Seamus Jan 29 @ 1:08am
Help In Indentifying Computer Choke Point/Possible Upgrade
Motherboard : When in system information it lists system man as HP and model as z800

2, Intel XeonE5645 @ 2.40GHz, 2395Mhz 6Core(s) 6 Logical Processors

Nvidia Quadro 4000

HP Compaq LA2405wg (24" LCD,1920 x 1200, 60Hz in ((NVidia Control Panel 59Hz listed in display settings -> screen resolution -> Advanced Display settings, even after i apply 60 when i close and return it lists 59Hz..?))

12GB (3, 4GB Crucial DDR3)

Not sure about power supply, though last i remember checking it was sufficient to for all components

so I own an HP Z800 Workstation and I have a technical question that goes past my understanding of computer hardware. I trying to understand why my workstation isn't handling the way I had expected and what might be the problem (choke point). I am a designer and 3D animator. I purchased an HP Z800 workstation to help speed up my workflow.

My Workstation Hardware:

HP Z800 Workstation

Intel Xeon E5645 @ 2.40GHz 2.40GHz (2 processors)

(PNY) Nvidia Quadro 4000 Graphics card

277GB WDC WD3000HLHX "Western Digital Raptor" hard drive

12GB of Crucial RAM Inserted according to instructions

After I got my new computer I started painting with my Wacom tablet in GIMP 2 and Photoshop and I noticed a lag when making strokes quickly or increasing the brush size past a certain point. I also use this computer to play games and was unable to play Crysis 2 past Medium graphic level and the same with many other games including Arma 2. There are certain effects i was just unable to switch on in any game, and many times I had to half my resolution from the native screen res. I am aware that both the graphics card and processor are meant for different work than gaming processors and graphics cars and games are not always well optimized to efficiently use the hardware, however I still felt they should be able to easily handle these tasks. In fact I hadn't expected any lag unless under extreme rendering torture. I was very disappointed after finding my work station was hardly able to handle a 2 year old pc game or painting too quickly. I have since found ways to limit the about of burden on certain components such as deactivating aero to free up any small amount of graphics effort. Now I am not sure what the problem in my set up, though I am thinking (hoping) it is my hard drive which is easily replacible. From what I have been able to research myself that's what these problems point to including simply using the windows experience index tool which rated the processor at a (7.8), ram at (7.8), graphics (7.4), gaming graphics (7.4), and primary hard disk (5.9) . So yes i may know the answer to my problem, but I am no computer hardware expert.

In conclusion I am asking what you think the choke point/problem is with my machine and if it is the hd and I replace it do you think most, if not all areas of performance will improve (mainly concerned with 3D rendering and Digital Painting)?

Also if I was to replace it what SSD would you recommend?

I am hoping to get a wacom Cintiq 22hd Touch and I am wondering if anyone has expirience with one and what they would recommend for minimal input delay?

Outside of updating drivers is there anything I must do to get the most out of my graphics cars?

Is there anything I must do to "tune"/change preferances on anything else in my computer to get the full potential?

Thank you for your help
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senseidongen Jan 29 @ 1:36am 
With regards to gaming, that one's reasonably easy to explain - as you say, workstation cards are not optimised for gaming (my understanding is that the actual silicon is pretty similar but the drivers are quite different) and the quadro 4000 isn't that beefy a card really, not in terms of shader cores and the like. Not to mention that Crysis 2 on medium is still nothing to be scoffed at.

That said, you clearly do have a problem with your rig and I can't honestly say I know exactly what the issue is exactly. Could be any one of a number of issues :( however an SSD isn't a bad idea at all, even if there were nothing wrong with your machine. Samsung make quite decent ones (I'm happy with my 840 250GB), but definitely worth doing some research into. You can find some reviews here, for example
http://anandtech.com/tag/ssd
ontelo Jan 29 @ 1:40am 
Well Quadro 4000 is your problem. It's based on very old GTX 400 series.

I don't think that you even need Quadro card anymore. Normal GTX series are much cheaper and have already enough memory for demanding tasks. I would get GTX 770 or GTX 780.

SSD is also really good upgrade option. You'll notice the difference immediately. Because much higher transfer speeds and zero seek times, programs just open immediately and there won't be any lag when fetching something from harddrive.

Samsung 840 Pro series is good choice.
Seamus Jan 29 @ 1:56am 
Thank you both for the information. Ontelo can you explain more about the quadro and if that information is true why does it sell as a higher end/much more expensive card than the gtx series? It is marketed as a high end workstation graphics card. It doesnt make sense that that card would be any better.
ontelo Jan 29 @ 2:11am 
Originally posted by Seamus:
Thank you both for the information. Ontelo can you explain more about the quadro and if that information is true (I understand people will do many things to make money) why does it sell as a higher end/much more expensive card than the gtx series?

Nowadays there's really no difference than different firmware and drivers. Some cards can even be modified between GTX/Quadro. If you need to ask do I need Quadro, you probably don't. Only some high level industrial programs really benefit from Quadro fw/driver level optimizations and they are usually CAD-programs.

You asked why they cost more? Well mostly because we have thing called market segmentation. Big companies don't really mind paying little more for more reliable card that works better on CAD softwares. Usually they are also aware if they need one (for ex. if program really supports it). Paying 1000e for card is little when one such software can cost 30,000$.

In old days Quadros were actually a lot better for Work things.

That was mainly because of two reasons:
- VGA was used, Quadros generated much better image quality. Now it really doesn't matter because signal is usually moved with digital cords.
- Memory was sparse. Quadros had lots of more memory.
Seamus Jan 29 @ 2:22am 
Originally posted by ontelo:
Originally posted by Seamus:
Thank you both for the information. Ontelo can you explain more about the quadro and if that information is true (I understand people will do many things to make money) why does it sell as a higher end/much more expensive card than the gtx series?

Nowadays there's really no difference than different firmware and drivers. Some cards can even be modified between GTX/Quadro. If you need to ask do I need Quadro, you probably don't. Only some high level industrial programs really benefit from Quadro fw/driver level optimizations and they are usually CAD-programs.

You asked why they cost more? Well mostly because we have thing called market segmentation. Big companies don't really mind paying little more for more reliable card that works better on CAD softwares. Usually they are also aware if they need one (for ex. if program really supports it). Paying 1000e for card is little when one such software can cost 30,000$.

Thank you for that great explination. Like I said I do not know much about computer hardware. I see what you mean ultimately I bought the computer/card for production (3D Animation, Video Editing, Digital Art) and I am sure Adobe/Autodesk are included in the companies that support this.
ontelo Jan 29 @ 2:25am 
Adobe softwares already use GPUs for rendering (CUDA). You won't need Quadro for it, because every new normal Nvidia card supports that.

Quadros have "performance" drivers for ex. Premiere. I can't say how big is the difference though.

But in the end I think you will be more than happy with SSD and GTX 770/780/780 Ti card.
Seamus Jan 29 @ 2:53am 
Ok, well I am currently also talking ot an nvdia support guy about this and I was also searching around the internet for people with a similiar question. I found a question someone had posted asking if it was possible to install the quadro along side the geforce and have them hadle different processes... anyway I guess I made a costly uninformed decision and bought a card that can be out perfored for significantly less investment. According to the forum post just like you are saying since the are using the gpus for rendering there is nearly no point in bying a quadro. I Suppose i could buy a geforce, but I seems like such a shame to not use this card, plus I belive I may get significat improvements just from replacing the hard drive, What do you think? What would be the difference in speed between my current hd Western Digital VelociRaptor http://discountechnology.com/Western-Digital-VelociRaptor-WD3000HLHX-SATA-Enterprise-Hard-Drive and the ssd you were describing? Also how do you know so much about the differences in this hardware and do you have any resources I could read?
senseidongen Jan 29 @ 3:27am 
The difference between even a decent HDD and an SSD is huge - everything loads faster, installs faster and windows boots much faster. And that's coming from my experience with a decidedly budget focused Samsung 840 - an 840 Pro as suggested by Ontelo offers better read speeds and much better write speeds. My PC at home has an A10 APU and an SSD whilst my PC at work has a core i3 and an HDD. By all acounts, the i3 is a slightly faster processor, but my home machine feels 2x as fast, purely because of the SSD.

The only real question is whether to go for an SSD as the main drive (250GB+) or as a boot drive (120GB, for example). I use mine as the main drive, simply because I hate waiting ages for games to load, but a decent and large capcity SSD is not a cheap item, so it's up to you really
ontelo Jan 29 @ 3:46am 
And for the GPU.

If we take one of the fastest GTX 400 series (to mach Quadro), and compare it to GTX 770. Well... see the results yourself.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/859?vs=829

And like sensei said about SSDs. For work usage, you'll see major improvements. Use SSD for OS + and your working applications. Raptor for games / storage.

You can get 250GB SSD for 150e.
UberFiend Jan 29 @ 4:31am 
The 3rd stick of ram might be taking it out of dual-channel mode.

You'll notice the 4 slots on the motherbaord are grouped into pairs of colours - slots 1&3 and slots 2&4.

Try removing the stick from slot 2, leaving slots 1&3 filled (or adding another stick to slot 4).
Seamus Jan 29 @ 3:00pm 
Thank you evreyone I will def be purchasing a SSD form my main drive.

UberFiend can you please explain more on dual channel mode. Also I did insert the ram according to a diagram not sure if what I ended up doin was a traditional solution. I will try removing a stick as you suggested, but how would I know if it is performing better. Also If I balence it out with another 3GB stick would that be an adviseable decision?

Ontelo you are saying that the gtx 400 has similiar specs as the quadro 4000 and you used it as a place holder since you cannot directly compare a quadro to gtx. If so I see that the GTX 770 performs much better.

Lastly I plan on purchasing a Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch as concept art and digital painting I already have a slight lag in painting in gimp and photoshop if I pant too quickly and or had too large a brush diameter. I really want to use this machine mainly to paint high res, multi layer paintings without having to worry about lag from drawing too quickly or using a dynamic brush / complex brush pattern, or too large a diamter brush size. I understand that many game rigs have a processor performing at at least >3.0GHz to be able to display high end graphics and I am wondering if my processor situation is similiar to my graphics card situation (made for specific circumstances a much cheaper consumer product would out perform in most circumstance).

Apparently as stated the Windows Ex Index (I have no idea how real that is or if it is even made to rate workstation hardware ((scale 1 - 7.8))), however the lowest score was the HDD at 5.4. Both graphics and gaming graphics capabilities were rated at 7.4 and my RAM memory and processor were rated at 7.8 (7.8 being the highest possible score). Now I am wondering, while I have dual 6 core processors combined for a total 12 cores if many software will be unable to take advantage of them as the software are not optimized/unable to use them all. When I spoke to a Wacom tech rep and I asked about the best set up for minimal to no lag he replied it has nothing to do with their product and everything to do with my rig specs being able to run the software without lag. So I guess I am asking if without replacing any thing but the HDD can I expect lag free painting or should I consider replacing the graphics card as well?

I have seen the data about the difference in gpu performance though my card is "optimized for programs such as Photoshop and may perfom fine. I would like to see the status of my system after just the HDD replacement and re-evaluate my plan. Again thank you everyone you are all very well informed and it is truly a great help I definately do not want to be spending as much money as I have in the past to get sub par results. Also like I said earlier I am not oppose to learning about these subjects myself and would love any credible/accurate learning resources one can provide.
Seamus Jan 29 @ 3:03pm 
also are the crucial SSD rated well/worth their price?
Syke Jan 29 @ 3:06pm 
You need a better CPU & a gaming graphics card.
Seamus Jan 29 @ 3:15pm 
Originally posted by kc96:
You need a better CPU & a gaming graphics card.
can you please explain further why I need a better CPU. Also why must I get a gaming graphics card I would like to make sure you recognize that using work software Adobe and Autodesk products is the purpose of this machine. Are you saying that my current card will be unable to perform well while running those prgrams that its was actually made to focus on?
Syke Jan 29 @ 3:56pm 
Originally posted by Seamus:
Originally posted by kc96:
You need a better CPU & a gaming graphics card.
can you please explain further why I need a better CPU. Also why must I get a gaming graphics card I would like to make sure you recognize that using work software Adobe and Autodesk products is the purpose of this machine. Are you saying that my current card will be unable to perform well while running those prgrams that its was actually made to focus on?

You mentioned poor gaming performance. The Quadro cards are really only good for workstation use. It's an added bonus that you can do any gaming with it.

That CPU is pretty weak. It's a six core, but only 2.40 GHZ. It has a lot of threads tho. I just think it lacks muscle. You have two of them. That helps for the use you do. The rules are a little different for workstations. I'm better at gaming hardware. It might be fine for what you are doing, but I would of picked different hardware. I would think getting more RAM would help a lot. I'm not sure what your options are with that machine. You should probably talk to HP support about your issues and options. It's fine having three memory sticks. Your system is triple channel memory. Just get bigger sticks for more memory if you can.
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Date Posted: Jan 29 @ 1:08am
Posts: 25