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Thread: Best graphic card for Revit 2011 for less than $250 ?

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    Administrator Munkholm's Avatar
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    Best graphic card for Revit 2011 for less than $250 ?

    There where some great threads on this topic at our old place, but I┤v forgotten the conclusion... Pretty sure that Gordon mentioned a GTX, but can┤t remember the model number. Anyone with some input here ? I really need a better card for my current projects.

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    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    I think the general consensus was forming on the Nvidia GeForce GTX460 for under $250 US. That's the card Gordon mentioned. I just picked one up (MSI N460GTX Cyclone, but I doubt there's much difference between brands as far as compatibility goes), and it seems to be working great with hardware acceleration and anti-aliasing turned on. We've only had it for a couple weeks, but it seems like it's a keeper.

    The only minor quibble we've noticed is occasionally (a couple times a day?) the Revit status bar at the bottom of the screen will go loopy for about ten seconds. But that happens with lots of video cards.

    All that being said, especially when it comes to video cards, YMMV.

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    Junior Member Stuntmonkee's Avatar
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    We have been pretty happy with the ATI FirePro V3700, I think those are under $100?

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Yes, the GTX 460 is the card we have been using. This is what I call a "mid-level" card, i.e. price between $200 & $300, good for the majority of Revit users, maybe just not for heavy design use.

    For an entry level card, I would suggest the GTS 250, but at $150 the performance drop is not worth the savings in my book. There is a real difference between these two, and even if you only use it for a year, $200 for a year of better performance just doesn't seem like a bad ROI. The difference we found was that on our models (moderately detailed schools, in the 150-300MB size on disk range by CDs) the GTX 460 would allow people to work in views with shadows and ambient occlusion on. "Regen" times when spinning the 3D view would be from instant to a second or so. The GTS 250 would have 4-10 second pauses, making it unworkable in anything but "Documentation" type views. Our old cards, like say the GeForce 8600 GT/Quadro FX1700, would have been easily 15 second delays.

    That said, the GTX 570 is out, and at $350 I would be tempted to go that route for new cards. Or even the GTX 580 at $500. Especially if I was planning on using the machine for two years, I think the extra couple hundred $ spent now would make a real difference 18 months from now. And I think the GTX 580 will make Realistic/Shadows/Ambient Occlusion whatever else viable for the designer types who want to live in the pretty views. The GTX 460 works, but is somewhat annoying at times.

    Also, I got verification from the Factory that in RAC 2011 textures are indeed cached in graphics RAM. I am trying to quantify just what "enough" Graphics RAM means now, but at least 1GB seems appropriate now, given how both Revit and Windows 7 will actually use it. No longer do we pay for RAM we don't need (or in 32 bit Windows don't want) just to get a GPU that is up to the task at hand.

    And lastly, I find that the difference between manufacturers is small, but present. I think PNY does the best job making "professional" cards based on the GeForce GPUs. Good cooling solutions, good build quality. Rarely if ever a game included with the card, which speaks volumes. ASUS, EVGA and MSI are the other decent manufacturers, probably in reverse order for me. Zotac, Galaxy, Palit, Sparkle and the rest I just don't trust. Too "gamer" oriented. Gigabyte burned me once so I lump them in there too, perhaps unfairly as that was years ago. Curious to see what others think with regards to the manufacturers.

    Best,
    Gordon

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    Administrator Ian.Kidston's Avatar
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    Although it is slightly over the money at $360AUD, I read somewhere recently that AMD FirePro V4800 gave very good results. I have used a variety of the cheaper ATI Radeon which have all worked flawlessly for me.

    Cheers
    Last edited by Ian.Kidston; December 12th, 2010 at 07:53 PM. Reason: typo!!!

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    Revit Rendering Guru
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian.Kidston View Post
    ...AMD FirePro V4800 gave very goor results.
    I assume you meant good, and not poor?

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    Administrator Ian.Kidston's Avatar
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    Wink Damm - Dyslexic fingers

    ....lol......

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    Quote Originally Posted by muttlieb View Post
    I assume you meant good, and not poor?
    Such a tiny difference....

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