From: Axel Kohlmeyer (
Date: Tue Dec 15 2009 - 12:26:08 CST

On Tue, 2009-12-15 at 18:25 +0100, Berit Hinnemann wrote:
> Dear all,
> I am planning to buy a new computer, which is to be used for VMD
> visualizations. I previously had an nvidia GeForce graphics card, and
> I would like to choose that again. Which model would you recommend
> that works well with vmd 1.8.7, and also can use the new acceleration
> features? I am planning to run RHEL 5 on the machine. Other than that,
> a quad core processor and 8GB memory I think.

whatever you can afford. at GTX 285 is currently the top performing
card and will also help a lot in the GPU accelerated computing modules.

i would look for a model that doesn't aggressively overclock and
has solid cooling and thus makes less noise, which i consider
important in a desktop.

the quadro cards are _much_ more expensive but required in case you
need stereo. i am very happy with the GTX285 in my desktop which
had replaced a mid-level (pre-CUDA) quadro card (which wasn't bad
for visualization with GLSL either).

the GTX 295 is the top model, but it is basically two GTX 260 cards
rolled into one case. that would allow you to e.g. have one GPU
dedicated for graphics and one for GPU computing. but then again,
it depends on your typical usage patterns, how much you'd gain
from it. if you want to spend less money, you can reduce your
requirements to, say, a GTX 280, GTX 275, GTX 260 perhaps even
a GTX 250.
if you want to have a single slot card, there are 9800 series
cards, which are also much less power hungry, but they are one
compute architecture older (yet, the fastest 9800 series card
is still at about 50% the speed of the fastest cards).


> I would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks!
> Best regards,
> Berit
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Berit Hinnemann
> Research Scientist | Characterization Department | Research and
> Development Division
> Haldor Topsøe A/S
> Catalysing your business
> Nymøllevej 55, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby
> Phone: +45 4527 2130 (direct)
>
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Dr. Axel Kohlmeyer 
Institute for Computational Molecular Science
College of Science and Technology
Temple University, Philadelphia PA, USA.