Best Graphics Card: DAZ Studio, Poser, LuxRender, Octane

*See this article for updated graphics card suggestions for Iray and Octane.

On The Graphics Card Upgrade Trail

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
My graphics card, a much neglected AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5770, recently alerted me that a replacement might be an imminent requirement. A total flush of over 4 years of accumulated driver leftovers and a fresh install of the latest batch seems to have calmed the issue somewhat, though not entirely. While I was digging up the info to expand the life of my ailing card I had a good look at what’s out there, and now I feel like I’ve opened something akin to Pandora’s Box.

Generally I’m happy with how my system handles DAZ Studio 4, Poser Pro 2014, and LightWave 11, but once you’ve been bitten by with the upgrade bug… Anyway, in this article we will focus on what sort of graphics card is best for recent versions of DAZ Studio and Poser. We’ll also take a look at GPU based rendering and what works best with Octane and LuxRender.

Getting The Full Story Is A Technical Business

I will make the disclaimer up front that ensuring the absolute best performance for your dollar is an incredibly time consuming task. Even determining the best specific variant of a particular model requires a good deal of technical knowledge, and goes far beyond what I am able to cover here, which is intended as a general guide.

It is enough to say that just reading details such as RAM and GPU clock speeds, memory bandwidth etc is not always the full story. In some cases card specs can be down-right misleading. If getting the absolute best value is a high priority than benchmarks are a very good tool.Throughout this article I will make reference to several benchmark comparisons performed by Tom’s Hardware.

If you are interested in getting into the nitty-gritty then this article at EnthusiastPC will be invaluable – clarifying many technical elements in a concise and easy to read manner. This will help you cut through the marketing and give you a much better understanding of just what you’re looking at when examining card specs.

Reference Card

AMD logo
I will be using my own current graphics card as a reference point throughout. While it handles these programs well enough It is getting long in the tooth and probably won’t be found on the shelves in many good computer stores (bricks and mortar or online). With this in mind it should be fairly comparable to many other cards out there under upgrade scrutiny. So, to make things as clear as possible it is helpful for me to provide some basic specs.

• The card: Radeon HD 5770
• Released: Oct 2009 (Before AMD bought ATI)
• PCIe 2×16
• 1GB GDDR5 RAM
• Core clock speed: 850 MHz
• Memory clock:1200 MHz

Additionally I should point out that my card can no longer reach full specs (at 100% load) without crashing the display driver. This could be caused by long term moderate overheating issues – good reason to keep an eye on things and perform regular maintenance checks.

It may also be of interest that I’m running an Intel i7 860 with 8 GB of DDR3 1333 MHz RAM.

Contents

DAZ Studio
Poser
Professional/workstation graphics cards</>
Octane
LuxRender
Benchmarking with LuxMark
Conclusions

So, Which Is The Best Graphics Card For DAZ Studio And Poser?

A lot of new DAZ Studio and Poser users assume that a top shelf graphics card will speed up their renders. This is a mistake, and an easy one to make if technical information is not your cup of tea. A good graphics card still has benefits for every 3D app I can think of. Some programs like 3DS Max will make more use of advanced OpenGL, CUDA, and OpenCL features. The biggest difference you will see in DS and Poser between cheaper and more expensive cards is in the OpenGL preview (that thing you do 99% of your 3D work in). More GPU RAM and processing power will result in faster viewport response, and an increase in the size and complexity of scenes one can reasonably work with.

The next rule of thumb that inexperienced upgraders come up against is that Nvidia is the best and only real choice when it comes to performance. To an extent this is true. Nvidia cards tend to give better overall performance and have a history of better driver support, but there are instances where Nvidia find themselves relegated by their much smaller competitor, AMD. Chiefly AMD cards beat Nvidia when it comes to OpenCL performance, but I’m starting to get off track. Let’s focus on OpenGL.

OpenGL Performance

DAZ Studio

So, what cards are best for OpenGL? Well, just about any off the shelf consumer grade card will give you very good performance (AMD or NVIDIA). For programs like DAZ Studio, which does not make use of more recent OpenGL features (2.2 being all the way back from the mid noughties), even many older graphics cards that have been off the market for years like the Radeon HD 2600 should still be enough to get running, but their legacy drivers might not be stable on newer version of Windows. If nothing else old cards like these meet DS’s minimum system specs. You can still find these old cards in unopened boxes on sites like eBay selling very cheaply, but they are often the same price or more expensive than contemporary entry level cards that have higher performance architecture and components.


Of course, systems with these older cards will not be able to preview larger scenes with textures turned on without considerable slowdown, if at all. As a general indication, my system experienced moderate viewport slowdown with a scene of 600 000 polygons. For further clarification that’s the same as loading in 28 Genesis 2 figures. In general this is more than enough for me and how I use DAZ Studio. Checking Catalyst Control Center (basic tool for monitoring AMD graphics card performance) showed that the scene was definitely putting my card to the test. Note that a static scene will add little or no load to your card. It is only when moving the camera, posing, and moving objects that the GPU comes into usage.

While I say the slowdown was moderate, fine posing at that level would not be much problem for someone with reasonable patience. For these situations turning subdivision to 0 and switching the view to smooth shaded or a wire frame will improve performance somewhat.

A bigger, better and newer card has very little to offer, other than viewport speed, but comparing that performance between an entry level card like the Diamond Multimedia HD 6570, MSI HD 7750, or EVGA GeForce GTX 650, and a mid-range card like PowerColour HD 7850, Sapphire Vapour-X HD 7950, or a GTX 660, a mid-range card like a will win out noticeably as more geometry is added to a scene. So, entry level for portraits is probably fine, but populated sprawling sci-fi city scapes or high detail natural landscapes will require lots of compositing different images and/or merging pre posed scenes (fingers crossed – no crashing).

Poser

Poser doesn’t give too much away about OpenGL version or requirements. What is clear is that Poser makes far more extensive use of OpenGL than DAZ Studio does. For a start DS doesn’t have the nice real-time shadows that Poser’s preview has. What the P 10/2014 system requirements suggest is a “recent NVIDIA GeForce OR ATI Radeon required for advanced real-time preview features”. I take this to mean just about anything on the market will do to get started (likes DAZ Studio), but performance will vary.

Even a 40 dollar GeForce GT 610 supports OpenGL 4.2 (current version is 4.4), which is probably a few releases above Poser’s requirements. Even cards that are released with support for older versions of OpenGL will usually continue to have their compatibility with newer versions updated as long as the manufacturer continues to support the card. I’ve heard of people using much older and/or less powerful cards, though performance can get slow with full preview options turned on.

So what it really comes down to with both DAZ Studio and Poser 9/10/2012/2014 is that almost any card you can go into a store and buy, or order online will be enough. A bigger and better card, all the way up to high-mid (HD 7970, GTX 780) to high end cards (GTX 690, HD 7990) will obviously give you better results, such as allowing for smother preview of larger, more complex scenes, but that extra performance comes at an increasing premium.

Professional Graphics Cards

I won’t spend too much time on professional or workstation GPUs. For most users of DAZ Studio and Poser, these are serious overkill. Those that spend a lot of time in programs like Maya, 3DS Max, LightWave, etc will receive much more benefit from better graphics cards, and considering a professional cards from AMD’s FirePro and NVIDIA’s Quadro line of GPUs should be on the agenda. These programs have many workarounds for dealing with large volumes of geometry, such as having geometry/objects past a certain distance display as bounding boxes, but these methods may not always be desirable.

Quadro and FirePro cards have been shown to deliver vastly improved frame rate improvements over consumer cards when working with large volumes of geometry in production applications. For many users these cards are above and beyond budget. Mid-range work station cards can easily approach the price of upper end consumer cards. Another drawback for the many users is that they will not perform anywhere near as well as similarly spec consumer cards when it comes to gaming. So, if your work or hobby render/animation/modelling computer is also your gaming rig, then pro cards might not be a good idea.

The often touted difference in performance between consumer and workstation cards is in driver development, such as OpenGL optimisation and specialised integration with certain production applications like 3DS Max, Maya, AutoCAD, etc etc. There are other stated reasons, such as firmware design and the use of more precise error-correcting code RAM (ECC).

In short, in production level OpenGL environments pro cards are king. In this regard there are benefits for DAZ Studio and Poser users to have a FirePro or Quadro, but there is such a thing as overkill.

So with this interesting bit of information in the bag I began making eyes at AMD’s FirePro W5000 which performed admirably in LightWave. Even this relatively humble pro card was pushing what I was willing to pay, especially as till very recently it was a component I was quite happy to ignore. Then there’s a new development that turns this completely on its head.

GPU Assisted Rendering

Outside occasional gaming binges, my only other heavy use of GPU technologies is when I dabble with LuxRender. As I looked at more benchmarks I discovered a disturbing (though fortuitous) quirk, pro cards don’t perform too well in GPU rendering applications, both OpenCL and CUDA based. There are some CUDA based render engines out there specifically optimised for Quadro cards and some others where pro cards sit neck-and-neck with consumer cards.

If you have any interest in GPU based or assisted rendering then getting the best possible consumer card you can afford is a very good investment. But it’s still not that easy.

CUDA or OpenCL – Not Both Ways

Octane

If you want to work with CUDA based renderers like Octane, then getting yourself a higher end NVIDIA GTX card or two is the way to go. Go Titan if you’ve got the money. The official NVIDIA site has a list of cards that are CUDA compatible. Conveniently they are all ranked on CUDA compute compatibility.

Anything above a GTX 650 is rated as 3 + compute compatibility, while Octane requires at least 2 for full compatibility (GTX 465 +). More CUDA cores and GPU RAM are high on the Octane list of priorities. In this regard, getting the best out of Octane requires a big investment. A EVGA GTX 780 3GB will set you back around $660, while a EVGA GTX650Ti Boost 2GB
is about $170.

While smaller cards like the GTX 580 will chug along reasonably well for most uses it is seriously limited by its RAM. A simple enough fix, one might assume, would be to buy two GTX 580s. Seems reasonable, but with Octane the scene needs to be loaded into both GPUs, so while you will get quicker renders you are still faced with limitations on scene geometry and max possible textures. If multiple cards is under consideration keep in mind that having cards of equal RAM is the most efficient choice, as the card with the larger amount of RAM will have to defer to the smaller card. The biggest possible scenes call for the Titan’s 6GBs of GDDR5 RAM. In terms of pure speed, you can’t beat multiple GTX 770s, or 780s.

LuxRender

Right from the start I should point out that getting the biggest and most expensive GPUs will not give you a massive advantage in hybrid (CPU+GPU), at least not in most cases. GPU only versions of LuxRender such as SLG might be very fast and benefit greatly from high-end graphics cards, but they are somewhat experimental and are a long way from including all of CPU LuxRender’s features.

Lux’s developers warn users that GPU based Lux is not ready for production, though some do use it. I’ve said it many times, but I’ll say it again LuxRender really is for hardcore render nerds. Plugins like Luxus and Reality do make Lux more accessible, but then getting the most out of SLG (in particular) still requires a lot of time on the LuxRender Wiki, forums and experimentation.

With this qualification out of the way let’s move on. If you’re using LuxRender or another OpenCL based render engine then give NVIDIA a wide berth. CUDA is NVIDIA’s proprietary baby and they are terribly biased in its favour to the extent of having underdeveloped their OpenCL technology.

The absolute LuxRender/OpenCL card of choice right now is the Radeon HD 7990 (on special at time of writing), which is basically two 7970s squished together with precision. The next best option is to get two HD 7970s CrossFired. Benchmarks show that the 7990 slightly outperforms the two HD 7970, but the latter choice can save you a few pennies (depending on varriant – linked one is currently cheapest). Here’s some very interesting LuxMark results that include high-end consumer cards and a range of pro cards.

There is one rather large anomaly I noticed while perusing the LuxMark results page. GTX cards have been owning (that’s what the kids say, right?) the ATI cards. This is despite all the benchmarks from sites like Tom’s Hardware and AnAndTech constantly showing HD cards coming out on top, and often followed by ATI’s FirePro cards. So, what gives? Well I’ve heard rumour that some clever people out there are modifying their NVIDA drivers to perform much better with OpenCL. For the most part this is probably well beyond the scope of the average hobbyist, and might run into warranty voiding issues.

Cards from the HD 6XXX series begin to lose ground to higher tier GeForce GTX cards like the 770, 680, 690, 580, Titan (beefcake of the GeForce range), so if you like both CUDA and OpenCL based engines then a newer and higher grade GeFore GTX card is definitely worth considering.

Benchmarking with LuxMark

Out of curiosity I decided to benchmark my own somewhat degraded card. Not surprisingly the results were anaemic, at least when putting up my mere 271 (GPU only) against low to high 400s registered for the same card and test. My old i7 860 (entry level i7 at the time) put’s my card to shame in its own right with a score of 367, which sat smack in the middle of the other results for the same processor and test (Salsa). When their powers were combined the duo scored a mighty (hur, hur) 587. So, that upgrade is still looking quite attractive when a single HD 7990 can eat my results over seven times.

If you want to test your own system out, and if you’re a Lux user, I strongly suggest you do, you can pick up LuxMark (free of course), from the LuxMark section of LuxRender’s wiki.

But, WHICH card should I get?

Well, the resounding conclusion is the old hardware cliché, depends on what you plan to do with your system. A good graphics card will get you better performance with OpenGL viewports, but unless you’re working with expensive modelling and animation packages midrange consumer cards are more than enough.

If you live in programs like Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox, LightWave etc, chances are you either already have a pro card, or considered making the investment. For these programs the difference in OpenGL performance between consumer and pro cards can be night and day. BUT pro cards are definitely not the best choice if you wish to have a general purpose machine capable of playing the latest games at appreciable speeds.

The big push for GPUs in the 3D/CGI, especially for hobbyists, is with CUDA and OpenCL based renderers, and here lies one of the most important and costly hardware and software decisions you will probably make. A good CUDA based card (GTX 680 or GTX 770) and an Octane licence with a plugin to Poser, DAZ etc will set you back anything from US $800ish up to $1300+ (Titan + Octane), or much, much more for one or more top shelf cards.

Alternatively you can get going with GPU and CPU/GPU LuxRender for as little as a AMD HD 5XXX (almost nothing – $200ish). Something beefier and more recent is highly suggested. HD 7990s are the way to go, but depending on where you buy from and what brand you select they can cost anywhere from $800 up to $1600. The 7970, an admirable performer, can cost between up to $500 or 600 for Sapphire’s delicious Vapor-X HD 7970. Remember that as you go down the hierarchy of HD cards, higher level GeForce cards begin to become more competitive for OpenCL, though tend to cost more.

There are so many factors to take into consideration when upgrading, such as board compatibility and power supply (PSU) requirements. Luckily these things are easy to nut out by looking at cards specs (check at manufacturer’s website to be certain). A follow up article is on the agenda. I hope I’ve managed to dish up some good info to help you select the graphics card that will work best for you.

23 thoughts on “Best Graphics Card: DAZ Studio, Poser, LuxRender, Octane

  1. One extra nvidia card, for those with seriously deep pockets, is the very hush-hush Nivida Grid line (K1 and K2). It’s Nivida’s version of the Titan for ultra parallel computing. Be warned for sticker shock: the cheapest version will set you back (at time of writing) a mere $5,179 at retail (online, I’ve seen them for $3-4K). While employing 16GB of DDR3 VRAM for the K1 and 8GB of DDR5 for the K2, these things are often sold to Universities and research labs for hypercomputing. Rendering in GPU sure would be a hoot!

    • I left these cards out because I don’t know how well they work with Octane. I know Octane is like Lux, in that it tends to work a lot better with consumer cards than pro cards. The 16 gigs of GDDR5 would certainly be fantastic any way you cut those cookies, but in terms of speed, the GTX cards probably win in Octane. Gride is for MAD SCIENCE!

    • Hi there Tim. The problem with the 650 is that it only has 1GB RAM, so while two of these might look pretty good, you need to remember you will be seriously limited in how much geometry and textures you can play with. The RAM does not stack with GPU based rendering. The scene is equally loaded onto both cards.

  2. Hi Jim,

    Excellent article on the relationship with 3D applications and video cards.

    I’m most interested in DAZ Studio and viewport speed when posing & animating. DAZ will skip frames when it does not have the power to show all the frames during playback on the timeline. Poser does have the option to NOT skip frames but this is not available in Studio 4.6 (as far as I can see).

    Preferably, I’d like to see an animation playout at 60 fps (or at least 30 fps) for a scene with one or two characters and mid to high poly count props (cars for example) with mid/high res textures. This is without frame skipping.

    What would be the cheapest recommended graphics card that can achieve this. Are there any CPU/RAM/mobo considerations?

    Look forward to your feedback and thanks again.

    -Cain

    • Hi Cain. So sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I’m sure you’ve found useful information since. I couldn’t really give any answers as to minimal specs, but in Lightwave I had simple animations running fluidly on my older Radeon 4770. From memory I had similar results in DS 4. I just did a quick test in DS 4.6 with some stock keyframes and had nice clean results at 60fps, but my current card, is a FirePro W7000. I can say though that I haven’t noticed any performance difference between my Radeon 270x and the FirePro in DS. The 270x isn’t exactly a low spec card, but it is a great budget mid range card.

      Once again, very sorry to leave you hanging there.

      Jim

  3. HI. I’m using a single GTX 670 with 2 gb and it handles Daz Studio scenes via Octane plugin fine. The plugin, by the way, makes a world of difference over the standalone in how it works directly with the DS interface. You can rotate the scene and watch it update in near real time in the Octane viewport. Yes, it can crash and yes, it is slow to move the mouse around since, for me, I only have the one GPU. However, the renders I am getting with selective focus, and now the animations, well, if you want to get Octane for Daz, its definitely worth getting the plugin. Its still in beta at 1.2, but its a blast to use and watch the render happen often in seconds instead of minutes or hours.
    A few things that I haven’t seen written anywhere and I assume its because not that many people actually have the DS plugin- 1st, you can downsize the materials in 2 ways, by the free DS plugin called Texture Atlas, which groups the mats into one large file at a size you set. Or, use the Octane plugin feature to downsize to 1/2, 1/3rd or 1/4th size. It shows you how big the vram is when you go to the Octane materials window, so you just keep downsizing (like the enormous skin maps for G2) until you get it within the parameters of the card, in my case under 1500 mb (the other 3-500 is used for other things, so you don’t get the full card vram size.) But it does work and works very well. I just took a 7gig file down to 1.4 and can’t really tell the difference in my large scene. I would in closeups, however, but not for animations.
    The other thing is the quality- its really very good, much more realistic than anything I can get outside of Reality, which uses a similar technology but I sometimes have trouble loading skin maps, etc. It does not use the GPU, in fact Reality won’t load if its checked on. I don’t know when they will update it for Daz, its still at 2.5 as I recall, not 3 as it is for Poser.
    So the card cuda is important, the amount of vram is very important but workable with slightly older cards. They emailed me with high praise for the new GTX 670 6 GB, now at $589. I’ll get one soon as it will allow my slower 670 to be my screen card. Just keep in mind that the grainyness of the renders needs to be considered for animations as it will take a bit longer for each frame to run clean enough not to have a rough effect that I simply could not remove with post effects. (the plugins post effects are great, by the way- bloom, flares, its beautiful to watch, especially with emitter lights like panels you set up, simple and lifelike.
    Hope this info helps for anyone wanting to jump to the Octane plugin for Daz but are worried about the GPU they have. I would say a 2 gig card is minimum for most average scenes, but, again, there are easy ways to drop these down to a workable size via Daz or the plugin itself, and it tells you how far you have reduced maps BEFORE you open the viewer or do an animation render.

    • Hi Phil. Apologies for taking so long to get your message approved and replied to. I had actually written up a response long ago but must have forgot to press reply/approve. CUDA based engines like Octane are indeed amazing. The speed and accuracy of the images they can produce is very impressive. You bring a lot to the discussion here. Your point on animation is particularly of interest. I have done very little animation, but starting in February it is going to be on my mind a lot more, well it already is really.

      For low budget animation trad light setups and CPU rendering is still king. Both CPU and physically accurate rendering do tend to require a lot more tweaking and samples to get clean animation. To be honest I’m lazy when it comes to lighting, so GI and physically accurate rendering has saved me a lot of time when it comes to placing additional environmental lights in still images.

  4. Nice article, thanks for sharing your experience.

    Manufacturers of video card releases high end cards with big memory now (GTX 780 video cards eg. Asus Strix with 6GB vram), this decisions are making gamer enthusiasts baffled and in confusion. No high profile games released (beside Watch Dogs) utilizes more than 3GB vram. For gamers, going for 780 Ti 3GB definitely more worth it than having 780 with 6GB. But for DAZ/Poser users, this could be seen as an advantage.

    • Hi Budi, thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. 6GB DDR RAM is advantageous indeed. 3GB would fit the needs of most users (or go well beyond), but 6GB would allow for some very complex scenes to render in Lux and Octane. I suppose gamers have similar considerations when it comes to selecting CPUs too. There are games pushing utilising 8 thread CPUs, but with many games a cheaper i5 is cheaper and offers better performance.

  5. super article jim
    i consider myself as hobbyst, got me headache with lux (even nightmare)…been using octane w/ asus gtx 670 4gb, b4 that, trade it w/ my previous HIS 290 bcoz sometime the final render didnt workout as i hope 2b. I hope more of this stuff here such as share ur own workflow from start draw to final render.

    best regard

    • Hi Yuda. Sorry for the extreme lateness of reply. I agree, working with Lux is still a lot of hard yards, especially if you want to work with faster GPU methods, but they seem to be moving in the right direction with the engine. I still haven’t moved to CUDA cards and Octane, but it is still there somewhere on the list of priorities.

  6. Pingback: Best graphics card for budget Maya/3DS Max and Blender build

    • Hi Hoddie,

      Sorry to hear about your problems with Poser. It is perplexing how woeful Poser runs on your system (at least at the time the thread was created). I know there have been a lot of service releases, so it might be worth installing again and taking a look with the updates. In fact, I just downloaded release 5 today. I haven’t made much use of Poser since I put this article together, but the performance I was looking at was never as bad as what you experienced. I have noticed, little by little DSON is running smoother, but overall I find Poser to be somewhat slower than DS, even when working with Poser figures. That may have something to do with the higher quality preview, but it is very workable on a scene similar to what you demonstrated in your video.

      • Cheers thanks, I may give the 5.2 service update released on 18th March a try – in general there are always “Preview Rendering improvements” listed in each hot fix, tho my benchmark is to have relatively large populated scenes 5-10 figures. Its weird that Poser when handling 2-3 V4’s at 67 Quads each (192K) it basically just halts for me..on the other hand Daz I can load as you suggested up to 15 G2F’s at 83K each and not a hint of slowdown.

        Still I may try a poser install once more. I know it has “better” preview window with hardware shadows…but even with that disabled it cant handle 3+ figures for me

        Either that or I wait till Poser Pro 2015, but it and hassle Customer support till they “fix” it….

        Had you ever seen paralleled bad performance ? A few people on my thread noted the same behaviour.

        • I have heard of peculiar performance in many 3D programs with high spec machines. Usually there are simple fixes, sometimes it is more involved, but I have only ever seen a few instances of completely inexplicable bad performance. Unfortunately I can’t offer any suggestions, except that if it were practical you could use a tried and tested system for working with Poser and use the other system for rendering. Obviously having a single computer dedicated to Poser is excessive, but there are many benefits to having multiple discrete machines. It is a shame Poser doesn’t like your system, especially if you are considering animation with DAZ figures.

  7. Hi, thanks for the awesome article. I recently had interest in arts,photography drawing etc, but i m not much of an artist. Tried to draw again but didnt look good.I recently found out about Daz studio and posers, where you can purchase and create 3d models and make it looks real. Would an i3 and gtx 750 nvidia suffice for doing 3d rendering? tried running luxrender vr but the lobbyroom rendering kinda slow and slows my pc down by50%. if need an upgrade what would it be? any specific driver i have to download for 3d rendering? thanks man

    • Hi Giogio,

      Your current system can give you great results. You will likely run into limitations with your setup, especially when rendering global illumination, complex shaders and large scenes, but it can be done. Using a CUDA based render engine like Iray (included in last DAZ Studio beta) or Octane would make good use of your GTX and should be a lot faster than thrashing your i3 in LuxRender (which still isn’t ideal for GPU rendering and better with AMD cards). The only real suggestion I have in terms of drivers is to make sure you are using the latest.

      As for hardware suggestions, you can’t really beat Intel i7 chips when it comes to price/performance comparisons when using CPU based rendering (Firefly, 3Delight, LuxRender etc). When it comes to GPU options Nvidia cards and CUDA based engines are still quite ahead, so it really comes down to what you can afford and are willing to spend. I’m currently looking at GTX 980s but will probably settle for a 970 for the price cut.

      The 970 has the advantage of having twice the RAM and 3 times the CUDA cores (both primary considerations for GPU rendering) when compared to the 750. More RAM + more CUDA = more win.

  8. Hi i have a couple question’s for now i know you like to talk about the i7 i am fixing to upgrade my PC but my ASUS mother board will only support AMD processors up to Am3+ as long as i dont go over 95w according to my MB
    specs so i am going to switch my older am2 dual core for an am3+ quad core.

    and i wll be buyin at least ab 8 gig Nivida vid card.

    So i have 2 question’s for you how well do the Amd cpu’s work with daz.
    and i do have to have a Nivida brand name card or can i get away with using a card with the Nivida chipset as in do those have the cuda cores? too or just the Nivida card’s cuda cores i can afford to buy a high end Nivida card but i dont want to spend that kind of money if i can get the off brand that has the same tech.

    • Hi Joe,

      If you are going to be using your graphics card for rendering you can easily get away with installing something like the FX-6350. DAZ will run fine using this. This is a good alternative if you don’t use other software running CPU expensive tasks such as dynamics simulation, or other CPU render engines.

      As long as a graphics card is made to nvidia spec you will have no trouble rendering with it. If it is a GTX card with CUDA cores you are good to go. Apologies for the lateness of reply. I hope this helps you out. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Best regards,

      Jim

  9. I recently bought two gainward gtx cards, a 770 and a 780 and use it with two xeon hexacores. Performance is great for both cards. I am on a budget, so I bought a HP Z400 and a Lenovo S20 equipped with 16 Gb RAM. not the fastest but stability is great. Thats what matters most to me. I work with old Maya and that works great. I bought it when I got my degree in animation @ Escape Studios London. The new Maya is slow with this setup but with older Maya it reacts instantly. I cannot see the difference in quality of my animations. My advice, buy some older professional workstation, some of these machines are still fantastic to work with and won’t break the bank. With regards Pi-Qui

    • This is good advice. DAZ Studio should work well on a lot of these old stations too, but many users will want GTX cards with more RAM in them for GPU rendering. I work with cards that have 3gb, which is a low enough figure to get some raised eyebrows, but it’s good enough for me. Thanks, Pi-Qui.

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