A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is the piece of gear in your computer that helps with your computer’s performance. What are the different GPUs available for your desktop and mobile systems? In this video, authors Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman discuss the GPUs that are available for your desktop and laptop computers.
- These days when you pick a computer, if the computer has a display, which pretty much all computers do. - You would hope so. - There is some sort of GPU. But there's an important distinction here. Is it integrated, another words, built into the CPU. For example, I like to take my Microsoft Surface Pro on set. I use it all the time, it's small. It's nice to be able to plug in, check media, launch Photoshop. - Tablet form factor, but running the full version of Windows, yep. - But this is an integrated GPU. It's built into the CPU, so performance-wise, it's not going to set any land speed records.
- Right, one thing that Intel has done over the past few years is they've beefed up their integrated GPU performance right. So you might hear things like Iris Graphics and things of that nature. That's referring to integrated GPU. And just as you can probably imagine, something that's integrated with the CPU, we talked before about how the CPU's slower at a lot of tasks. Just doesn't have the quite of the performance of the dedicated unit. - But I can edit in Premiere Pro on this, I do all the time. And I'll do Comp work and After Effects. But when it comes to things like final export and renders, I'm going to get frustrated with that here.
It's fine for working, it's great on set. But we might step up to something like this. So here you have a Mobile Workstation. And this has both an integrated GPU and a dedicated one. - Yeah, so this is an HP Zbook Studio and one of the reasons that I went to this, 'cause I do love my Surface Book, is that it actually gave me both options. So when I want lower power consumption and I'm just doing things like typing email or working on a word document, I'm using the integrated GPU. - Or even logging media and getting a project organized. It's not like you need intense GPU performance.
So switching over to that lower power mode gives you longer battery life. - And then when I want to run something a little bit more beefy like running Resolve or running Premiere Pro, I can use the dedicated discrete GPU. In this case, it's a NVIDIA Quadro m1000. That allows me to get more processing power for the task that I need. I can let the computer automatically decide how that switching happens or I can say, "Hey, you know what, I want this app and this application to use the dedicated or integrated." - On Macs, there's a useful utility called gfxCardStatus that I use that let's you leave it switch dynamically, or you can say only use the discrete one or the integrated one.
You can control this too, sometimes in your system preferences or your control panels. Most people have them set up to auto-switch. - So there's two more sort of classifications of GPU's that you need to be aware of. The first is desktop versus sort of a mobile GPU. And then there's also sort of the workstation class versus the enthusiast class. So Rich, let's first talk about desktop versus sort of mobile right. - Well this ones going to take up two slots in a typical system right? - Yep, yep, so this is a GTX Titan X.
This is a brand new card. This is based on NVIDIA's new Pascal technology. This is a screaming desktop class card. And that 1,200 bucks, it better be right? This is a very expensive GPU. - It cost about as much as some computers cost. - Absolutely, but this is a desktop card for a couple of reasons. Obviously it's size right, this is meant to go into a tower-based system. Second is it's power consumption, it needs both an 8-pin and a 6-pin. So even if you have a desktop, it might not work if unless your power supply is beefy enough to handle it.
- We did find that we had to upgrade one of our older towers. We had a Z800, the original generation. And we didn't have as beefy of graphic cards back then. So once we decided to upgrade, it was simple. We just ordered an increased power supply. It put in an additional fan as well, which is important. And it was able to then power the card. - So obviously this is going to take up a lot of space, go inside a dedicated computer. But then in something like a laptop right. Or even an all-in-one, you're going to find more typically sort of a mobile class of processor right. This is essentially if you could imagine taking all the guts of this big desktop one out and just taking the chip out, that's essentially what's inside of a laptop or an all-in-one.
- And in the Z1, the all-in-one system, it has a mobile thing, it can actually be upgraded, but it is a smaller unit, because well, let's face it, space is a premium and heat is a huge issue. - Really is the biggest issue. And you're going to find in all-in-one's like an iMac or even laptops, performance, generally speaking is going to be less than that of a desktop class GPU. Now that's changed a little bit, for example with NVIDIA's new Pascal architecture. The power consumption is so good that they've been able to, in some newer laptops, take, for example...
- What they call those mobile workstations. - Right, but they've been able to take the power of a GTX 1080, which is an awesome card, about one step down from this card, and put it into a laptop. Now those are big, thick gaming laptops that are not meant to be kind of super portable. But the fact is, is that we're starting to get a little blur of a line between sort of desktop and mobile power. - Well another thing I think is important to note is that different cards are going to have different connection types. This one here is offering four display ports it looks like. - Yep, four display ports, HDMI as well as DVI - Yeah, so that's going to work very well and it's very easy to adapt.
Don't be turned off if you see DisplayPort, not Mini DisplayPort, but DisplayPort, that's easy to adapt to HDMI or the Mini DisplayPort. You'll be able to use these, it's just a simple dongle. So it's just going to depend. Now this one can hook up four monitors if you want, but as you spread it out over more monitors, you're essentially decreasing the performance right? - Yeah I mean you're using more power, I mean all modern GPU's are going to be able to support 4K monitors, UHD monitors, even 5K monitors. But yeah, I mean the performance set for running your desktop is no where near as, severe as the performance set for running a game or running a creative app.
There's one last consideration about GPU's and that is working with a workstation class GPU versus sort of enthusiast GPU. Now you can find GPU's in the same form factor Rich. Desktop class. And for example, this Titan X is about $1,200 U.S. The equivalent of it, the P6000 card, which is actually very similar in design and specs, well that cost three, four times as much as this one. What's the difference? Well the more expensive card is a little more spec'd out, but it's mean for sort of higher level things like deep learning technology and real extreme visualization and things of that nature.
- And their designed to also run 24/7 and to be constantly brutalized. The idea with some of the lower end cards is that you're running them in burst. Maybe three, four hours at a time. You'll start to see issues. So if you are drawn to a gamer card, I mean this is still considered a workstation class right? - Yeah I mean this is sort of a... This particular card is sort of a weird one, because it's kind of sits in between sort of the enthusiast gamer card and sort of the pro-level sort of serious card and NVIDIA... - It's good for video editors.
- Absolutely. NVIDIA classifies this as GeForce versus Quadro right. The Quadro cards are going to be significantly more expensive, generally speaking for desktop solutions. But that's something else to look for and it doesn't always mean that the more expensive card is better. For example, I'm a DaVinci Resolve Colorist and it actually turns out, the enthusiast cards right, the GeForce cards tend to run faster and better than the way more expensive Quadro cards for that app. So you always need to do your due diligence and research, hey these cards are working great for this app and so on.
In general I find that color correction apps and stuff really work well on a lot of these enthusiast cards. But tools like Cinema 4D and 3D apps and things of that nature really work well on Quadro cards. - Alright well when we come back, we're going to talk about a couple of considerations when you're out there shopping.
Rich and Robbie explore the latest in video technologies, compatible gear, and how to adjust camera settings to capture images using new perspectives, new resolutions, and new speeds. They provide gear suggestions, with options that meet different budget ranges, and they demonstrate how to implement techniques to solve problems.
- Capturing point-of-view shots
- Broadcasting video online
- Recording in higher resolutions
- Capturing super slow-motion video
- Selecting equipment