Selecting GPU card to run VTK based software

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Selecting GPU card to run VTK based software

Cristóbal Ganter
Hello,

I need to select a graphics card that will be used to run VTK based software. From what I understand this is not an easy task since the performance of a GPU will depend on the specific application, drivers and other parameters of the machine. I have also read that different GPU brands can't be really compared and that rather than focusing on specific features of GPUs one should compare them in terms of specific benchmarks.

While there is a benchmark for VTK (a sphere) I am not really sure if the benchmark and the results are up to date. I also don't think that benchmark would correctly approximate the characteristics of the application we want to run.

Despite all, I was thinking there may be one or two parameters of GPUs that may correlate with an improvement of the rendering speed in VTK applications. I hope you may have this information or maybe some guidelines on how to proceed when selecting graphic cards.

Best regards,
Cristóbal

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Re: Selecting GPU card to run VTK based software

Ken Martin
In general VTK's performance will generally align with most modern graphics benchmarks.  A quick cheat sheet of 15 or so modern cards with relative performance score. memory size, and pricing is here


Other considerations: 

if on linux you might want to look into who has better drivers. On windows AMD and nvidia are both pretty solid with a slight edge to nvidia.

Scientific viz sometimes deals with large data so the memory of your GPU can make a big difference (where in gaming benchmarks it may not) So if you know you want to visualize large data then look for larger GPU memory. Some cards come in multiple varieties 2GB/4GB  or 4GB/6GB etc so it might be worth it to go for a larger size.

VTK generally does not require a "workstation" or "certified" card (unless doing shuttered glasses). A regular gaming card works fine for 99.9% of use cases.

I'm sure if you provide some more specifics such as platform, budget, typical visualization size/task some folks might have specific recommendations.

Ken







On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 3:41 PM Cristóbal Ganter <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,

I need to select a graphics card that will be used to run VTK based software. From what I understand this is not an easy task since the performance of a GPU will depend on the specific application, drivers and other parameters of the machine. I have also read that different GPU brands can't be really compared and that rather than focusing on specific features of GPUs one should compare them in terms of specific benchmarks.

While there is a benchmark for VTK (a sphere) I am not really sure if the benchmark and the results are up to date. I also don't think that benchmark would correctly approximate the characteristics of the application we want to run.

Despite all, I was thinking there may be one or two parameters of GPUs that may correlate with an improvement of the rendering speed in VTK applications. I hope you may have this information or maybe some guidelines on how to proceed when selecting graphic cards.

Best regards,
Cristóbal
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