Help me choose: Video card

Choosing the right graphics card is critical to achieving optimal performance from graphic-intensive applications.

• Virtually every workstation application requires performance graphics.

• Dell Precision workstations offer a range of high performance graphics cards that can give you superb graphics performance for demanding applications for industries like media & entertainment, video editing, design, architecture and engineering.

• Dell Precision™ workstations offer a selection of Independent Software Vendor (ISV) certified graphics cards to support the wide range of needs for workstation users with verified solutions for high levels of reliability.

Multi-monitor support

Graphic card options provide the capability to drive 2-4 monitors by direct connection and up to 6 monitors per card using Display Port 1.2 multi-stream technology allowing compatible monitors to be connected in series with one other. Reference the Monitor Setup table for some key display support scenarios.

Dual-Graphics Options

More professional ISV applications are taking advantage of multiple GPUs in a system. Workstation users performing modeling, simulation, and rendering while working may benefit from dual-graphics configurations.
Multi-monitor use cases like display walls, security operations, and finance applications need more than 4 monitors. Dual (or more) graphics cards are used to drive and configure multiple monitors using Eyefinity software from AMD and Mosaic software from Nvidia.


Monitor Setup

Comparing Firepro Display Support

FirePro FireProFireProFirePro
W7100W5100 W4100W2100
Video ports4 DP4 DP4 mDP2 DP
 - ---
Max simultaneous displays (direct connect)444
Max simultaneous displays (DP 1.2 Multi-Stream)6662
Max resolution @60hz4096X4096x4096x 4096x
2160216021602160
# of 4k2k displays @60hz3332
Total Board PowerSub 150W Sub 75WSub 50WSub 26W


Comparing Quadro Display Support

 
QuadroQuadro Quadro QuadroQuadroQuadro
K6000M5000 M4000 K2200 K620 K420
Video ports 
2 DP4 DP 4 DP 2 DPDP DP 
DL DVI-IDL DVI-I DL DVI-IDVI-IDVI-I
DL DVI-D-- -
Max simultaneous displays (direct connect)4 42
Max simultaneous displays (DP 1.2 Multi-Stream4 4 (direct)4 (direct) 442 (direct)
 - -1920x1200
@60hz 24bpp 
1920x1200
@60hz 24bpp
 -
Max resolution @60hz @30bpp3840x4096x 4096x 3840x3840x3840x
21602160 2160 216021602160
# of 4k2k displays @60hz2*211*
Total Board Power225W150W 108W 68W45W41W

The following guide will help you to determine what video adapter(s) you may need to properly support your monitor setup. Please note additional adapters may be needed for multi-monitor setups which can be selected in the adapter section during system customization.

Step 1 — Check your monitor(s):
The first step to determining if you need additional video adapters is to look at the monitors you're going to be hooking up. Take note of the type of connections your monitor(s) have; DisplayPort, DVI or VGA.

ConnectorvgadviDP     Mini- Display Porthdmi
NameVGADVIDisplayPort (DP) or Mini DisplayPortHDMI*
CommonalityVery common
but being removed
on new monitors
Commoncommon on new monitors
and becoming the default
Common
QualityGoodBetterBestBest

*HDMI is supported by Dell Precision workstations through video adapters purchased separately

Step 2 — Check your system’s graphics port(s): 
The second step is determine what graphics ports your systems has. To do this look at the back of your computer or at the corresponding video card you're buying in Compare Side-by-Side tab of this window. Take note of the type of connections you have; DisplayPort, DVI or VGA. Note: if you're going to connect to an Nvidia Quadro NVS 420, please see additional information below.

ConnectorvgadviDP    Mini- Display Portdms-59
NameVGADVIDisplayPort (DP) or Mini DisplayPort (mDP)DMS-59
Commonalitybeing phased outOffered on some graphics cards for easy connection to existing monitorscommon on new monitors and becoming the defaultuncommon, offered only on basic 2D support cards, lowest cost to 2 VGA or 2 DVI monitors
QualityGood
Max resolution 2048x1536 @60hz

Better
1920x1200 @60hz SL
2560x1600 @60hz DL

Best
4096x2160 @60hz

Better
4096x2160 @ 60hz (depends on adaptor)

Step 3 — Determine what video adapter(s) you need:

Using the below table, line up your monitor input with your graphics card output. This will tell you what type of video adapter or cable you will need to connect your monitor. Additional adapters can be selected in the adapter section during system customization.

Systems Graphics Output

Monitor Input

 vga
VGA
dvi
DVI
dp
DP
dms-59
DMS-59
Mini- Display Port
Mini- Display Port
vga
VGA 
No adapter neededDVI -> VGA adapterDP -> VGA adapterDMS-59 -> Dual DVI adapter=> DVI to VGA
=> DVI to VGA
mDP => VGA
dvi
DVI
Use monitor VGA connectorCheck the type of DVIDP -> DVI SL adapter
DP -> DVI DL adapters are available but more expensive
DMS-59 -> Dual DVI adaptermDP-> DVI adaptor 
dp
DP
Use VGA connector or look to DVI, DP or DMS-59 solutionUse monitor DVI connectorNo adapter neededUse monitor DVI connectormDP-> DP adapter 
Mini- Display Port
Mini- Display Port
Use monitor VGA connectorUse monitor DVI connector DP to mDP DMS-59 -> Dual DVI adapter
Use monitor DVI connector
no adapter needed 

Step 4 - How to Connect:
For most of our graphic solutions you will connect your monitors using the appropriate cables and adapters below.
NVS 315
If you're using an Nvidia NVS 315, use the below illustration to connect your monitors
NVS 315
Recommendations
Workstation UsagePrimary FocusRecommended Cards
AMDNVIDIA®
EngineeringMechanical CAD (MCAD) FirePro W7100Quadro M4000
Computer-Aided Engineering / Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
Electronic Design Automation (EDA)FirePro W4100Quadro K620
Architecture, Engineering and Design (AEC)FirePro W5100Quadro K2200
Mechanical Computer Aided Manufacturing (MCAM)
Media and entertainment2D and 3D Character Creation, Animation and RenderingFirePro W7100Quadro K6000
Game DevelopmentQuadro M5000
Film and Video Editing, Multimedia DVD/Blu-ray AuthoringFirePro W4100Quadro K620
Broadcast and Post Production
Image Editing and Prepress Page DesignFirePro W4100Quadro K2200
Professional Audio ProductionFirePro W7100Quadro M4000
Exploration and scientificGeosciences (Petroleum Exploration and Management)FirePro W9100Quadro K6000
Geographic Information SystemsFirePro W4100Quadro K620
Medical Imaging and AnalysisFirePro W7100Quadro M5000
Visual SimulationQuadro M4000
TestingFirePro W4100Quadro K620
Economic and financial modelingFinancial Modeling/Derivative Pricing (SciFinance®–SciComp)FirePro W7100Quadro M4000
Trading StationFirePro W4100K1200 HH on 3420
Software developmentMicrosoft® Visual Studio or C++FirePro W2100
Quadro K620
Intel® Parallel Studio or Intel Compiler
Eclipse (Java™) (Linux®)

- Growing business demands and shrinking development windows are challenging engineers, designers, and content creation professionals to find creative ways to explore and validate more ideas—faster. Many times this involves creating designs or content that includes a visual aspect and a physical simulation.
- Engineers, artists, designers and scientists need to be able to interact with high-performance visuals while running simulations on the same system. Workflows have changed to include multiple professional applications and graphics processors have kept pace.
- Today, professional graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia are architected to perform compute operations in parallel with more traditional graphics operations. See the compute performance table below. It is no longer necessary to have a compute + graphics card depending on your use case.
- High performance use cases can benefit from multiple graphics cards of different performance levels and cost points. Reference the table below for combinations of FirePro or Quadro / Telsa cards in Precision. When using two cards in a system it is not necessary to connect them with a dedicated cable. Data is effectively shared using the PCIe bus.
- Dell Precision workstations are designed for graphics support to meet all levels of demand.

The table below shows some examples for dual card use. Reference the power information on the recommendations tab to determine how many cards each system will support.

Precision does not offer the Nvidia Tesla K40 card. Instead use the Quadro K6000. The K6000 has slightly higher performance at a better cost point. K6000 can be used in any application instead of a K40.

In addition to using dual cards for performance (modeling, simulation, computation, and rendering for example) multiple cards are used for display walls and other multi-monitor use cases. Low cost solutions for 4 displays can use 2 graphics cards such as FirePro W2100, NVS 315 and NVS 310. For solutions of 4 or more, one or more FirePro W4100 or NVS 510 cards provide support for 8 or more displays all managed by Eyefinity (FirePro ) or Mosaic (Nvidia).

Dual card combinations

 

NVS

K620

W5100

K2200

W7100

K5200/ M5000

compute with
low end
2D display

compute with
entry graphics

-

-

-

K6000/ M6000

compute with
low end
2D display

compute with
entry graphics

-

-

-

W5100

-

-

modeling &
simulation

-

modeling &
simulation

W7100

-

-

modeling &
simulation 

-

rendering &
modeling

W8100

-

-

-

-

modeling &
simulation

W9100

-

-

-

-

modeling &
simulation
DP compute,
rendering


Comparing Quadro Compute Performance
K6000M6000
SP5.2 TF7 TF
DP--

Comparing Firepro Compute Performance
 W5100W7100W8100W9100
SP1.43 TF 3.3 TF4.2 TF5.24 TF
DP89 GF200 GF2.1 TF2.62 TF


SP = single precision
DP = double precision performance
TF= TeraFlops
GF = GigaFlops


System Support for Graphics 
Platform3620 3620 3420 (SFF) 3420 (SFF) T5810T5810T5810T7810T7810T7910T7910R7910R7910
Power supply & CPU Count 290W 365W 180W240W 425W685W825W685W825W1300W 1 CPU1300W 2 CPU(1) 1100W or (2) 1100W (for redundancy)1 CPU(1) 1100W or (2) 1100W (for redundancy)2 CPU
Total graphics power 100W 175W 50W50W 150W300W300W225W300W450W675W675W*675W*
Max power per graphics card 75W150W  50W50W 75W225W300W150W225W300W300W300W300W
Graphics slots (PCIe x16 wired x16) 1 1 1222222 double wide slots (with one CPU)4 (with two CPUs) 3 double wide slots1 with optional x16 riser supports 2 slot wide card1 (2 with optional x16 riser) both support 2 slot wide cards
Graphics slots (PCIe x16 wired x8 or x4) Slot 4 wired x4, 25W max
OR
sum of x16 and x4 slot <100W
 Slot 4 wired x4, 25W max
OR
sum of x16 and x4 slot <175W
 (1) x4 slot (1) x4 slot(1) slot 5 wired x4
(1) slot 1 wired x8
(1) slot 5 wired x4
(1) slot 1 wired x8
(1) slot 5 wired x4
(1) slot 1 wired x8
(1) slot 5 wired x4
(1) slot 1 wired x8
(1) slot 5 wired x4
(1) slot 1 wired x8
223 x8 single width slot (2 with optional x16 riser)6 x8 single width slot (5 with optional x16 riser)
6pin drops (75W)  0020122244
8pin drops (150W) 00 0 00ships a 1x2 pin connector to be combined with a 6pin for 8pin support2 (ships with two 8 pin to 6 pin adapters)0022ships two 1x2 pin connector to be combined with a 6pin two 8pin supportships a 1x2 pin connector to be combined with a 6pin for 8pin support

* reference R7910 technical specs for limitations on graphics power, CPU selection, and ambient temperature.

Dell Precision™
Performance  High-end 3D & compute
 
Mid-Range 3D
Entry 3D2D graphics, entry Processor
Graphics cardNVIDIA
Quadro®
M6000
 
NVIDIA Quadro® K6000 NVIDIA
 Quadro® M5000
AMD
FireProTM W9100
 
AMD
FireProTM W8100
 
AMD
FirePro™ W7100
 
NVIDIA
Quadro®
M4000
 
 AMD FirePro W5100ATI
FirePro™ W7100
NVIDIA
Quadro®
K2200
 
NVIDIA
Quadro®
K1200
 
NVIDIA Quadro® K620NVIDIA Quadro® K420 AMD
FirePro
W4100
AMD
FirePro
W2100
NVIDIA
Quadro® NVS 510
NVIDIA Quadro® NVS 315 NVIDIA Quadro® NVS 310 Intel HD Graphics P4600 (Graphics on processor)Intel HD Graphics 530 (Graphics on processor) Intel HD graphics 530 (Graphics on processor)
Video output image - only full height rear brackets shown. Graphics on 3620 or T1700 SFF available in half height M6000K6000M5000 W9100  FirePro W7100 M4000 W5100W7100 K2200 K1200K620K420 W4100 W2100 NVS 510NVS 315 NVS-310 Graphics P4600Intel HD 530Graphics 530
PCIe slot width  -2   - 2 2 1 1 11 1 111 1 1 1 0
Availability by model T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910
T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910
T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910 
 T5810
T7810
T7910



 T7910
R7910
T5810
T7810
T7910
 3620
T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910
  T1700    MT3620
T5810
T7810
T7910
 R7910
T5810
T7810
T7910
 T1700 MT3620
T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910
3620
3420
T5810
T7810
T7910


R7910
T1700 MT
T1700 SFF
3620
3420
T5810
T7810
T7910
R7910
T1700 MT
T1700 SFF
3620
3420
T5810
T7810
T7910
T1700MT
T1700
SFF
3620
3420
T5810
T7810
T7910 
T1700 MT
T1700 SFF
3620
3420
T5810
T7810
T7910 
T1700SFF
3620
3420
T1700 MT3620T1650
T1700 MT
T1700 SFF
3620
3420


R7910
T1700 MT
T1700 SFF
 3620
3420
Memory (GDDR5)12GB GDDR5 12GB  8GB GDDR5 8GB 16GB 8GB8GB 4GB 8GB GDDR5  4GB4GB 2GB1 GB2GB2GB2GB DDR31GB DDR31 GB DDR3Shared system memory. Supports Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT) Shared system memory. Supports Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT)Shared system memory. Supports Dynamic Video Memory Technology (DVMT)
OpenGL® 4.54.5 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.5 4.44.4  4.5 (expected)4.5 4.5 (expected)4.5 (expected) 4.44.4 4.24.1 4.13.0 --
Open CL -- 2.0 2.0 2.0 - 2.02.0  - ---1.21.2 ---- - -
DirectX®  12.011.2 12.0 12.0 12.0 11.2 12.0 11.211.2  11.2 12.011.211.2 11.2 11.2 11.011.0 11.0 10.1 12.012.0
PCIe support  x16 Gen 3x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3x16 Gen 3  x16 Gen 2 x16 Gen 3x16 Gen 2x16 Gen 2 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 3 x16 Gen 2 x16 Gen 2 x16 Gen 2 N/A  N/AN/A
Max single or dual Analog Resolution (VGA) 2048 x 1536 @ 85Hz2048 x 1536 @ 85Hz2048 x 1536 @ 85Hz  1920x1200 (VGA) 1920x1200 (VGA) - 1920x1200 (VGA) -- - 1920x1200 (VGA)2048 x 1536 @ 85Hz2048x1536 @85Hz --N/A2048X1536 (VGA) 1920 x 1200 (VGA)1920 x 1200 @75Hz  1920 x 1200 @ 75Hz1920 x 1200 @ 75Hz
Max single or dual Digital Resolution (DVI or DisplayPort) 4096x2160 @60Hz3840x2160 @60Hz4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz  4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz 4096x2160 @60Hz 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz  3840x2160 @60Hz 4096x2160 @60Hz3840x2160 @60Hz3840x2160 @60Hz 4096 x 2160 @60Hz4096 x 2160 @60Hz 3860 x 2160 @ 60Hz (DP only)
1920 x 1200 @ 60Hz (DVI SL)
2560X1600 (DisplayPort) 1920X1200(DVI-I) 2560 x 1600 (DisplayPort)
1920 x 1200 (DVI-I)
2560x1600 (DisplayPort)
1900x1200 (HDMI/DVI)
 4096 x 2160 @ 60Hz4096x2160 @ 60hz
Maximum Monitors (DP 1.2 Multi-Stream) 44
 4 6 6 6 4 66  4 42 2 2 42 23 33
Maximum monitors(direct connection) 44 4 6 4 4 4 44  3 422 4 2422 3 33
Max # of 4Kx2K displays @ 60hz
 42 (see max resolution above) 4 6 3 3 4 33 2 412 (see max resolution above)3 2 ---- 22
Video Connectors 1 Dual Link DVI-I
4 Display Port
1 Stereo (optional)
1 Dual Link DVI-i
1 Dual Link DVI-D
2 Display Port
4 Display Port
1 Stereo (optional) 
 6 Display Port 4 Display Port 4 Display Port 1 Dual-link DVI-I
2 Display Port
1 Stereo (optional)
 4 Display Port4 Display Port 1 Dual-link DVI-I
2 Display Port
 4 mini Display Port1 Dual-Link DVI-I
1 Display Port
1 Dual-link DVI-I
1 Display Port 
4 mini Display Port 2 Display Port4 mini Display Port1DMS-592 Display Port 1 VGA
2 DisplayPort
 2 DisplayPort
HDMI
 2 DisplayPort
HDMI
Included video adapters (with systems or customer kits) 2 DP- SL DVI2 DP-DVI1 DP- SL DVI  6 mDP to DP 

3 DP-DVI

 

 

 

 3 DP-DVI 1 DP-DVI 2 DP-DVI3 DP-DVI  1 DP-DVI 4 mDP to DP1 DP-DVIDP-DVI
1 DVI-VGA
4 miniDP - DP1 DP-DVI 4 mDP to DP 1 DMS-59-dual DVI 2 DP to DVINone NoneNone
Aux power connectors needed 8 pin2x 6 pin 6 pin 8 pin6 pin  6 pin 6 pin -6 pin - - - --- -- - - --
Est. max power
Consumption
 250W225W 150W 275W 220W <150W 120W <75W <150W 68W 45W45W41W<50W 26W34W 19.5W19.5WN/A N/AN/A