Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I've just upgraded my graphics card on the 2 year old beast and switched in a 1-yr old GTX 580 from Asus. I'm on a PCI-E 16x 2.x, so figured that the 3.x would yet be a bit of a waste of money and my primary concern is CUDA anyway and the number of cores is enough. This card will take me 2 years in the future anyway. The biggest issue when installing was figuring out the power connections. After the card was plugged in, the monitor showed "no signal". Fearing I was dealt a wrong deck of "cards", I tried switching the supply, but nothing. Then I figured out that the 6-pin PCI-E connectors also had a floppy 2-pin on the side. I stuck that in on both ends and the card magically worked. I don't know why the 8-pin to 2x 6-pin is supplied, but I'm not using that at all.

So my first test here on Linux was to see if the drivers work. OpenGL is active and it's all dandy.

Started up Blender and made a Cycles render with the CPU. This took 22 seconds for a complicated scene on the CPU. Then activated "GPU render" mode and the same window rendered in like 3 seconds. Fantastic difference when you consider the amount of time it may take for an animation, as this will cut down the rendering time a factor 8 or so.

Nice card, I'm happy. Now to wait to see if the card manages to stay on and perform well for the next couple of days. I saw on forums people sometimes get issues when playing particular games after a couple of days.

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