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Monday, July 16, 2012

A Question about Nvidia vs ATI for Autodesk Products

Today, we asked a friend of mine, who's been using 3ds Max since release 2, and is a rendering genius, answered a question for us about video card recommendation.  This is a very common question and glad we got a definitive answer.

If you had to chose between the NVIDIA GTX 680M and the AMD Radeon 7970 on a workstation laptop that had everything else equal which one would you go with?

The question is tricky. I can answer in two ways. HARDWARE and SOFTWARE.
In terms of HARDWARE, the two cards are very fast. Both great. Both stable etc. They are very similar...
However, the real story is SOFTWARE..... or better yet, Drivers. The ATI cards all use Catalyst and it is TERRIBLE. They hardly ever update drivers, nothing is certified. They don't give a crap.
ATI pumps them out and the support is terrible.
NVIDIA is the opposite. They are all about the drivers, the software, the capaabilty. They try to make everything run smoothly and are constantly releasing updated drivers etc.
Both cards are gaming cards, just to note, so I am not sure what you are expecting out of them for a "workstation". 
On a technical note you HAVE TO HAVE an Nvidia card to use the new rendering engine, I use, IRAY. It absolutely does not work with an ATI. You will find that about many many pro CAD packages. Again, NVIDIA take the time to reach out. ATI doesn't . They are just a gaming company with a very small FIRE GL division for Pro Graphics......
BOTTOM LINE....... NVDIA EVERYTIME. (Even though ironically my laptop has an ATI which I HATE every day :-))


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