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Two 256MB vs. One 512MB PCIe grapics card


I'm configuring a new workstation and am wondering, aside from cost, what are the advantages or drawbacks between having dual 256MB graphics cards and one 512MB card?

I plan on having two 22" monitors (but will NOT need four) and my question is specific to overloading the video card (processor?) when I have two programs that COMPETE for it.

My current PC has one 256MB card and when I use a graphic-intensive program (w/3D GIS or CAD display) and webcasting software at the same time, the display gets bogged down (i.e., extremely slow refresh rate). This ONLY happens when I share the 3D display via webcast ...or, as a 'workaround' I can reduce the display resolution down to 1024x768; anything higher bogs down. Otherwise, each program works great independently.

I'm guessing that the dual 256MB card configuration would be preferable but am not familiar with the technical part of how each program "calls on" the graphics card (memory? cache?) to do the work ...maybe the 512 would be better? If I just use one monitor, is the answer different?

The specific comparison that I'm interested in is:

a. Two 256MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX570

b. One 512MB PCIe x16 Nvidia Quadro FX1700 (costs ~300 bucks more)

Thanks in advance,

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zero benefit

In reply to: Two 256MB vs. One 512MB PCIe grapics card

"This ONLY happens when I share the 3D display via webcast"

the webcasting is the issue and an additional video card won't help. if you're trying to push your display out on the web, most of the hardware accelerated display features will be disabled.

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RE: Two 256MB vs. One 512MB PCIe graphics card

In reply to: zero benefit

Thanks ramarc,

Still not sure that I understand the technical intricacies, but this particular webcasting software (WebEx) does not automatically disable the video hardware acceleration ...or at least it didn't in my case. A call to their tech support resulted in the suggestion that I manually set the level of hardware acceleration to "none" which seemed to help a little, but the main benefit wasn't realized until I lowered the resolution (stated previously) to 1024x768.

Webcasting issue aside, is a 512mb graphics card better than two 256mb cards (i.e., for a workstation running two monitors)?



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it's impossible to use hardware acceleration w/web ex

In reply to: RE: Two 256MB vs. One 512MB PCIe graphics card

hardware acceleration speeds the display of images on the screen by bypassing the gdi. that's why video games can hit 100+ frames per second. turn off (or don't use) hardware acceleration and the game drops to 10-20 frame per second. but it's next-to-impossible to get 100+ frames per second over the web because of the bandwidth needed. that's why you had to reduce the resolution to get reasonable performance. the video card can't speed up the webshow because the video card is not the bottleneck... your internet connection and/or the web display software is.

as for two vs one video cards, it depends on your software and you should check the software manufacturer's FAQs or tech support forums.

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1v.2 video cards - software

In reply to: it's impossible to use hardware acceleration w/web ex

Thanks ramarc -- great insight.

By software (re: 1 vs. 2 video cards) do you mean the GIS/CAD programs that I'll be using or the nview software that come with nvidia card(s)?


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