Video card for CityEngine?

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09-06-2012 02:45 PM
JohnSmith10
New Contributor
I'm assembling a system for someone who wants to work with large cities and datasets in CityEngine and ArcGIS. This is the spec:

Intel 3770
32 GB RAM
SSD storage

The last important part to buy is the video card, but I'm have a bear of a time determining which one. The budget is $300 maximum. I see a variety of gaming cards (AMD 6950 and 7750, nVidia 550Ti and upwards) and one workstation card (FirePro V4900). The gaming cards are massively more powerful than the workstation card on a hardware level. 

The only requirement (besides fluidly running CityEngine) is that is supports three monitors at the same time. The card can be used if available and within the price range. A used Quadro 2000 might qualify, except it only appears to support two screens.

What card would you suggest and why?
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3 Replies
MatthiasBuehler1
Frequent Contributor II
hey !

I'd recommend a gamer card (a modern NVIDIA card, GTX 580 or newer ) simply because of the costs, thout you may run into issues when wanting to run 3 monitors. [ In general, we recommend NVIDIA ]

Though what you could do too ( and what I'm doing here ) to run 3 monitors is just to add a second graphics card in your machine. No problems here what so ever.

Btw. my opinion: If you're building a beastly machine anyway with 32 gigs of RAM, SSD and so on for working with CityEngine, I'd not try to save money with a too cheap graphics card. Don't take the PRO line where you pay $2000+, so I'd recommend something 'state of the art' such as a e.g. GTX 670. Why ? Because CityEngine models can easily go up to a million polygons ( or 10 :) ) if you want.

Need more inputs ?

Matt
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GeneDixon
New Contributor II
Matt,
I may not be asking this question in the most eloquent way, but what method does the City Engine use to create the 3D?

I believe that there are two ways to present 3D data through the video card. The first way to present stereo images to a display is by interleaving the left and right images into a single image.  I believe that these interleaved techniques do not need any special support from graphics API�??s or GPU�??s. The other most common technique used to present left and right images to the display is by using quad buffer stereo. I believe that what raises the cost of the video card is the support of this function. For example a NVidia Quadro 400 and above supports the quad buffer stereo method.

Does the City Engine support the quad buffer stereo method or does it support the interleaving.

Thanks for your thoughts!

hey !

I'd recommend a gamer card (a modern NVIDIA card, GTX 580 or newer ) simply because of the costs, thout you may run into issues when wanting to run 3 monitors. [ In general, we recommend NVIDIA ]

Matt
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MatthiasBuehler1
Frequent Contributor II
so your goal is to get the stuff in stereo 3d ? ( left + right eye )

I have never played with that. CE just gives you a plain 1-camera perspective viewport.

I'd have to ask a developer whether he knows more about this.

Let me know if this is the specific thing you're interested in. I have only a limited knowledge in the actual techniques HOW the stuff is displayed.

Lemme know.

m.
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