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Graphics Cards for SSDR (again)

Peter K1PGV
Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
edited June 2020 in SmartSDR for Windows
Hi Folks,

I've read every relevant thread here, as well as Tim's very useful helpdesk article on "What is Important in Choosing a Graphics Card for Smart SDR"...

But I'm thinking of taking the plunge into a 6500, I need a new computer, and I'm still left with questions when it comes to selecting the most suitable graphics card.

The 2D Passmark rating for common cards isn't easy to find (if somebody knows how to search Passmark's web site for 2D passmark ratings for a given card, I'd be grateful for the instruction).  In addition, several studies I've read online seem to indicate that the 3D performance of a card is in no way indicative of the card's 2D performance.

I want to configure a PC system -- CPU + Graphics subsystem -- with *plenty* of headroom for future expansion and/or running other things at the same time as SSDR.  I'm pretty much settled on something on the order of an i7-4770K @ 3.5 GHz...  My current thinking is favoring a GeForce GTX760 2GB graphics card.  But I have no idea if that's overkill, underkill, or "fine for games, but for 2D not so much."

Note that this will be a dedicated radio computer.  No games, just radio, digital mode program(s), and the DXLab suite of programs.  And browsers.  And, whatever else I may want to do while I'm on the radio.

Sooo... I'd like to know (a) what cards people are using with good results, and (b) if anyone's using the GeForce GTX-760 specifically.

I'll also appreciate any guidance folks can provide about graphic subsystems, beyond what Tim's already taught me in his article.

Many thanks for whatever help you can provide,

Peter
K1PGV

«1

Answers

  • Kent Hufford
    Kent Hufford Member ✭✭
    edited September 2014

    I am running a i7, windows 8.1, 64bit, 6gb ram, 480gb SSHD, and a GeoForce GTX-760 card with my 6500. All works great. I also have a friend that had to upgrade his video card, and got a GTX-760 and his systems is working fine also.

    The GTX-760 is not the cheapest card on the market, but it is far from the most expensive also.

    I can run my 6500 on my Surface Pro 3 laptop via WiFi fine in the house also.

    Kent

    KQ4KK

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited March 2017
    Hi Peter,
    If you have the Passmark benchmark software you can search for various hardware components to see how they rate in various systems.  I don't know of any way you can get this information just from the web page.  You can do video card searches from the web page but the results are not detailed and don't list the 2D graphics data.    

    Using the test software I did a search for the card you are interested in and the 2D numbers are between 600 and 800 depending on other factors (system, RAM, etc).  The snapshot below shows some of the data (I did a cut and paste to get the 2D and 3D data on one screen).  The full detail is much more about the systems and hardware being compared. 

    FWIW, I've been collecting data from folks about what passmark numbers for CPU, overall system and 2D video seem to work well on the various models.  For the 6500 it appears that a 2D graphics value of 300 is adequate for good performance.   Caveat, my data has not been reviewed or approved by FRS.   And your mileage may vary based on how you operate and what other programs you run concurrently with SSDR.  (e.g. browsers, streaming video, number of monitors, etc).  By the way the 3D graphics number is significant for for video gamers but not for SSDR.   

    Anyway, based on the data I've seen, the GTX-760 is more than adequate for the 6500 and even 6700.   If you are interested, I can send you my current version of the document with more details.  As more folks provide their passmark numbers, I continue to update it.  

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com 


    image

  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    There is not much to chose from between AMD and nVidia. I needed to replace my 560Ti for various reasons and did NOT want to buy nVidia. Had that card not had issues, I am confident that it would have had enough grunt for SSDR - it sure did for all but the most very modern, leading edge games.

    But, I ended up with a GTX 760. It was cheaper than the equivalent AMD card and faster and it hit a nice sweet spot between price and performance. I have SSDR installed on a laptop and the graphical performance is perfect with the internal 630M card and indistinguishable from the 760. I cannot imagine that SSDR uses the power of a graphics card like a modern game does. I would suggest that any modern mid-range card would so well and I would go so far as to suggest you used any integrated graphics before buying a dedicated card. IIRC, SSDR worked fine with the Intel integrated graphics card in the above laptop.

    Any card's 2D performance will be enough - it has not been a limiting factor in a long time AIUI.

    @Al, happy to run some tests/benchmarks and check further on my laptop of you would find those figures helpful. Just let me know what you want.
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Guy,
    You can download a free 30 trial version of the Passmark performance test software.

    http://www.passmark.com/products/pt.htm

    After you run the test, here is the data I'm collecting:
    - Flex Model you are running (6300, 6500, 6700) 
    - Basic Computer description (e.g. vendor, model, CPU, RAM, video card)
    - Overall Passmark Score
    - Passmark CPU score
    - Passmark 2D video score
    - Your opinion on how your system performs (poor, fair, good)

    If you would like to provide it, you will get a benchmark test ID after you run and upload your test data.  I can use it to pull all of your system and test data from  the Passmark database.    

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com  


  • Richard G7EIX
    Richard G7EIX Richard - EnglishmaninNC Member ✭✭
    edited March 2015

    Here's one for you - this is my general use radio PC that I use with My Flex and the FT-2000 and GNU-Radio (Hack-RF) etc.

    Shuttle XH61V

    6500

    V. Good!

    http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=28881902880

  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Richard,
    Thanks for the data,  that's a very good set of ratings, I'm sure it works great.  All 3 of the numbers are well above the minimums.    I pasted in your summary here in case others are also interested.

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

    image



  • Richard G7EIX
    Richard G7EIX Richard - EnglishmaninNC Member ✭✭
    edited March 2015

    And here is my other machine that I also use the 6500 with.   This is my development machine - a bit of a beast - but I use it when playing with the Flex API - so I thought I would submit it too.

    http://www.passmark.com/baselines/V8/display.php?id=28882926300

    image
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Yikes, you could run 2 or 3  6700s on that one with power to spare!

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com

  • Richard G7EIX
    Richard G7EIX Richard - EnglishmaninNC Member ✭✭
    edited March 2015
    The wife won't accept that as justification for me to buy two 6700's.   I just tried. :-)
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    "The wife won't accept that as justification for me to buy two 6700's.   I just tried. :-)"

    Amateur, hi hi.

  • WA6FXT Mike
    WA6FXT Mike Member ✭✭
    edited September 2016
    Guy, I agree that SSDR doesn't really push the video requirements of most graphics cards, today.

    I ran my 6700 on Field Day with multiple slices and a couple of Panadapters on my MacBook Pro running Window7 Ultimate under VMWare Fusion, without any issues.

    It's just not an issue with SSDR.

    At home my MacMini i5 running Windows7 ultimate (Bootcamp) is more than adequate for my two 24" displays.

    73's de Mike
  • Neal_K3NC
    Neal_K3NC Member ✭✭
    edited September 2014
    I highly recommend the HD6450 series video cards at the low end. I prefer the HD7770 or HD7790 cards for the "sweet spot" of cost versus performance, especially if the machine will be used for other things requiring a nice card.

    There are other considerations, how many monitors do you want? Most modern cards can do 2 or 3 (depending on the card).

    If you want any help, advice, etc during the build feel free to contact me at nealk3nc at gmail dot com.
  • Dale KB5VE
    Dale KB5VE Member ✭✭
    edited January 2017
    I bought a r7 260x great benchmark, the best thing since sliced bread, peace of junk, blue screen of death. I bought Nuvidia gtx 750ti using three monitors no issues.
  • Reg
    Reg Member ✭✭
    edited March 2017

    Peter:

    I'm running a Core i7-4770K, 32 GB 1866 MHz RAM, ASUS Sabertooth Z87 motherboard, and EVGA GTX 760 2GB SuperClocked graphics card.  This appears to be the same computer power that you are considering.

    I don't run anything on the PC except ham radio related software, Adobe Reader and WinZip.  For logging I use WriteLog and HRD 6.2, various digital mode programs including DM780, GH RT21D rotor control programs, the Alpha 9500 application, CWSkimmer with 4 receivers, etc.

    My radio is a 6700.  I rarely have all 8 panadapters open.  However, I often use 4-6 when operating on lower HF bands while keeping an eye on 10, 6 and 2 meters.  Between 6 panadapters and CWSkimmer decoding CW signals on 4 bands, there is a lot going happening on the monitors.  So far, this hardware configuration and the GTX 760 SuperClocked graphics card have no difficulty keeping up -- no lag and no dropouts. 

    One explanation, the EVGA GTX 760 SuperClocked 2GB video adapter is overclocked by EVGA, not by me.  The overclocking puts it right up near the top of the Passmark ratings.  Passmark doesn't list this card separately, just the GTX 760, but if you run the benchmark you see where it fits.  The last time I ran the benchmark it came in as the 5th fastest graphics card.  The SuperClocked card is $10 more than the standard clock speed video adapter and it delivers a Passmark score that is more than 10% higher than the stock GTX 760.

    You will see references that you don't need a high-end computer to run SmartSDR.  That is absolutely true.  However, like you, I envisioned several resource hungry applications in the near future and I built a fairly high-end machine.

    My view is that your on the right track for your suggested configuration and usage.

    Reg 

  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Gentlemen,

    Thank you all very much for taking the time to share you insights and experience.  I really appreciate it.

    Thanks to NN4ZZ for explaining that you can search by video card in the Passmark benchmark software and sharing the data he had.  Thanks to KQ4KK, G4DWV/4X1LT and Reg who have the GTX-760 and could attest to the fact that they personally have no problems with it.  And of course it's always great to hear K3NC's experience, given that he builds computer systems for SDR support professionally.

    Given this information, I felt confident in ordering a Lenovo X510 from Amazon (using points from my Amex card, so it was "free"!).

    Thanks again to everyone for their help... all in less than 16 hours and starting on a Saturday night, no less.

    All that's left now is to swallow hard and order the radio....

    Cheers,

    Peter
    K1PGV

  • Sergey R5AU
    Sergey R5AU Sergey Member ✭✭
    edited December 2018
    Peter i have no problem on Toshiba Qosmio with GTX-760 it is looks like:
    image
  • George KF2T
    George KF2T Member ✭✭✭
    edited February 2019
    Another two cents -- GeForce GTX 780 here. Works great with whatever I throw at it. Probably overkill, but nice to know I can run three monitors at full tilt and enjoy SSDR completely.

    Your mileage may vary. Number of screens, resolution, plus SSDR frame rate and number of slices makes for a large number of possible conditions. Not to mention anything else you might have running.

    Welcome to the Community!

  • NX6D Dave
    NX6D Dave Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019

    I'm using a desktop computer of my own design (out of commodity parts).  The CPU is an I7 3770S. The motherboard is an Intel DZ77BH-55K. The display adapter is an EVGA GeForce GT640 with 2GB of DDR3 memory.  8GB of Corsair DDR3 RAM in two banks and a 180GB Intel 520 series SSD.  Also a 1TB rotating disk.

    This computer runs SSDR for a Flex 6300 and everything else, at once, and barely breaks a sweat.  Running 64bit Windows 8.1 Pro -- rock solid.


  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I will be supplying you all with some fugures that Al has requested. An Intel HD3000, nVidia 630M and a GTX 760. 

    I just cannot see that SSDR will tax the graphics card anywhere near that of a modest 3D game at all.
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    Spaciba
  • Al_NN4ZZ
    Al_NN4ZZ Loganville GAMember ✭✭✭
    edited December 2016
    Hi Guy,
    Most of the folks that reported performance issues were using older PCs or laptops that got 2D graphics scores in the 150-250 range.   The performance can also be affected by the other metrics and factors, some are noted earlier in the thread.  More details are available, including suggested CPU and overall Passmark scores -- email me if you want a copy.

    Adding a more powerful video card seems to be a cost effective solution in many cases.   Of course as FRS releases new enhancements the requirements could change.  

    Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
    al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
      
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    I may be wrong, but I cannot see how SSDR can stress modern graphical cards anywhere to the level of a game. I see some jerkiness in my SSDR displacy, which I ascribe to suboptimal coding. This is not in the display of signals itself, but the way panels slide and especially the way the panadaptor slides into the main program window it's real ****-O-Vision©.
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Many thanks for the additional comments, guys.  Nice to know I should have plenty of "headroom" for other stuff.

    de K1PGV
  • Neal_K3NC
    Neal_K3NC Member ✭✭
    edited June 2020
    Hi Peter,

    I resell manufacturer  refurbished X510 laptops and can testify that as long as you use an expresscard 1394 adapter instead of the built-in firewire port, it works really well. You will enjoy the lsptop for a long time!

    73
  • James Kirk
    James Kirk Member
    edited September 2014
    He will be using it with a 6500.
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    Hey Neal, 

    Thanks, but no... LOL... most definitely not a laptop.  I love the Lenovo laptops, though.  I had one until I gave it up for my Surface (which I love even more than the ThinkPad).

    Rather, for SSDR and my 6500 it'll be a Lenovo Erazer X510 desktop system.  i7-4770K 3.5 GHz CPU, 16GB, hybrid SSD/HDD, GeForce GTX760 2GB.

    vy 73 de Peter K1PGV

  • Neal_K3NC
    Neal_K3NC Member ✭✭
    edited September 2014
    Those hybrid drives are amazing, especially for the cost of them. Seem to boot into Windows almost as fast as a "pure" ssd but at the price of a regular drive.

    Glad to hear you like the Surface pro, I assume its a 3 instead of a 2?

    Take care my friend!
  • Peter K1PGV
    Peter K1PGV Member ✭✭
    edited December 2016

    The hybrid HDDs are *very* cost effective.  Seagate rules, in my opinion.

    Actually, my Surface Pro is a 1... An upgrade to the Pro 3 is on the horizon for me.  For what *I* need a traveling computer for, it's *perfect*  -- OTOH, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for "ordinary" people in place of a laptop.

    Best,

    Peter K1PGV

  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    So little of my time is spent loading apps or being performance limited by my hard disks, I'll pass until they really drop in price. I have 3x2TB internal disks and 2x2TB external disks attached to this machine and like that breathing space. For even faster performance, buy more RAM and keep your apps in memory. SSDR runs very well with a bog standard laptop.
  • DrTeeth
    DrTeeth Member ✭✭
    edited August 2016
    @Al

    My test numbers are 28965112456 & 28966147540.
    I'll have to give SSDR a subjective test with the laptop (Acer Aspire 5755G) soon. If I seem to have forgotten, remind me by posting here.

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