Solved Benefits of using a video card

OJ

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I am about to install a new mother board on my main machine, which is to run FreeBSD 12.0-RELEASE. Of course a video card has benefits over the on-board video on older boards, but this board has two DisplayPort 1.2 and one HDMI 1.4b so perhaps there is no benefit here. The board in question is Supermicro SuperO C0Z390-CG-O and the CPU is an Intel Core i9-9900 Coffee Lake 8 core. I had thought that a PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon RX 560 14CU (1 x DL DVI-D 1 x HDMI 1 x DisplayPort) would be useful to replace my current lower level card - but now that I think about it I'm not so sure. I use two monitors, one is VGA only, and performance is not so important on that. The main one is a Dell S2415H with VGA and HDMI.

The question is, will I get better performance with a video card than with the on-board video - even a very small performance improvement would be of interest to me.

PS: I don't play games, but I edit images and also consider any processing delay over 20ms to be worth considering.
Also, I'm using an active adapter for the VGA monitor and will be happy to use that approach here.
 

Crivens

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Yes, most likely not worth it for photo manipulation. For videos, however, the shaders might be used by some tools (mostly proprietary ones)
 
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OJ

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Thanks for the information. I understand that shaders (and perhaps other functions?) is a video game thing, and of course also for proprietary rendering programs. What I can't confirm is if regular video rendering does not benefit in any way at all. That, is the statement I want to hear (or not). I've not come across any actual benchmarks comparing on-board video performance. There is no shortage of vague conjecture though.

Even Supermicro themselves does not appear to publish stats. Having never played a video game in my life, perhaps I'm just totally out of the loop. :) In any case a half decent card, such as I mentioned above is relatively cheap, but it is also quick to add in later, so I suppose it would be prudent to go ahead with just on-board video for now.
 

Crivens

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You may do a quick test by simply using a very old video card and check if your use case gets slower with that.
This might tell you if it is worth to shell out many wampum for a fast card.
 
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Sevendogsbsd

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If I am not mistake, newer boards with video outs are using on chip (CPU) graphics capabilities. Is that not the case with your board? Now that I read the specs on my board (MSI z270A-Pro), it states "
Onboard Graphics

• 1 x VGA port, supports a maximum resolution of 2048x1536@50Hz, 2048x1280@60Hz, 1920x1200@60Hz
• 1 x DVI-D port, supports a maximum resolution of 1920x1200@60Hz
• 1x DisplayPort port 1.2, supports a maximum resolution of 4096X2304@60Hz
"

But the only GPU that is detected is the one on my CPU (Intel HD630). Now I am confused.
 
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kpedersen

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Yes, most likely not worth it for photo manipulation.

I know very little about 2D image editing but doesn't Gimp, GEGL and all that tech have the ability to use OpenCL as a backend? Will this not be imporved by a more powerful GPU?
 
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k.jacker

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I'm not an expert on this topic either.
To my knowledge it heavily depends on the application used, if GPU hardware is used to accelerate stuff or not. And even if an image manipulation tool supports OpenCL, I will only use GPU acceleration for some actions, while others are powerd by the CPU only.

Anyway, if you don't focus on a specific application (like e.g. Blender, that supports both OpenCL and CUDA), but rather fiddle with different image manipulation tools, I'd prefer CPU power.
I seel your Core i9-9900 CPU plus its integrated UHD 630 a better choice than, e.g. a fast quad core CPU plus a Radeon RX 560 (or even the fastet available from AMD or Nvidia).

I highly doubt you'll gain anything combining that GPU with your CPU of choice.

The good thing with a powerful CPU is, you'll have it's power available in any scenario and in any application, regardless OpenCL or CUDA support.

Here's a snippet from the Gimp mailinglist, that confirms that you're better of with a fast CPU in most cases.
 
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OJ

OJ

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You may do a quick test by simply using a very old video card and check if your use case gets slower with that.
This might tell you if it is worth to shell out many wampum for a fast card.
Excellent idea. At least that's getting down to something concrete.

Anyway, if you don't focus on a specific application (like e.g. Blender, that supports both OpenCL and CUDA), but rather fiddle with different image manipulation tools, I'd prefer CPU power.
I seel your Core i9-9900 CPU plus its integrated UHD 630 a better choice than, e.g. a fast quad core CPU plus a Radeon RX 560 (or even the fastet available from AMD or Nvidia).

I highly doubt you'll gain anything combining that GPU with your CPU of choice.

The good thing with a powerful CPU is, you'll have it's power available in any scenario and in any application, regardless OpenCL or CUDA support.

Here's a snippet from the Gimp mailinglist, that confirms that you're better of with a fast CPU in most cases.
OpenCL platform (2019) — GIMP Development — gimpusers.com
Thanks, that's meaningful. Yes, I thought that when the video processing uses on-board RAM and CPU power then I'd have the power to spare in this case.

Thanks everyone. :) There may be more relevant information out there, but I'm going to consider this problem solved from my current point of view.
 
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OJ

OJ

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I know very little about 2D image editing but doesn't Gimp, GEGL and all that tech have the ability to use OpenCL as a backend? Will this not be imporved by a more powerful GPU?

According to the Wikipedia list, even Firefox is starting to use it.
I'm a heavy Firefox user with sometimes up to 500 open tabs - so .... that could be something relevant.
 

rigoletto@

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If you are interested on performance for image editing you probably should consider some low/medium-end Radeon Pro WX, that is indeed what I would buy if I was in the market for a video card.
As far I know they should work without any major problem but I think it worth to get in touch with the graphics developers ever if just to tell its work. :)
 
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OJ

OJ

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If you are interested on performance for image editing you probably should consider some low/medium-end Radeon Pro WX, that is indeed what I would buy if I was in the market for a video card.
As far I know they should work without any major problem but I think it worth to get in touch with the graphics developers ever if just to tell its work. :)

Looks nice, and only 35 Watts TDP too. The one (mentioned above) that I was looking at was 14CU and TDP of 75 watts. But yeah, that's about the range that's suitable for me - especially without having to upgrade my PSU - which is a high quality 550W unit, but still not enough for a high end card.

If I do get a video card, I'll make sure to post about its FreeBSD compatibility. I'm currently running an MSI R6450-2GD3H/LP-R Radeon HD 6450 2GB 64-Bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP. That only cost about fifty bucks a few years ago.
 

Alain De Vos

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I use also a HD 6450 card.
vlc runs fine. However it start with with the following warning :
>libEGL warning: DRI2: failed to authenticate
>Failed to open VDPAU backend Shared object "libvdpau_nvidia.so" not found, required by "vlc"
>libEGL warning: DRI2: failed to authenticate
glxgears runs smoothly.
The linux mesa drivers are normally gallium/r600. I have no clue on the freebsd kms drivers.

The advantage of this card is that it takes less space then Nvidia. However the card gets very hot.
 

shkhln

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rigoletto@

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They cost (specially the lower-end) about the same of a consumer card with a fraction of the energy consumption. Those are good enough justifications for me, specially if you are running 4K-5K multi-monitor setups.

The another major advance is those cards are built with parts of superior quality over the consumer ones, what usually translate to more reliability. Also, the advantages they bring are also different firmware, as soon you have OpenCL/OpenGL/etc. support on the system they will work as expected. :)
 
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OJ

OJ

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That's not what that page claims. Firefox is looking into providing WebCL (javascript API) for web applications.
Ah, you're right. I was being a bit optimistic about the term "looking into". :)
 
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OJ

OJ

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They cost (specially the lower-end) about the same of a consumer card with a fraction of the energy consumption. Those are good enough justifications for me, specially if you are running 4K-5K multi-monitor setups.

The another major advance is those cards are built with parts of superior quality over the consumer ones, what usually translate to more reliability. Also, the advantages they bring are also different firmware, as soon you have OpeCL/OpenGL/etc. support on the system they will work as expected. :)
That's the kind of thing I like to hear. Those also look much better and more adult - the "gaming look" is a bit childish to me.

I'm not running 4K though. My monitor is a bit old, but the physical specs for my space are very limiting (21.5" max wide and must have very narrow bezel) so hard to upgrade without a major rethink.
 

Phishfry

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I'm a heavy Firefox user with sometimes up to 500 open tabs - so .... that could be something relevant.
Doesn't the security implications of this bother you? Cross site scripting vulnerabilities is reason enough to worry.
Do you run each in a private browsing window? If not you are sharing alot of information.
I never open another browser instance(I don't do tabs) when I am on a security sensitive site.
That means anything I have to log on to. I don't want my credentials leaked. I don't trust "Private Browsing Window" with my financial sites or anything money related.
 
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OJ

OJ

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Doesn't the security implications of this bother you? Cross site scripting vulnerabilities is reason enough to worry.
Do you run each in a private browsing window? If not you are sharing alot of information.
Good point. :) Yes it most certainly does! I do mitigate that somewhat by obfuscating my identity a little and not using so called social media. Also, different machines for different purposes. For example, another machine is completely security oriented. I have four daily-use boxen.

I love minimalism, and practice it elsewhere, but for browsing I haven't figured out how to make it work, other than in a tedious and time consuming way. We're getting way off topic, but I have to say that I could never use Windows or Mac because of the primitive way they work (or is it just the way I've seen their users operate?) . I do notice that even *nix users, other than the experienced types we see on this forum, do silly things like minimize programs and only open one or a few sites at a time. That's obviously an influence that goes back to Windows 3.1 and just shows where those people started. Perhaps we should open another thread before I get too opinionated here though. :)
 

rigoletto@

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OJ one thing really bothering me on your setup is the Intel processor. Why not go through Threadripper 1950X, specially if you like to build from source? Costs the same.

[EDIT]

The only downside is no Supermicro for that processor but some folk from #kde-freebsd got a Gigabyte Designare and is quite happy with that.
 

Phishfry

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I want to throw my opinion behind the CPU graphics alone.
You will never need Video Card features unless you are a gamer. That is my opinion.
Along with that it is a peripheral device. You can easily add it later if needed.

I do think the 9900 Intel is a good mainstream choice. 300 dollars CPU and 150 dollar board.
Very predictable without even looking it up.
SuperMicro consumer boards have some serious bad reviews on NewEgg.
I don't know what to think of it as I have purchased mostly SuperMicro server boards.
Even some used SandyBridge dual CPU boards with no regrets.
 

Phishfry

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I see you went upsale on the CPU with the i9-9900 clocking in around $500. Nice to see all those cores.
 

rigoletto@

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I just had one Gigabyte mobo, long ago. That was a doggy mATX but the machine was dismantled while still working.
 
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