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gis and video card

jamesmetcalf74 asked
im spec'n out a workstation for a gis machine...
whats more important...
lots of ram and cpu or a high end video card/
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A few questions
It's gonna be a stand alone system?
Will it be connected to a server?
in the first case a big CPU and a powerful video card should do it
In the second case a gigabit ethernet will make the difference along with a powerful video card
In both cases the more RAM the better


Stand alone
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Do you know what software will be used?  Both the Autodesk and Bentley products post their recommended system specs.
Really as already mentioned you need to look at processing power and memory but also graphics - remember there are important distinctions between the way mapping graphics card work and games graphics are rendered so you need to think Quadro rather than GeForce when you are looking for graphics cards.
As it'll be stand alone
A multicore CPU, a 64 bit OS, a 10,000 RPM HD, SATA 3 or SATA II, SSD are faster but smaller and expensive, as much RAM the MoBo or your pocket can acomodate and I'll go with MASQUERAID as the type of video.
The fast disk is because GIS normally depends on a database information also they may use sections of large textfiles for data, ie terrain elevation, so the fastest you can read the info and the fastest you can renderer the iimage the faster the whole system will work

I believe this will help:


You're probably going to need:

1. MultiCore CPU - consider Intel i7 or perhaps even AMD 8000 series (8 cores, multi-threaded performance good, less than great single threaded performance) or even an Intel Xeon Workstation Processor
2. RAM - more is better - 8 - 12 GB
3. HDD - consider mirrored SSD boot drive(s) and data stored on a hardware RAID controlled 4 disk array (1 hotspare) with plenty of battery backed cache
4. GPU - Probably AMD FireGL or NVidia Quadro to best use GPU Computing - application dependant of course - GIS is more about drawing speed so professional WKS graphics are a must for large maps.
5. PSU - dual PSUs for resilience
6. OS - Windows 64 Bit of course!

Essentially, you want a meaty workstation with RAID disks.





What GIS applications do you plan to run. Some need no specs, some need big specs