Which GTX 580 graphics card?

I’m dicing up which graphics card to get for a computer I want to pull together. I have a local tech friend who suggested I should go for the GX 580 chipset, though I am somewhat confused by specs and performance options. At the moment it looks like I should settle for either one of these two…

Card 1:
Palit GeForce GTX 580 Video Card, 3072MB, DDR5, PCIe-16, SLI ready

Card 2:
EVGA GTX580 Classified 3G, GeForce GTX 580 Video Card, 3072MB, DDR5, PCIe-16, SLI ready

They look very similar, although there is a $200 price difference. Is one of the brands significantly inferior?

Please let me know if you are familiar with grading cards, specifically in terms of rendering movies under Blender. I don’t want something that’s going to crawl, or worse, overheat and burn up on a large job.

Which would you recommend and why?

Rumor has it I am familiar with graphic cards.

Those are the two extremes.

Palit is in China, from Taipei, manufacturing in Honkong IIRC
The cards are cheap because young people are exploited there, work with poisonous stuff because it’s cheaper and faster and assembly line workers commit suicide regularily.
Sadly not much different for other brands.

EVGA is from California and known to be a noble brand. You pay a lot for the name only. One of the advantages is they are a OC brand and IIRC they still offer full warranty even if you exchange the cooling system on the card. Not sure if they still do though.
That said, I am almost certain they produce in china as well (Foxcon etc.) just, their profit margin is even higher.

If you look at palits page, they proudly state where they manufactur, if you check out EVGA’s web precense you’ll find nothing, so it’s a good bet you might think you buy great made US of A stuff, but in the end it’s the US company making a living on the back of those poor workers, paying less and charging more, producing on the same assembly line Palit does…

I’d do some research on where they produce, in terms of quality I’d say the difference is marginal.
Pretty much everyone uses solid capacitators today anyways and the rest… usually your card is old crap by the time the warranty is over anyways and before that you’ll get a new one.

The last card I had that died before it’s time was a Radeon 9800 Pro. Since then I had 12 other cards of various brands.

I prefer ASUS and MSI simply because they have ASUS DiCu and TwinFrozr, their own non-reference cooling, which keeps your card aroun 15-20° cooler under full load and produces less noise.

Seeing that hardware is very expensive in NZ you should go with the Palit.
Seems 842 AUD are 680 Euro.
A cheap 580 3G costs around 500 Euro here. (619 AUD)

Must be tax, but make yourself smart, if it´s cheaper to import with tax and customs, I could buy one with your money and relay it to you.
The 500 Euro here include 20% VAT.

Or should he better go for quadro?

Why should he?
Because it’s slower in CUDA?
Because it’s more expensive even with less power?
Because it offers no OpenGL benefits for Blender as there is no driversupport?

Thanks for pointing that out.

Hm - thanks for the interesting info. I might have a look into ASUS and MSI alternatives. I’d like to make the order this morning if I can.
A google I did last night after posting this thread seems to indicate people have a strong preference for EVGA over Plait if it comes to those two… I’d rather pay a few hundred extra than be landed with a card which keeps letting me down. Child labour is something I care about.

In terms of drivers etc, perhaps I should mention that Linux is my system as opposed to Windows which is why I’m going for something Nvidia based (I’ve heard Radeon aren’t as forthcoming)

…nice if it was an obvious choice.

But why BF then recommends a Quadro for a production environment? Blender requirements (bottom)

I do not know myself. I am curious to know.

Production environment usually referes to stability, relieability rather than speed.

The threshhold where a Quadro outperforms a crippled GeForce in OpenGL is bought with a lot of money.

A GTX580 has a GF110 GPU, and clocks with 607/1215 and costs 500 Euro.
A compareable Quadro would be:
A Quadro 6000 with a GF100 GPU, closcks with 574/750 and costs 3800 Euro without SDI module.

The benefit of the quadro is the huge memory, which has an error correction, the 24/7 electric parts and that it’s not crippled.
A GF100 GeForce like the GTX480 and the Quadro6000 perform almost similar in DirectX, the Quadro is faster in OpenGL, especially because it’s not crippled - no one knows if it’s driverside or hardwareside.

So a Quadro that costs as much as a GTX580, like a Quadro2000 is usually slower in OpenGL although the GeForce is crippled.

Huge benefits are the driver specific stuff a Quadro offers, like line anti aliasing in OpenGL, the quadbuffer for Stereo3D in OpenGL and stuff like that.

Professional features and stability for a production environment, but not speed, neither in OpenGL nor CUDA.

And there has to be a partner driver to support the tool you’re using. You can take a look at this partners here:
http://www.nvidia.com/page/partner_certified_drivers.html

Blender is in the list as well and has a driver… 162.65 from the year 2007!
http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_162.65.html

I highly doubt that’s beneficial for Blender. However as the BF recently got a batch of hardware from nvidia I got hopes that there’ll be a blooming cooperation to make Blender Quadrofit :slight_smile:

That makes sense. Thank you very much for this detailed explanation. Now things are much clearer to me. I always thought the performance of a graphics card was the most important thing. I never considered stability to be just important as well. Of course it is, but I was never really aware of that when buying a new one :wink:

Hmmm, I think it should be noted that the EGVA model linked in the first post comes factory overclocked (stock speed of GTX580 is 772 MHz) at 855 MHz. The Palit model is also slightly overclocked, but to a lesser extent: 783 Mhz. I honestly don’t know what the impact will be on performance, but should probably be something to consider. In any case, the GTX580 is already a good performer at stock speed.