Graphics Cards for SSDR (again)

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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
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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  • hopeful and curious

Posted 4 years ago

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Kent Hufford

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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

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Al / NN4ZZ

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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 


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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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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.
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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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
  
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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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 Jerk-O-Vision©.
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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@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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DK1EY

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Baseline ID here 289825.

- Flex Model: 6300 
- Basic Computer description: Self configured, Windows 7 Ultimate, Core i7-4790K, DIMM 32 GB DDR3-1866, SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK 1
- Overall Passmark Score: 5,037
- Passmark CPU score: 10,132
- Passmark 2D video score: 921
- My opinion on how my system performs: Outstanding!

VY73
Tom
DK1EY
(Edited)
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Thanks Tom,
Another super setup!

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

  
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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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.
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Dale KB5VE

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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.
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Reg

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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 

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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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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
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Sergey, R5AU

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Peter i have no problem on Toshiba Qosmio with GTX-760 it is looks like:
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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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Spaciba
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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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!
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NX6D Dave

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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.


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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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Many thanks for the additional comments, guys.  Nice to know I should have plenty of "headroom" for other stuff.

de K1PGV
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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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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
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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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

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Neal - K3NC, Elmer

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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!
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Peter K1PGV, Elmer

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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

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Guy G4DWV/4X1LT

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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.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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Guy,
Thanks for your test data -- test numbers are 28965112456 & 28966147540.

I pulled the results below....(mine is also listed in the comparison)






Both are well above the minimums I've collected so far for any of the Flex models (below) so I'm sure they work fine for you.



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