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rocarpen
11-19-2003, 08:06 AM
Very sorry to bring up a topic as vanilla as this, but repeated net searches (Google and CGTalk archives) have been inconclusive, and so I'm turning to the brains here at CGTalk:

For pushing polygons in apps such as Max5 and Cinema 4D, would y'all recommend a QuadroFX 500, or a Radeon 9700 Pro? I've got a line on both at very good prices, and it's simply a choice of which is more powerful. Games are not an issue - I need raw viewport polygon-pushing power!

System will be an AthlonXP 2500 with a Gig'o'RAM and the ASUS A7N8X DX mobo. Thanks for your thoughts!

loop29
11-19-2003, 11:26 AM
They have completely different purpose, Quadro FX 500 is considered a low to mid solution for professional applications, opposite the 9700 Pro is somewhat high end gaming card, at least it was 6 months ago. Raw specs I feel are somewhat better on the 9700 Pro like memory bandwidth and instructions per cycle on the GPU. However, most of the times the counting specs for both demands are different. These are the specifications for the FX 500:


Memory Size = 128 MB; Memory Interface = 128-bit; Graphics Memory Bandwidth = 7.8GB/sec. ; proe-02 = 16.7 fps; ugs-03 = 12.1 fps; 3dsmax-02 = 12.0 fps;

And if my memory serves me well it only features 4 pixel pipelines, it is close to its gaming brethren the Geforce FX 5200. Pony has a more detailed description of the specs:

http://www.pny.com/products/quadro/fx/500fx.asp

The Quadro FX 500 is certified for most of the professional applications, the Radeon 9700 Pro is not.

The Radeon 9700 Pro has 8 pixelpipeline and 256-bit memory interface which result in higher memory bandwidth available. You should consider professional OpenGL support as a decision factor. As you can read from the link for the FX 500 on the Pony site it features some important functionality like Hardware OpenGL overlay planes, Hardware accelerated two sided lightning and GUI features like clip regions. These features would be important if you work in professional applications regarding modelling. The Radeon 9700 Pro doesn´t support this functionality and nevertheless it has more raw 3D power it would slow down workflow while you´re modelling. I don´t go into the bugs of ATI drivers when using them in professional applications, there are too many. The catalyst drivers are not intended for use with 3dsmax and Cinema 4D. I recommend getting the Quadro, but I should mention that there were problems with the new forceware drivers (release 52.16) within Maya 5, thread is somewhere in this forum. Some people reported problems with maxtreme driver in 3dsmax 5 and 6 which would be the real performance boost for your Quadro FX 500. If you can´t use maxtreme driver performance in 3dsmax under OpenGL would take a nosedive. There is a powerpoint presentation about the hardware differences between Geforce and Quadro cards from pony which goes more indepth in terms of OpenGL hardware support, if you leave a PM with your e-mail I can send this presentation to you.

regards

additional information: I found the presentation in pdf format, available here:

http://www.3dprographics.com/workstationgraphics.pdf

And there is an article on xbitlabs.com that gives overview how a 9700 Pro would behave in 3dsmax 5. Unfortunately the FX 500 is not reviewed in this article:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/3dsmax5-atiprof.html

rocarpen
11-19-2003, 04:04 PM
:beer:

Can't ask for a more detailed response than that! Thanks for taking the time, loop29!

So it seems as though the DCC-specific features of the QuadroFX 500 offset the raw power of the Radeon 9700 Pro? Works for me. As a recent Discreet Road Show attendee, it's my understanding that I'm eligible for a %40 discount on the FX 500 and FX 1000 until the end of November. Obviously I'd prefer the later of the two, but my wallet giggles at the impossibility (and my fiance starts to eye heavy blunt objects).

:D

loop29
11-19-2003, 04:59 PM
Of course the Quadro FX 1000 would fit your needs better regarding what you want !

xbitlabs has an additional article on performance of the Quadro FX 2000, I thought about adding this article but I guessed you were limited to the Quadro FX 500 or the Radeon 9700 Pro.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/3dsmax5-quadrofx3000.html
(Note that the FireGL X1 is the professional brethren for the Radeon 9700 Pro, the chips are almost identical but this X1 runs with special optimized drivers for OpenGL applications. You can only imagine how the Radeon 9700 Pro would score with drivers optimized for games.... I prefer not to)

Quadro 1000 performance is somewhat a little bit lower than Quadro 2000, but I think that this will be hardly noticeable in real world applications
More Numbers on performance can be found here:

http://www.spec.org/gpc/opc.data/vp71/summary.html

Synthetic benchmark, but gives an idea where the difference is.

And yes, I would think that the support of OpenGL specific hardware features would give you an andvantage. The most thing I prefered when working in product development was the possibility to have a crapload of parts open in different windows. The professional cards will flip OpenGL acceleration between the windows when you bring the window to front. In case of a gaming video card you would run out of accelerated windows very quickly. Not everybody needs that, but think of having multiple monitors and working with 6 or 8 viewports.

regards

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 05:30 PM
I am suprised by how well the nvidia 'game' cards do. The 5900Ultra was not doing too shabby in that test with the 2000/3000 cards and often was better than the X1.

MX

rocarpen
11-19-2003, 05:52 PM
Dual 17" monitors, never more than 4 viewports at a time.

One thing I forgot to bring up: Any possibility of modding the Radeon 9700 to it's Fire pro-card equivalent? I'm checking the RivaTuner site at:

http://www.guru3d.com/rivatuner/

.. but can't find anything along those lines.

loop29
11-19-2003, 07:45 PM
Yes, impressive how well the 5900Ultra is doing in those benchmarks.

rocarpen, if softmodding is your thing you should check this document:

http://www.nvworld.ru/docs/sfgl_e.html

You will need Rivatuner with softfireGL scripts to turn into FireGL X1 or FireGL X2 if you have 9800 Pro. But the problem is if the scripts are not continued you will stuck with the latest driver supported by softfireGL scripts, like the softquadro4 script that is now supported up to detonantor 42.51 or similar. And SoftquadroFX is most unlikely to happen. :hmm:

Some people reported on Guru3d that they were able to modify a Geforce 5800 into a Quadro FX 2000, but these modifications were limited to some drivers between 44.xx to 45.xx !! In the Forceware drivers (5x.xx) nvidia introduced somekind of new protection method which prevents any softmodding on Geforce FX series. Developer of Rivatuner considers NV3x GPU´s too weak for any investigations regarding cloning into professional adapter.

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 07:56 PM
Originally posted by loop29
Some people reported on Guru3d that they were able to modify a Geforce 5800 into a Quadro FX 2000, but these modifications were limited to some drivers between 44.xx to 45.xx !! In the Forceware drivers (5x.xx) nvidia introduced somekind of new protection method which prevents any softmodding on Geforce FX series. Developer of Rivatuner considers NV3x GPU´s too weak for any investigations regarding cloning into professional adapter.

This would be something. are the 44-45 drivers solid enough?

GL

rocarpen
11-19-2003, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by motoxpress
This would be something. are the 44-45 drivers solid enough?

GL

Sounds like it, but there are the associated headaches.

On the one hand, if you do it properly, it sounds possible to SoftQuadro your 5800 to either a FX 1000 or 2000 and save yourself a pile of money. You can expect benchmarks performance to suddenly take a leap forward. On the other hand, you're stuck with the 44-45 drivers (newer iterations are apparently too difficult to hack), installation isn't always easy for newbies to wrap their heads around (that's me), and even if it works, some features will still be absent:

Firing Squad: Building a High-End Workstation (http://www.firingsquad.com/hardware/workstation/page5.asp)

Admittedly, a fair amount of the Quadro’s performance comes through workstation-optimized drivers, but a hacked GeForce isn’t the same thing as a Quadro. You might read that the hacks work, and that performance is “pretty similar except for a few benchmarks.” The problem is that the exceptions are important in true workstation applications, and I’ll prove this using real world data. The Quadro line of cards adds hardware:
______
1) Line Anti-Aliasing
2) Accelerated Clip Regions
3) Clip Planes
4) Two Sided Lighting
5) OpenGL Logic
6) Overlay Planes

Something to consider, in any case. I've done quite a bit of research on this over the last few hours, and the one thing that really gets to me is being stuck with the 44-45 driver set. I'd like to be able to keep my system current, even if that means not necessarily having the fastest card out there.

QuadroFX 500 for me, then.

loop29
11-19-2003, 08:12 PM
Take a look for yourself:

http://www.guru3d.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=66886

http://www.guru3d.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=65569

but these modifications are not supported by Rivatuner, so don´t blame anybody for not working properly if you face troubles.
I can´t tell you because I´m still a satisfied user on Quadro 4 750 XGL (softmod) with driver set 41.09.

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 08:13 PM
I work on a Dell 360 workstation at another location and it has the quadra 500 and in 3Dmax 5.1 I an ot totally impressed with what it gives me compared to my GF Ti4600. The shaded viewports are constantly 'missing' geometry and it requires a refresh to redraw.

Major dilemma for me....

GL

rocarpen
11-19-2003, 08:24 PM
Originally posted by motoxpress
I work on a Dell 360 workstation at another location and it has the quadra 500 and in 3Dmax 5.1 I an ot totally impressed with what it gives me compared to my GF Ti4600. The shaded viewports are constantly 'missing' geometry and it requires a refresh to redraw.

Major dilemma for me....

GL

Come on, man. I finally make a decision to go with the Quadro 500 and here you are bringing me down.

:D

Just have to remind myself that whatever I get, it'll be a step up from the Dual 533 G4 I'm on at the moment. Oi, what a slug.

loop29
11-19-2003, 08:27 PM
Originally posted by motoxpress
I work on a Dell 360 workstation at another location and it has the quadra 500 and in 3Dmax 5.1 I an ot totally impressed with what it gives me compared to my GF Ti4600. The shaded viewports are constantly 'missing' geometry and it requires a refresh to redraw.

Major dilemma for me....

GL

So you didn´t gave the softquadro4 a go? You would be able to use maxtreme drivers. I´m still awaiting someone on the board who could make an end to the rumours that softquadro4 results in lockups and other bucks. No doubt, if you are serious professional user the real Quadro´s will be the way to go. And being stuck in a driver set is really a bad thing. Let it happen rocarpen that you will have a specific problem with your setup that is caused by the driver set 44.xx - 45.xx? Too much trouble I would say, nahh !!
It seems that the only card that is identical to Quadro FX 1000/2000 is the Geforce FX 5800 regarding results of users in Pro/E and UGS-03 test of SpecViewPerformance 7.1. hardware support of Antialiased Lines seems to be ripped off on Geforce FX 59xx !!

loop29
11-19-2003, 08:31 PM
Originally posted by rocarpen
Come on, man. I finally make a decision to go with the Quadro 500 and here you are bringing me down.

:D

Just have to remind myself that whatever I get, it'll be a step up from the Dual 533 G4 I'm on at the moment. Oi, what a slug.

I guess he means that these problems appear on the Geforce 4 Ti 4600, so you´re totally right on your decision :thumbsup:

I can tell you this is a jungle; cards, buses, extensions and optimizations everywhere and nowhere to hide......

rocarpen
11-19-2003, 08:36 PM
Originally posted by loop29
I guess he means that these problems appear on the Geforce 4 Ti 4600, so you´re totally right on your decision :


Hard to say, as the post contains some crucial typos. Is the 4600 screwed up, or the Quadro 500 screwed up? We'll wait for him to give us some clarification. In the meantime, lets all curse our primitive ape-brains and their inability to communicate telepathically!

:cry:

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by loop29
I guess he means that these problems appear on the Geforce 4 Ti 4600, so you´re totally right on your decision :thumbsup:

I actually see these problems on the FX500. It may be a driver issue - I am not sure but, I am looking at the same geometry on my Ti4600 and it is just fine.

I am not an expert by any means but, the problems I was seeing were pretty obvious.

GL

loop29
11-19-2003, 08:41 PM
What version of the detonators you´re using? Forceware or below 5x.xx?

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by rocarpen
Hard to say, as the post contains some crucial typos. Is the 4600 screwed up, or the Quadro 500 screwed up? We'll wait for him to give us some clarification. In the meantime, lets all curse our primitive ape-brains and their inability to communicate telepathically!

:cry:

Sorry about the typos :P

There are so many factors in this that I can't verify that it is the FX500 causing the problems. I will be able to verify the driver versions tomorrow but, I do know that the machine itself is only a month old.

I do like the dual Xeons it is outfitted with however :)

GL

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by loop29
What version of the detonators you´re using? Forceware or below 5x.xx?

44.03 I think. In the driver window it reads: Display driver 6.14.10.4403

Does that sound right?

GL

loop29
11-19-2003, 08:59 PM
Maybe you should upgrade to newer driver set, don´t ask me which one. EDIT: discreet recommends 45.28 for 3dsmax 6, no word of 3dsmax 5 !

By the way, there was the possibility to make continuious modification via resistor shift on Geforce FX 5800. This maybe is a workaround for newer protection in Forceware drivers. belongs only to Geforce 5800 Ultra

http://www.gzeasy.com/Articlephoto/nv-5800-ultra/photos/gf-fx-chip-zoom-s.jpg

Source: www.gzeasy.com; original link is here:
http://guru3d.com/comments.php?id=1289&category=1

risky I would say !!

motoxpress
11-19-2003, 09:16 PM
Very risky!

I would be more inclined to the softmod since it appears to have identical features to the FX2000 - including hw.

GL

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