I have a faint chance of getting hold of a Nvidia RTX 3060 12Gb graphics card. To aid others, here are the results of my few hours of advance research re: putting a 3060 in a reliable old HP Z600 which has fast Xeon CPUs (a workstation that was once ‘the PC of choice’ for Poser users)…
Windows 7 NVIDIA drivers: Yes, from August 2022. These support all the 30 series cards, but not the 40 or the coming 50 series. A HP Z600 workstation runs best with its dedicated Windows 7 drivers. Though many gamers just slap Windows 10 on a SSD and hope for the best. (Update: 472.12-desktop-win7-64bit-international-whql.exe are what’s needed for Windows 7, and they also support 12Gb cards).
Windows drivers tweaked for AI: No, not the newer and allegedly ‘AI tweaked’ drivers, at least not if you’re using a Z600 with the expected Windows 7 OS and the original set of workstation drivers.
DAZ Studio: The highest you’ll go with Windows 7 drivers is DAZ Studio 188.8.131.52 (November 2022), due to DAZ’s huge hike in NVIDIA driver requirements.
You’ll have to say goodbye to photoreal GPU rendering in Poser 11, as only Poser 12 and 13 support 30 series cards. I was misinformed. The 30-series is supported by P11. Perhaps it’s the OptiX rendering that’s not supported?
Card length/width: Yes, length should be just about fine though you want to get one of the shorter versions to be sure. Most of them are also fat things, so make sure you have the width as well, and no other sound cards etc in the way.
Slots on the motherboard: Yes, your card should be PCIe x16 and the Z600 has the required PCIe x16 slot. Make sure you push the new card into the slot your current graphics card is sitting in, and firmly seat it. Remember which slot was being used for a card, when you pull the old one out.
PCIE: Should be fine. Your 3060 card uses PCIE 4.0… but PCIE 4.0 is fully backwards compatible with the PCIE 2.0 (aka Gen2) used by your PCIe x16 slot. Actually I guess the difference may help your motherboard cope with the fast card?
Adequate Z600 power supply: Yes. A standard Z600 PSU pumps out 650W, and they’re reliable and modular (very easily replaceable).
Z600 power-supply cable already in use? A Z600 PSU has only one cable for a card. Unlatch the case front and make absolutely sure it’s clipped to the PSU and available. It should be a black 6-pin marked “P10”.
Z600 power-supply cable has suitable pins: No, it only has six. But there’s an easy fix — a simple ’10cm PCI Express PCIe 6 Pin to 8 Pin Graphics Card Power Adapter Cable’ for a few dollars. These are widely available on Amazon or eBay. The PSU should give the card 216W of power via the PCI-e cable/adapter, plus 75W drawn from the motherboard card-slot. This will be more than enough to fully power the card…
Fitting the adapter also usefully gives you another 10cm to reach the card socket, if required. I’ve read of no problems with melting, but it’s best to check the cable after a few hours of heavy use, and again a few days later.
From the above linked video, showing a fitted RTX 3060 card in a Z600.
Will it connect my monitors? You’ll have to look at your monitor cable(s) and connector types. I have both a normal monitor and a draw-on-the-screen XP-Pen monitor to connect. The card will likely only have one HDMI (v2.1, supporting 4k) and several DisplayPorts (v1.4a).
Card noise: I read that a 3060 can be noisy when two fans are spinning at full tilt in heavy max-settings gameplay. I’m not sure how much strain a real-time iRay viewport or AI work would put on such a card, but I guess the fans will spin up. There is an unofficial way to reduce voltage and thus make the fans quieter, while also saving power. There is also now an official way (Nvidia’s “0dB Technology”) to have the fans turn off when the PSU is at a low wattage + the card is below a safe temperature. Thus they won’t be whirring all night, if the PC is mostly idling along with a few torrents.
Air flow: Never jam the back of the Z600 up against a wall, and especially if you’re adding a big new card. It needs a free outward flow of air at the back. The case is superbly designed for good air flow and heat dispersal, but before fitting the card you might also de-dust the outer vents.
Electric bill: Yes, potentially quite a lot higher. A Z600 that shipped with an old standard NVIDIA Quadro 2000 would have a card drawing about 62w max. You’ll likely be more than doubling that with a 3060. Maybe 140w, and going up to 170w if you’re a heavy game player or overnight batch renderer. Your PCI-e cable/adapter cable from the PSU (650w, pushing 216w to the card cable) should handle a 170w power draw with no problem, but there will be a higher electric bill over time. Especially if the card is running overnight on renders, batch AI etc. Effectively, it could be like your home having an extra 100w light-bulb burning, all the time. But you may be able to reduce energy-use elsewhere in the home, to compensate.