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Bastiaan Houtkooper NSC
Video card question
on Oct 14, 2010 at 8:26:18 pm

I have a Mac 8 core (mid 2010) setup for DaVinci Resolve with a GT120 and a GTX 285 setup. The last card is more or less comparable to the Quadro 4800.
Resolve wants the (single) monitor attached to the GT120, the slower of the two cards.
If I am going to install Smoke, does the monitor need to be connected to the GTX285 or will it find/use the card anyway?
(not looking forward to keep switching plugs and settings)


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Jason Myres
Re: Video card question
on Oct 15, 2010 at 4:49:01 am

I am not a Smoke for Mac expert, but I am training on it and have a good understanding of it, technically. As with almost every other app out there that takes advantage of your GPU, the only GPU that matters is the one driving your monitor. Actually, I can't think of a common, creative application off the top of my head that will offload GPU tasks to a graphics card that is not directly driving your primary monitor.

So, that being said (please someone correct me if I'm wrong) you will need to have your monitor connected to the 285 if you want to take advantage of it. I haven't learned a lot about Resolve yet, but it's interesting that only the GT120 and Quadro 4800 are specified, as they are miles apart performance-wise. Have you tried running Resolve on your 285, or will it just not boot or work correctly when connected to it?

If that's the case, you could get a really basic DVI KVM switch like this: http://www.iogear.com/product/GCS1762/

...and exclude the keyboard and mouse connections. That would allow you to quickly switch between video cards when you need to. Kind of ironic though, that such legendary, high-end programs would require this kind of thing to play together nicely in the same machine.

JM


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Bastiaan Houtkooper NSC
Re: Video card question
on Oct 15, 2010 at 6:28:30 am

Hi Jason, thanks for the reply.

Because I basically had the same idea as you I have been checking in the DaVinci forum.
Just got an answer where they advice to connect a second monitor to the same GT120 and nothing to the GTX285.
I have also used the systems checker from the Smoke Utilities and it shows the GTX285, not the GT120 as the graphicscard.
Guess it looks for the first slot, not for the monitor.
Seems the standard theorie for the monitor connections does not count anymore, hence my confusion and questions.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Video card question
on Oct 15, 2010 at 2:07:33 pm

[Bastiaan Houtkooper NSC] "Seems the standard theorie for the monitor connections does not count anymore, hence my confusion and questions."

That's right. NVIDIA's CUDA technology allows applications to use the graphics card's parallel processing power on general computation instead of simply rendering graphics for display. In other words, CUDA lets a program crunch numbers on the graphics card as if it were a specialized CPU rather than a display device.

It's off-topic here, but Resolve prefers two graphics cards because running the UI on the GT120 frees up some power and bandwidth on the GTX 285 or Quadro 4800 for more realtime color correction. I have no idea how it would affect Smoke.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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