Subscriber Discussion

Graphics Card Recommendations - Milestone And Avigilon

I am building a new Windows PC for my office and could use feedback on what graphics cards are my best choice in the market right now. I have 4 monitors, use alot of Milestone Smart Client and Avigilon Client windows, absolutely no gaming and just general business use beyond that. I would like to keep it under 400 bucks.

Recommendations anyone?



MSI, PNY and eVGA brands have seemed to work ok in my experiance. And no, you wouldn't need a gaming card. My best advice is to stick with nVidia chipsets. Their drivers seem to work a lot better for multi-monitor displays and are more stable, I'd probably suggest two for two displays each at 1GB RAM or more.

I assume you will be Using H.264 cameras? You mention four Monitors but do not mention how many cameras will be viewed on them. Milestone and Avigilon act differently when handling multiple streams. As Mentioned by Luis, Nvidia is a good chipset, as most have the Pure video Chipset that handle the h.264 decoding.

Thanks Luis.

Paul - I would be connecting to a myriad of different systems in the course of my day so although most will be h.264 cams, not all will be. I will be connecting to more Milestone systems than Avigilon but both are important. Do you have a particular model you have recently used that you can recommend?

Hi Brian, I would Suggest Two Nvidia Quadro FX3400 - 256mb DDR3 or Better.

Although looking at the US, you should be able to pick up a Nvidia Quadro 600 1GBDDR3 at a good price.

Pretty much any NVIDIA Quadro Over $99.00 - USE MSI or PNY

All the best

Thanks for your help Paul

NVidia quadro 600 is the card that Avigilon ships with its viewing station - I have run 6 monitors off this card with a couple dvi splitters and all is good

I actually just ordered a new K600 from PNY to try out. Reading up on the new Kepler architecture it seems to be a nice improvement too.

Hi Brian,

I'm sorry for reviving this old thread, but I'm just wondering whether you could share how your experience with the K600 has been so far. Did it fully satifsy your requirements?

2 X ATI RADEON HD 4870 @ around $200 a pop - Excellent (and that is from a veteran "white hat" hacker on my crew.

Hi Tiago, The cards have performed well. I bought two of them and put them inside of my HP workstation. Every so often it seems like the displays can get a little sluggish but truthfully it has never gotten bad enough for me to bother troubleshooting it. In fact it is just my best guess that the issue is caused by the video cards, could be something else

Hi Brian! Thanks for answering it.

When the displays get a little sluggish, have you noticed, by any chance, whether you are you mostly viewing H.264 video streams? And if so, how many streams in total are we talking about?

Truthfully this is my regular work computer, I have so much stuff going on at one time that it could be anything slowing it down. Sorry I can't nail it down to just the video client I am running.

Hi Guys, I had a discussion with Milestone support on the issue of using a dedicated grpahics crad from NVIDIA or ATi which has dedicated chipset for H.264 decoding functions. Suprisingly, according to them XProtect Smart Client 32/64 bit doesnot have the ability to use those advance functions of the deidicated grpahics cards's GPU. In simple words Smartclient cannot use grpahics cards to decode H.264 streams. Infact, according to milestone support it utilizes the workstation CPU abilities to decode the H.264 streams e.g. Video Encoding/Decoding (Intel Quick Synch i think its called) chipset built as dedicated hardware core on the processor Intel i7 Ivy Bridge / Sandy Brige line of CPUs.

As of this date, XProtect Client cannot use the power of dedicated graphics card GPU for video decoding out of box. The only advantage we get by adding something like NVidia Quadro is the multi monitor ability.

Milestone support however did gave me a link to their techonology partner Matrox, which has the integration / addon avilable for XProtect Smartclient, which once installed, allows the smart client to use Matrox graphics card GPUs for decoding H.264. Hoevever, I have not yet tested its performance. I'm giving the link

Matrox Graphics - Support - Driver Download

News, Features, Reviews, Forums and Resources for the Professional Content Creator | Creative Planet Network

I failed to get any further information on the addon on milestone's website. So my advice is to go for a decent CPU as well, to avoid any suglish perofrmace or application freezes which we all face sometimes with XProtect Smart Client & H.264 video feeds, espically if you are decoding 16+ Megapixel feeds at a time.

Hi Harron, It’s a shame that milestone have not got round to off load video processing to the GPU, the NVidia has a dedicated chip set (Purevideo) to handle H.264 decoding thus Allowing the CPU to take care of other Tasks. Consideration should also be given to latency. In the past, I have seen issues with an expensive Matrox card that caused latency problems with the PTZ control. I was the Technical Lead for Avigilon (EMEA) during the earlier years and have seen a lot of installers make mistakes with servers and workstations. I have partnered up with a server manufacturer in the UK to develop high end servers and workstations for the EMEA region. We are seeing a vast improvement in the performance and stability of the systems, while also having more redundancy.

I would recommend always listening to the recommendations of the manufacturer or deal with a true HD server manufacturer. Video Client Workstations can often be the weakest point on the system, if not considered properly. (Mainly multiple screens for control rooms)

I would suggest for systems that do not offload to GPU to use the latest Generation i3, i5 and i7 with Intel HD Graphics 4600 on board.

Follow up- does anyone know which VMS manufacturers will support GPU load processing? PNY was just here and I'm now eager to try a Quadro out on a customer's application.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: What VMSes Support GPU Load Processing?

Modern GPUs (which include the Intel HD 2000+ - do not discount these, they are not toys anymore) have the following acceleration features:

1. Dedicated on-die ASIC style circuitry to encode/decode H264 (a.k.a PureVideo, UVD, Intel Clear Video HD, ...) target at consumer media playback and conversion - these are usually useless because they are normally only designed for decoding a single a a few high res streams, where as in CCTV you need to decode 16+ streams for a grid view (is you are decoding less number of streams a CPU does the job no worries).

2. GPGPU compute APIs like OpenCL and CUDA: these have a lot of potential for video analysis/processing inc advanced motion detection, object tracking, image enchancement, maybe LPR etc... However to get this working requires special development skills and $$$ to reimplement the algorithms in a very parallel fashion to exploit the full potential of the GPU. This will eventually be an important differentiating factor for leading VMSes.

3. 3D APIs like OpenGL/Direct3D/Mantle: These can help with a better UI responsiveness, better quality zoom, filtering, scaling and image enhancements, for an obvious example see Network Optix HD Witness

I get really annoyed when people try to tell me how a nVidia GTX580/560/680/670/660/780/770/760 or AMD R9 2xx or other 150W+ monster 3D/compute GPU is somehow supposed to make current VMSes run 'better' when there is no scientific explaination for it at all.

If you want a future proof a machine get a nVidia GTX 750 - under 60W, 4 display outputs with lots compute power for future apps when they becom mainstream.

This is an old thread but wonder what video cards in 2017 are recommended for Avigilon Client viewing about 60 cameras. Any suggestions on video ports as far as DVI vs HDMI vs DP.

The Avigilon website recommended nVidia Quadro FX 570 dual DVI for Server/Workstation but don't know how old that recommendation is.

NOTICE: This comment has been moved to its own discussion: For Avigilon Viewing 60 Cameras, What Video Cards Are Recommended?