June 10, 2011, 10:16:43 pm
Our architecture firm has been using Lumion for about 6 months now. One challenge we are facing is finding gaming cards that are compatible with our current professional workstation power supplies. For example, we purchased an EVGA GeForce GTX 590 and installed it in an existing Precision T7400. The T7400 has a 1100W power supply, but it only has (2) 6-pin PCI-e power cables. The GTX 590 requires (2) 8-pin cables. 2 (dual-6 pin to 8 pin) adapters came with the card, but this requires (4) 6-pin PCI cables. Anyway, we were able to tweak it a little by using some other adapters, but I'm afraid the card isn't running at full capacity (Lumion only detects 1.5 of the 3GB on board memory). Also, EVGA does not support any other power adapter configuration.
Because of the power restrictions and potentional issues of using gaming cards with applications like Revit, Autocad and 3ds Max, we have resorted to using professional cards with at least 2 GB of RAM. One surprising benchmark we found:
From the same workstation, the ATI Firepro V7800 2GB (~$400 card) rendered still images and movies at a faster rate than the Nvidia GeForce 5000 ($~1200 card). (saving a poster-sized still image - Firepro V7800, 2.5 minutes vs. Quadro 5000, 5.5 minutes. creating a 640x480 movie - Firepro V7800, 7.5 minutes vs. Quadro 5000, 9.5 mins) FPS while moving around the scene came out the same ~ 20-25 FPS for both cards.
Anyway, I'm curious to hear what "professional" graphics cards others are using and would recommend. Thanks.