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gsusInAPixel
10-12-2006, 11:15 PM
I am building a computer for playing games and running 3D Applications such as MAYA, Modo, Z-brush. However I am stuck on which Video card to use. Nvidia or ATI? Currently it’s a toss up between RADEON 1900xtx or GeForce 7900 gtx. I was hoping to get feedback from CG users that are using those cards (or similar cards) with those applications.

Any advice and experiences is much appreciated! and thanks in advance...

gorosh
10-13-2006, 02:10 AM
I am building a computer for playing games and running 3D Applications such as MAYA, Modo, Z-brush. However I am stuck on which Video card to use. Nvidia or ATI? Currently it’s a toss up between RADEON 1900xtx or GeForce 7900 gtx. I was hoping to get feedback from CG users that are using those cards (or similar cards) with those applications.

Any advice and experiences is much appreciated! and thanks in advance...

They're both gaming cards, rival models, and there really shouldn't be much difference in terms of 3D apps. Maybe the GeForce 7900 would slightly have upper hand, since NVidia cards are traditionally better suited for 3D apps. Thes card aren't targeted for 3D apps though, they are gaming card...I don't have prices in my head now, so I can't say for which model you should go, but NVidia Quadro FX line (or ATI Fire) are range of cards for proffesional 3D.

The only aspect of 3D applications ATI 1900 / GeForce 7900 would speed up would be the viewport (how many millions of polygons can you manipulate smoothly), and don't have any effect whatsoever on rendering (CPU + memory is in charge there).

lots
10-13-2006, 04:42 AM
Quadros and Geforces are essentially the same, hardware wise. The real strength of the Quadro comes through drivers designed for 3D apps. However, your 3D app must make use of these advanced features, otherwise, performance between similarly specced Geforces and Quadros will be the same on that app.

Take Lightwave for example. It dosen't really have any great advantages when it comes to pro 3D cards. So a Quadro will really not do much in terms of viewport experience compared to an equivelently built Geforce. And the geforce is a fraction of the cost. I believe Modo is in a similar situation (same dev team :P).

In all honesty, I wouldn't bother with a pro level card unless your work load demands it. Large scenes, with many objects and millions of polys, will be better suited to the pro cards, if you want real time manipulation, and even then other factors weigh into your performance. CPU and RAM are big contributors to the speed of your UI as well.

If your goal is fast performing UI, you'll want all the single CPU power you can throw at it, plus alot of RAM, and the highest end Quadro out there. Since that all costs an arm and a leg, I'd say get as much CPU and RAM as you can afford, and get a mid-high end gamer card from nvidia. You'll want to stick to nvidia, as ATI has had traditonally weaker drivers, especially in the OpenGL front.

gsusInAPixel
10-13-2006, 05:17 PM
Thanks for replying. If I had enough money i would have one machine with a DCC card and another machine with a game card hooked up to a KVM Switch. At my situation I will not recieve a good return on my investment spending that much money. I'm hoping to find a middle ground by using a highend game card that could handle games and 3D apps. fairly decent.

At work I have a Geforce 6800 for maya, with 2 gigs of ram, pentium D 3.0ghz. Overall It performs good however there are times the viewports do not update well or the refresh is slow. I especially like it when maya completely disappears before saving. That may be because of the special plugin shaders that we use...

It seems like I should go with Nvidia. I would however like to hear from an ATI user that would care to share their thoughts.

Guga001
10-21-2006, 03:49 PM
hello there, iīm strugling for some time to understand the benefits of the quadro cards to 3d apps, 3ds max especially. If the geforces already speed up the viewports operations, in which aspects having a quadro would perform best? Render? I read somewhere maya already has some aspects of rendering executed in video cards (not any card), speeding up things considerably.

Does any of you have a link to post here where these points are discussed. I know for sure this aspects already had been explained somewhere, i just couldnīt found any.

Thank you in advance and sorry my bad english.

gorosh
10-21-2006, 06:16 PM
hello there, iīm strugling for some time to understand the benefits of the quadro cards to 3d apps, 3ds max especially. If the geforces already speed up the viewports operations, in which aspects having a quadro would perform best? Render? I read somewhere maya already has some aspects of rendering executed in video cards (not any card), speeding up things considerably.

Does any of you have a link to post here where these points are discussed. I know for sure this aspects already had been explained somewhere, i just couldnīt found any.

Thank you in advance and sorry my bad english.

Pro 3D cards, such as Quadro FX or ATI Fire GL series, don't affect render speed or quality whatsoever (except with Gelato and Quadro cards, but that's the exception - google it). The greatest benefit with such cards is viewport manipulation, so you can relatively easilly manipulate models and scenes with huge polycount and heavy texturing. For most users it's not justifiable to spend so much money on pro card, since those benefits are not essential to them. If you're a pro doing some top comercial project for broadcast, then any second counts, but otherwise I would suggest regular gaming card.

Here are some benchmarks for Quadro FX cards:

nVidia Quadro FX review (http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=3321)

BTW this is already explained in this very topic, several times.

Guga001
10-21-2006, 07:49 PM
Thanks a lot Gorosh, also for the link. I just asked because you, in this topic, wrote "The only aspect of 3D applications ATI 1900 / GeForce 7900 would speed up would be the viewport (how many millions of polygons can you manipulate smoothly), and don't have any effect whatsoever on rendering", so i assumed(?) the pro cards would do something else for 3d apps. Maybe i misunderstood what you wanted to say as my english is not very good.

Thank you again for your reply.

lots
10-21-2006, 08:21 PM
I'd say you really only need a Quadro if A) your app of choice works better with one, and B) you have a very high need for faster feedback during animation, or modeling. I would only get a Quadro if I used Maya or XSI, and the speed at which I could do work depended greatly on how much I got paid :P.

Its kinda silly if your lively hood does not depend on 3D to get a Quadro

Just my opinion :P

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