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ThinkCentre M700: Graphics Card Compatibility for 3D CAD (AutoDesk 3ds, Quadro, design)

2019-04-26, 12:54 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I've got a M700 with the Tower. I need to install a Graphics Card in it to run 3D renders efficiently using Blender and 3dsmax. Therefore would like to install from among the more powerful ones that are compatible.

 

I have combed through the forums about other people who've struggled with figuring out what works and what doesn't.

 

I've even seen the nvidia readme that mentions a bunch of their Graphics Cards, but no where does it say that they work with the M700 (https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/desktop/g3vdo34us14.txt).

 

Some of these would need an updated power supply. Some of them may exceed the 45W slot that I believe the M700 allows. I'm really not sure. 

 

I called up technical support and they told me to purchase an "Intel or nVidia graphics card". Not so helpful.

 

Thanks!

 

Mod:  edited Subject line to add the 3D CAD requirements to the problem description

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-26, 13:37 PM

Firstly, if you are looking at the Nvidia driver readme file for the M700, then all those cards will work on that system (providing you have sufficient power and space.)   Secondly, the 45w limit is not a slot limit, it is a power supply limit (and official cooling limit for the SFF.)  

 

For 3D CAD work, you will always get more performance for less wattage from a Quadro card, than from a GeForce (gaming) card, as the Quadro card are designed for those applications.  For example, the use of a Quadro P1000 card (47w) may negate the need for a power supply upgrade, and provide the same performance as a 120w GTX 1060. 

 

From Puget Systems:  "Overall, if you are trying to decide what Quadro card to use with 3ds Max (and we do recommend using a Quadro card instead of GeForce if possible), we would recommend starting with at least a Quadro M2000. The performance gain of that card over a Quadro K620 is simply so large that it is well worth the extra money."    AutoDesk 3ds Max 2017 Quadro GPU Peformance, written on August 5, 2016 by Matt Bach.

 

The current Quadro P1000 is about the same performance as the superseded M2000. 

 

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-26, 16:29 PM

Just to be clear, current "P" series Quadro cards are known to work with M700.  See these threads:

 

ThinkCentre: Nvidia Quadro & workstation card compatibility (CAD, video photo editing, design)

 

ThinkCentre: upgrade SolidWorks CAD performance (Quadro, design, benchmarks)

 

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-27, 6:29 AM

Thanks BiggAl. That's super helpful. Didn't know that Quadro >> GeForce for CAD. 

 

I'm looking at the P620. It seems to be around where my budget is at - the P1000 goes well above the budget. 

 

Am I correct to understand that the P range of cards would be the best bet for my use (as opposed to K420, which is mentioned as compatible in the M700 data sheet)?


For the M700 (I have the tower, not SFF), would there be any other modifications required - power supply? cooling? ports? Or should I just be able to plug it in and go?

 

Thanks again.

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-27, 11:46 AM

The Quadro "K" was a previous generation Quadro, and the K420 a low-end card of that series.  Not even in the same ballpark as the P620. 

 

The P620 is a 40w card, surprising close to the P1000 47w.  The M700 tower came with two power supplies, 180w and 250w.  Open the side of the case, and look at the sticker on the side of the power supply for the wattage.  If it is 250w, then you are good to go - plug and play.  If it is 180w, I will need your Intel processor model number to run a power calculation, and how many HDDs you have, or will have installed. 

 

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-29, 9:54 AM

Hey BiggAl,

 

Seems like it is the 250W (attached a screenshot). So based on what you've said, I'm going to buy it. Will update with whether this works or not.

 

 

Thanks - this has been a big help.

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  • Message 7 of 8

Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-29, 10:03 AM

Just by the way, there's a 240 GB SSD (used for OS and Programs) and a 500 GB HDD in this PC (used for Passive storage of large media files)

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Re: M700: Graphics Card Compatibility

2019-04-29, 14:21 PM

 wrote:
Seems like it is the 250W (attached a screenshot). So based on what you've said, I'm going to buy it.

Yes, that is the 250w supply.  Good that you have it, and a SSD already installed (they use just a few watts, while a HDD can use 20w at power on to spin up.) 

 

One last suggestion:  I recommend keeping the slot next to the Quadro card free if possible, and in the tower models, install a 'Ventilated PCI slot cover' in the one or two slots next to the Quadro card (SFF already has them.)  This will reduce the card temps, and help stability and longevity.

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