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Best graphics card?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sz0k30, Sep 28, 2020.

  1. sz0k30

    sz0k30 Senior Member

    Hi guys,

    Let me start out by saying I am not a computer guy. Recently I had had some Wi-Fi problems. The computer guy working on it suggested swapping out the hard drive for an SSD.

    My computer is a 5-year-old Dell XPS 8700 desktop. Windows 10 home 64 bit. Quad core i7-4790 (3.6 GHz). 16GB DDR3-1600 RAM. With a Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 video card.

    With that information in mind, and considering he’s going to be making changes inside, would it be a good idea to upgrade the video card at the same time and what card would be the best (Alibre) option going forward?

  2. BobSchaefer

    BobSchaefer Member

    What possible reason did he give you for swapping to SSD to resolve a Wi-Fi problem???? The only thing that will resolve is if you have large assemblies that are loading really slowly. As to video card, you don't specify a budget, as the "best" would of course be the current top of the line models like the RTX 3090 which will set you back over $1000!! (assuming you can actually get your hands on one) However, pretty much buying any newer card may show you an improvement, but it all boils down to, is it running slowly now?

    Everything I see makes it a nice computer for what you want.
  3. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    This. Unless you're having issues it might not be worthwhile to upgrade, especially if the newer is drawing more power in which case you'll need to upgrade the power supply too. All adds up, cost-wise.
  4. Hop

    Hop Senior Member

    Firstly, visit this Alibre web page to see what the hardware and software requirements are for running Alibre. AFAIK, Alibre does not require, nor does it benefit from the use of, a high-performance video card. It only requires that the video card support DirectX 11, or (in a pinch) the older DirectX 9.

    It has been awhile since I built a PC to run Alibre, but my current Asus P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 motherboard (now obsolete) has built-in Intel graphics support that appears to work just fine. It is possible that the latest versions of Alibre could benefit from video cards with large graphic memories, mainly useful for photo-realistic rendering with ray-tracing, unless your models densely fill a 60" widescreen color monitor.:D Perhaps users with more recent Alibre Design versions or more experience with high-performance video cards like the RTX 3090 (whatever that is!) can correct me if I am wrong, but your Nvidia GeForce GTX 745 appears to be more than adequate for Alibre Design. Nice complement of Intel Core i7 CPU and 16 GB DDR3 DRAM too.

    Changing to a SSD from a HDD will improve software loading performance but with no substantial effect on Alibre performance. If you suspect that your WiFi is slowing things down, try a direct CAT6 cable connection to one of the RJ45 ports on your wireless router/cable modem. I plan to do this "real soon now" because my symmetrical 50Mbps down/50Mbps up Frontier FiOS (optical fiber to the house) Internet service consistently measures only about 20/20 Mbps on the Ookla Speedtest to various servers around the country. Usually, only the Ping latency changes among servers, not the throughput. Which is why I suspect the problem is in my WiFi wireless modem/router, although Frontier claims 50/50 Mbps is "no problemo." A direct hardwire connection should resolve where the truth lies.

    Unless your PC is also used for gaming, save the big bux you would spend on a new video card and use them instead toward the next yearly maintenance subscription. Regarding so-called "maintenance"... software is NEVER done, even when it is embedded "permanently" in hardware. Improvements, updates, and bug-fixes are all necessary cost centers, never profit centers, for software developers like Alibre and Microsoft. That is why the industry had to change over to "software by subscription." Quality programming isn't cheap, nor is it ever free, even for open-source "free" software.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
    bigseb likes this.
  5. Drutort

    Drutort Senior Member

    Depending what you are doing.

    A high clocked quad core (intel, AMD has more cores and you have to do research which one matches the intel chip for single thread and max all core speeds) is a good start, I would say is the minimum these days, still a lot of processes in many apps will do 1 or 2 threads.

    How do I know? by paying attention to my system that has AMD 3900x (12 core) chip

    As far as graphics, on small items and small assemblies you will never see any benefit with a high end graphics card.

    That being said I have even ran Alibre on nvidia 1050, with a 1080 display and a decent 4+ core cpu.

    For medium and up I would suggest going for a mid tier GPU, 1070, 2060, 3060 etc...

    The latest 3080 might be too much GPU, if you will be upgrading I would go with their 3060/3070 cards

    Also I recommend staying with Nvidia

    If you have only Alibre, you could maybe go with AMD GPU, but I have CAM software that hates AMD cards, and it was something AMD did in their drivers on their pro cards that just does not work with the GPU's

    How do I know? I had a few pro AMD offerings, and only much older driver would work, any new drivers even with their newer pro cards had same major issues, to the point where software would crash (this is the CAM software talking about) Alibre ran perfect with all AMD cards BTW.

    With the above said, Alibre does not benefit from the Pro cards from Nvidia nor AMD, I believe it has been confirmed, and consumer cards are 1/2 the price and at times 2x the performance (their are many reasons why PRO cards might be useful) but for Alibre purpose its not needed.

    Rule of thumb, the higher the resolution monitor or more monitors you have the more graphics ram you will need and a more powerful GPU
  6. sz0k30

    sz0k30 Senior Member

    Wi-fi was a problem & he fixed it! The "SSD" was just general 2 guys B.S.ing and discussing what I had, and since the computer is 5 years old, any thing that might possibly make it better.

    Reading the responses, I think I'll stay with what i have.

    Thanks guys!
  7. oilman

    oilman Member

    It's my understanding that Alibre used to be mostly CPU dependent, but in the 2019 version there are now benefits to having a beefier graphics card since the Alibre team updated the graphics pipeline. I believe the CPU still matters the most followed by the ram and then by the hard drive (SSD needed for opening large assemblies).

    I'm running a Geforce 2080 along with an i7, 16gbs ram, and an SSD. Alibre runs very smooth with this configuration even with my odd display resolution (3840 x 1200). I have an older i7 laptop with 16b ram, SSD, and integrated graphics. I can tell the difference when opening large assemblies on the laptop compared to my desktop even though most of the specs are similar apart from the graphics card.

    If you run Keyshot, you'll definitely see benefits to a beefier GPU as the last release of Keyshot allows for GPU rendering.

    Interestingly, I had a wifi issue on an Alienware laptop I bought in 2014 and later sold after numerous problems. The Dell tech replaced the WIFI module and the problems persisted but weren't as frequent. When he replaced the keyboard due to another issue - the WIFI magically started working without any problems. No idea how those two problems were related. Very bizarre!
  8. BobSchaefer

    BobSchaefer Member

    Okay that makes more sense, I was afraid you were being snowballed by some low-life tech looking to make some extra money selling you things you didn't need. So, based on all that, yeah, I would say, stick with what you have and like I said originally, the rest of the machine is pretty nice.

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