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View Full Version : Are 2 graphics cards better than 1 graphics card!?



cove
05-17-2015, 06:35 AM
Hi.
Have a query regarding installing a second graphics card.
Would like know what benifits, if any, there would be in having 2 graphic cards installed
given the already decent system i have at present.
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Magnetar S16-AW750 Workstation.
Processor. Intel i7 3.40GHz [6core/12 thread].
[Tuned to run at 4.4GHz]
RAM. 32GB SDRAM.
GRAPHICS CARD. AMD FirePro W5000.
O/S Microsoft Windows 7 Professional [64BIT].
Dell 24" hi res monitor.
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I still have the graphics card from my previous system which is also an AMD FirePro W5000.
I use Lightwave 2015.2. Poser Pro dev 2015. Howler 9 [paint and animation] and video editing software.
Not into games.
Ive no idea wether adding a second card would simply put unessaccery stress on my system or how i would
make use of it with respect to the software i use.
If i understand correctly Lightwave is CPU driven so having a second card would apparently be of little use.
Thanks for any info in reply that helps me to decide wether to install the second card or sell it on.
Regards. KEN.

Ryan Roye
05-17-2015, 07:03 AM
I would only recommend a second card for people who are using a GPU-based renderer such as Octane, or other applications which can actually take advantage of the extra GPU power. Otherwise, it's an inefficient investment. A decent card helps with Lightwave, but after a certain point the performance plateaus and the speed boost you get will almost literally be zero.

prometheus
05-17-2015, 07:09 AM
I would only recommend a second card for people who are using a GPU-based renderer such as Octane, or other applications which can actually take advantage of the extra GPU power. Otherwise, it's an inefficient investment. A decent card helps with Lightwave, but after a certain point the performance plateaus and the speed boost you get will almost literally be zero.

Fluid simulation perhaps if using TurbulenceFD and simulating with cuda cards, not sure if Jascha has mentioned something about two cards enhancing the speed?

Markc
05-17-2015, 07:12 AM
Another benefit, would be if you have multiple displays, connect one to each card.
Rather than attaching all to the same card and reducing your GPU ram.

Greenlaw
05-17-2015, 12:15 PM
Lightwave itself doesn't use the GPU, so no benefit there unless you're using a third party plug-in that does, like Turbulence FD or Octane.

In the iPi Soft forums the other day, a user asked if it would be better to use two less expensive graphics cards or a single higher end card for calculating mocap. The developer responded by saying that with their software, having two identical graphics cards only gives Mocap Studio 1.6 times performance increase over single card of the same configuration, so they felt that getting a single higher end card was better than using two lower end cards. Getting two high-end cards is better of course but maybe not as much as you'd think.

I know that doesn't really help for deciding what to get for Lightwave but I just thought I'd put it out there as something to consider if you use other software that is GPU aware.

G.

vonpietro
05-17-2015, 01:51 PM
if you get two gtx 960's at 1094 cuda cores each - you get 2000 cuda cores which is close to one titan z at 3072
gtx 960's about 169 each - titan z - about $1100 - savings - $700 bucks for similar power.
(biggest drawback is that 960's only have 2gigs of ram each)
while a titan has what 6 to 12 gigs

Turbulance and octane will use all GPU's available.

also blender uses GPU's as well.


plus multiple displays - how did i live without that before!!

If you got two of the same cards- the positive is extra gpu power
the negative is extra heat or electricity usage.

Dexter2999
05-17-2015, 02:13 PM
LW, "as-is", out of the box, will not benefit from multiple cards unless you are running multiple monitors.

So, the other questions might be:

What other software am I running that would benefit from multiple GPU's?

Do I need to have two of the same card?
(Adobe Photoshop recommends this is if you are running two cards.)

Would I see a greater increase in my over all productivity with better cards for interactivity or software/plug-ins for workflow?
(Or in the case of Octane, BOTH)

cove
05-18-2015, 12:01 PM
Hi again.
Thanks for all your comments and advice much appreciated.
I think the overall inpression is that i would gain very little from installing a second graphics card.
Eccept if i intend to buy software that could run better with a second GPU or bought a second monitor.
Looks like the only option is to try and sell it on.
Thanks for helping me decide what to do.
Regards. KEN.

Greenlaw
05-18-2015, 12:57 PM
In general, you shouldn't need more than one card for two monitors. I've never had more than a single card in a computer at my home studio or at the movie/TV studios I've worked at, and have always had dual monitor setups. The main reason some people argue that you need two cards is to have separate color profiles for each monitor but this is incorrect; you can have multiple color profiles active with a single card too.

Distribution of the graphic card's RAM and GPU would be another reason--depending on what you're doing with your system, this would be a legitimate reason.

G.