. (I may also do some compositing/camera tracking stuff, and video editing; presumably not relevant to this issue.) Even so, it doesn’t sound like either card would make a lot of sense, but I was just curious.