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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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....
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!
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.