New workstation, which GPU to choose?

Hi all!

I’m transferring to a new job next month and I got to choose a new workstation. Mostly print and graphical work, but with eye on 3D animations for the future (consisting out of modeling and animating architectural stuff, but mostly furnitures).

I want to get the most out of the station in combination with Blender.

At first I offered to use 2x asus gtx970 4GD5. Then I got the answer they were working with an IT company wich they get their hardware from.

They offered me a list of cards wich I could choose from, a first and a second choice.

This is the list:

· NVIDIA® NVS315, 1 GB, (DMS59) (DMS-dualDVI adapter)
· AMD FirePro™ W2100 2 GB (2 DP) (1 DP naar SL-DVI adapter)
· NVIDIA® Quadro® K420 2 GB (DP, DL-DVI-I) (1 DP naar SL-DVI adapter)
· AMD FirePro™ W4100 2 GB (4 mDP) (4 mDP-DP adapters)
· NVIDIA® Quadro® K620 2 GB (DP, DL-DVI-I) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)
· NVIDIA® NVS 510, 2 GB, (4 mDP) (4 mDP-DP adapters)
· AMD FirePro™ W5100 4 GB (4 DP) (2 DP naar SL-DVI-adapters)
· NVIDIA® Quadro® K2200 4 GB (2 DP, DL-DVI-I) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)
· AMD FirePro™ W7100 8 GB (4 DP) (3 DP naar SL-DVI adapters)
· Dubbele 1 GB NVIDIA® NVS315 (DMS-dualDVI adapter)
· Dubbele AMD FirePro™ W2100 2 GB (2 DP) (2 DP naar SL-DVI adapters)
· Dubbele NVIDIA® Quadro® K420 2GB (DP, DL-DVI-I) (adapters voor 2 x DP naar SL-DVI)
· Dubbele AMD FirePro™ W4100 2 GB (4 mDP) (8 mDP-DP adapters)
· Dubbele NVIDIA® Quadro® K620 2 GB (DP, DL-DVI-I) (2 DP naar SL-DVI-adapters)
· Dual NVIDIA® NVS 510, 2 GB. (4 mDP) (8 mDP-DP adapters)
· Nvidia NVS 310, 1 GB, 2 DP (1 DP naar SL-DVI adapter)
· Dubbele Nvidia NVS 310, 1 GB, 2 DP (2 DP naar SL-DVI adapter)
· Nvidia® Quadro® K1200 4 GB, volledige hoogte (4 mDP)(4 mDP naar DP adapters)
· Dubbele Nvidia® Quadro® K1200 4 GB, halve hoogte (4 mDP)(8 mDP naar DP adapters)
· Nvidia® Quadro® M4000 8GB, zonder beugel (4 DP) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)
· NVIDIA® Quadro® M2000 4 GB (4 DP) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)

(sorry the list is partly dutch. Dubbele = double and naar = to)

According to Blender GPU benchmarks: http://blenchmark.com/gpu-benchmarks my first choice would be the Nvidia quadro M4000. The other cards don’t really seem to score high on the list. Is there a reason why the quadro and other cards don’t score as high as GTX cards?

Should I push my new employer to specifically aim at a station wich can hold GTX cards or would any of the cards above suffice for mid- to heavy modeling / rendering in Blender?

Thanks in advance!

The Quadro/FirePro cards are aimed at professionals, using essentially the same chips as the Geforce GPUs, but with some added features (not really relevant for Blender) and more RAM, but also clocked lower. These GPUs are much more expensive than the equivalent Geforce GPU. The M4000 has the same chip as the GTX970 at a lower clock, so you might want to go with that one. Beyond the M4000, things get prohibitively expensive.

If you can’t argue for gamer hardware on a workstation, try arguing for a Titan X, which is aimed at professionals and enthusiast gamers alike. Be aware that the new Titan X (Pascal hardware) is not yet supported by Blender, though that may change soon. If your IT company can’t supply those, they better step up their game.

For modeling, any of those GPUs should be fine - Blender has other bottlenecks than the GPU here. If you want to do Cycles GPU rendering, it’s best to have one GPU dedicated to it, otherwise the system will become much less responsive. Therefore, you should choose one lower-range GPU for the viewport and one higher-range GPU for Cycles, instead of two mid-range GPUs for either.

The choice has been made:

1st choice: Nvidia® Quadro® M4000 8GB, zonder beugel (4 DP) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)
2nd choice: NVIDIA® Quadro® K2200 4 GB (2 DP, DL-DVI-I) (1 DP naar SL-DVI-adapter)

The complete setup will be:
Dell Precision 362, 32 GB, 1 TB HD
256 SSD HD, Windows 10 Pro 64-bits
Intel® CoreTM i7-6700 (Quad Core 3,40 GHz, 4,0 GHz HD Graphics 530)
2x Dell UltraSharp U2417HA

I think the setup will suffice. Thanks for the info!