Suspected graphics cards for 3D

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 12dylan34, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. 12dylan34 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Anyone who frequents this forum will know that the suspected graphics cards for the upcoming iMac refresh are the AMD 7970m or the Nvidea GTX680m. From what I've gathered, these cards seem to be more geared toward gaming, which I quite honestly couldn't care less about. I've been told that cards can be either optimized for gaming or for other stuff (i.e. viewport performance in 3D programs like Cinema 4D, etc, which is what I care about).

    My question is, as good as both of these cards are for gaming, how well does someone with knowledge on the issue think that they'll perform for 3D viewport performance? If it does as well for this as it does for gaming I think that I'll be pretty happy, but will I be wasting money opting for this option, or should I potentially consider a refurb/used Mac Pro that I could put a workstation card in?

  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    You have been mislead :) Indeed, there is a distinction between gaming cards and professional cards, but the real difference between those are drivers. 'Professional' drivers often have better acceleration for things often used in professional environment, such as wireframe (lines) rendering. But hardware-wise, the professional cards are more or less identical to (slower) gaming cards.

    Anyway, unless you are working with applications like AutoCAD on a very serious level, you don't need a professional card. And if you work with 3d graphics you will probably benefit from faster GPU — and these is what you call 'gaming' GPUs.
  3. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Alright, thanks! I ask because I'm a motion graphic design student and I've kind of hit a wall with polygons and scene complexity in Cinema 4D with my current MacBook Pro and just want the best viewport performance possible within my budget.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Well, a professional card might be slightly better if you have high complexity scenes, but they are also extremely expensive. And older ones just lack the horsepower of modern gaming GPUs. If I might ask, what MBP do you own? If its a 13" or a 15" with Geforce 9600M GT/330M - these cards are rather slow by today's standards. The 2012 MBP has a much faster card and the higher-end iMac has one of the fastest mobiel GPUs of previous generation.
  5. bogatyr, Jun 19, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012

    bogatyr macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2012
    Similar, yes, identical? No. There are hardware differences to optimize CAD work in the Quadro cards - it isn't just drivers or you could just force feed the GeForce drivers on a Quadro card.

    More specific details (a bit old):
  6. 12dylan34 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2009
    Slower than that even... It's an early 2008 15" with a GeForce 8600M GT with 256 MB. I have some unrendered physics/particle heavy C4D projects that get 1 fps or less on this, so pretty much anything I'm sure would be a great improvement.
  7. racher macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    Yup, my MBP is a 2010 17" with that crappy Nvidia 330M. And so many programs I use (Adobe CS6) rely on that GPU. Any graphics card Apple puts in the new iMac will be a vast improvement. Still, I'm rooting for a 680M option.

  8. RandomMistakes macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2012
    If you are working solely in 3D rendering, then you will ABSOLUTELY benefit from a workstation card such as the AMD Firepro or Nvidia Quadro lines. Gaming cards will work too, with the benefit that you can have some fun playing games when you're not working, but they dont have the support and drivers and optimization of the professional cards. Yes, they are more expensive, but they will also save you time. So you have to decide how much your time is worth.

    Let's face it, as good as the iMac GPUs are for everyday tasks and even some gaming, they are still mobile versions of real cards and just plain are not as good as their counterparts.

    I work in VRay RT, Rhino, Revit, AutoCAD, 3DS Max, etc, and this is just what I've noticed. I dont game, I render. A lot.

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