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LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 02:19 AM
I want to make a computer that:
1. runs Maya, 3D Max, Photoshop, and other Art Applications well.
2. runs games, games, games well.

I have a limited budget: around $250 for the card, and I want the most bang for the buck.

I was about to get a Radeon but I've been reading a few posts that say they cause issues with Maya. But I thought they ran better than comparible GeForce cards, especially for games, and so I'm not sure what to get.

elvis
03-21-2003, 02:41 AM
not sure how much they cost for you locally, but a nvidia quadro4750XGL sounds right up your alley.

if you don't wnt to go the pro card option, then a geforce4ti4200 is great bang for your buck. yes a radeon 9500pro or 9700 is faster, but if price and pro application stability are important the geforce4 might be the best option.

Schwinnz
03-21-2003, 02:59 AM
I agree with elvis. go check pricewatch.com for the best prices, you may save this way some more cash..

LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 05:46 AM
Crap, I'm so torn. I want good gaming, and I want good Maya!

If Radeon is really good for gaming, I'm so tempted to just go with it. What is wrong with it?

I read someone saying they installed workstation drivers with the Radeon and it worked, but that makes me very nervous. Does that cause other problems? Can you switch between drivers depending on whether you're running Maya or playing a game?

If not, I was looking at the GeForce4 4600. What would the difference be in performance with that?


And, lastly, would my problems go away if I brought my video card budget up to $300 - $350?

elvis
03-21-2003, 10:18 AM
i own and use a gf4ti4200 in my primary gaming system (athlon 1800+, 512MB ram) and it more than does the job.

what system will you be putting this card into? quite frankly if you're not running a P4 2.53 or athlon 2200+ or better you probably won't even feel the difference between the high end nvidia and ati cards.

GregHess
03-21-2003, 01:29 PM
I agree with elvis. If your really serious about 3D, or if your using 3d to pay the bills, definitely invest in a Quadro4. The 750XL is the midrange model, with the 900XL and 980XL giving fantastic performance.

All the quadro4 cards have recently been slashed greatly in price, with the 900XL's sitting just around the 500 USD mark.

The Quadro4 is one of the few cards that seems to do pretty much everything equally well. It'll play games, its fast in max5 (with the new maxtreme drivers), its great in maya or anything else that uses opengl. The 900XL/980XL is also one of the few cards to support the massive 1920x1200 Apple 23 inch LCD DVI-I resolution. Something many other cards can't claim. According to David Watters, it should even support it dual head. :drool:

If your really concerned about gaming performance, then 3d is probably more of a hobby, in which case you probably would be able to deal with any of the problems and issues the 9700 pro would give you, as it wouldn't be necessarily a primary concern.

If your working in the gaming industry though, definitely get the Quadro4. (750, 900, or 980XL...the slower ones aren't really worth it).

unrealwarfare
03-21-2003, 02:41 PM
ATI RADEON 9800 is coming out in a month or so, and that means that 9700's price will go down dramatically. You might want to check that out. It's definitely a good gaming card and a nice card for rendering. Unless you have some 800 bucks for quadro, you can just spend less on a 9700. The apps you mentioned will run well.

GregHess
03-21-2003, 02:56 PM
It's definitely a good gaming card and a nice card for rendering.

Video cards don't accelerate or aid the rendering process. What they do accelerate is the interactive viewports. The only known cards to accelerate rendernig are dedicated cards like the PureART. (Or whatever its called)

Unless you have some 800 bucks for quadro, you can just spend less on a 9700. The apps you mentioned will run well.

The quadro4 900XL goes for around 500USD (or 350 for a 750XL). As for the 9700 pro running those apps well...would you please address the issues posted by a variety of users "trying" to get the card working under those apps?

I'm sure visualboo would love some feedback on getting the 9700 pro to a functional level in 3dsmax5. I believe there was at least one user with Maya problems as well. (On this forum alone)

To quote Vb on the 9700 pro in max....

"And this thing chugs too. How can I make it faster? Every second or so it (mouse and everything) stops for a split second. It's impossible to work with."-Visualboo

When I get home, I can dig up problem threads on the 9700 pro and maya off the alias listserv hardware section.

Signal2Noise
03-21-2003, 03:03 PM
Let's see...

You're running Photoshop, Maya, and 3ds max among other apps. You plan to play lots of games as well.

Hmmm, since you can afford all that CG software and PC games you could probably cough up quite a bit of dough for a really good video card. Or for two systems- one dedicated to games and the other for the more important CG stuff. Maybe even hold off on one of the CG apps (if you haven't bought it yet) and invest in the card first. Do you really need both Maya and max?

I don't get it.:shrug:

aYs
03-21-2003, 03:09 PM
@Signal to Noise

just another teeny with adsl

sorry if i'm wrong

Signal2Noise
03-21-2003, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by aYs
@Signal to Noise

just another teeny with adsl

sorry if i'm wrong

I don't think you're wrong at all, my friend ;)

That's how I respond to all these types of questions that go like

"I have XSI, Maya, Max, Cinema4D, Houdini, Lightwave, Combustion, After Effects, Premiere, PhotoShop, and everything else under the sun. But I'm on a tight budget for a video card.
Blah, blah, blah..."

It's just too funny reading these CG-user wannabe posers threads :D

PlanetMongo
03-21-2003, 03:50 PM
If you've got around 150-175, I picked up the MSI GeForce4 Ti4200 128 meg Dual Head w/sVHS out from NewEgg for right at $150 + shipping. I dunno about 3DS, but it works nicely in Maya and for the few games that I play (Everquest, mainly, although the card comes with Morrowind that I might give a shot later).

I'm planning on picking up a Quadro4 (900 or 980) sometimes this year, though, but I think my priority right now needs to be a new monitor. I'm thinking Sony G520P? x 2. :P

aYs
03-21-2003, 04:00 PM
@ Signal to Noise

:beer: yes, that was quite obvious

LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 04:04 PM
OKay... since you need to know a little more about me -

I am a professional 3D animator at Wahoo Studios in Utah. It's a struggling game company, and they haven't had any work for me for a while. I have a bachelors degree in computer animation (the actual title is BA is Industrial Arts with a track in Computer Science) from BYU. I know Maya like the back of my hand. You can check out my website here (http://Lanny.Lanman.com).

I'm looking for new jobs, and want to upgrade my demo reel. So I don't have lots of money. I did buy a student version of Maya, and I saved up and bought Photoshop. These were still not easy purchases. Now, my friends work at a game company and they use Max, so I want to learn it. I thought maybe I'd try and get a trial version of it or something and work on it until I could produce something in it for my demo reel. I haven't figured that out yet, but when buying a card I want to take that into account.

Since this card will probably have to last a while, I want it to do well on games - both because I have a passion for games, hence my drive in this profession, and because I want to keep up on the latest.

There ya go. Explanation from this wannabe CGer.

Signal2Noise
03-21-2003, 04:19 PM
Okay, sorry dude! I'll take your word for it. We at CgTalk are a friendly bunch. Really. :)

Ideally, I would still recommend having two systems, one for games & the other for CG. Perhaps that's something you can look to do in the future. There's some good suggestions here for budget-type cards. The Quadro4 is great and I'll even recommend the Radeon 9700 which does work well for max but not sure about Maya.

Good luck & welcome.

LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 05:33 PM
No problem. Thanks.

I also have hesitations about getting a "high end" card, because of my past experience. I bought a Wildcat 4000 about 2 1/2 years ago and the computer cost me the price of a small car. It ran Maya fine, but wouldn't run anything in 256 colors, was problematic with drivers, only ran some types of game, and, because it's so obscure, doesn't even have XP drivers. Then I watched all my friends getting GeForces for $200 and getting about as good performance without the problems.

So, I don't want to go through that again. I want a good, all around card for home that I can love and hold and take to bed with me (whoops, did I type that out loud), and love my games on, and that won't make me pull my hair out in Maya.

I like getting a card I know game companies will make support for, and that's a better deal for cheaper.

This morning, I'm looking into ordering a GeForce4 4600 from newegg. I'm just still wondering about that dang Radeon 9700 since it's supposed to be so good for games, but if it'd make me pull my hair out...

CgFX
03-21-2003, 07:07 PM
Don't hesitate to buy a Quadro 7x0/9x0 based on your Wildcat 4000 experience.

The Quadro's are a supperset of the GeForce cards which means they have every last transitor that is found in a GeForce DirectX/OpenGL gaming card.

This includes things like 256 color VGA support all the way up to vertex and pixel shaders which are starting to show up in games.

The boost in performance and stability they will give you in Maya (and support of Maya's Cg plugin) will be worth getting a Quadro.

aYs
03-21-2003, 08:23 PM
yes, get a geforce 4 ti

best bang for the buck

if you're dealing with game models there's no need for a pricey quadro

if not a geforce is ok too

LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 09:01 PM
Thank you for your input. That's good to know about for the pro cards, maybe I'll consider that later (when I get a better job, I hope). I think I'll go with the GeForce4 Ti4600 then, since people seem to have less problems with it than the Radeon.

There's a few different brands of it on newegg, and I don't know the difference. Does it matter? I see ComPro, and Chaintech - hmm, do these just have different features?

If you feel like linking me, or recommending on, that would be great.

GregHess
03-21-2003, 09:50 PM
The Ti 4800's are the new AGP 8x Ti 4600's. The 4800 SE's are ti 4400 AGP 8x's.

These are newer variants of the older cards, and should be available for a wider group of manufacturers.

LanMan_themovie
03-21-2003, 10:12 PM
PNY? Chaintech? Compro?

amygdalae
03-22-2003, 02:17 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
The quadro4 900XL goes for around 500USD (or 350 for a 750XL). As for the 9700 pro running those apps well...would you please address the issues posted by a variety of users "trying" to get the card working under those apps?

I'm sure visualboo would love some feedback on getting the 9700 pro to a functional level in 3dsmax5. I believe there was at least one user with Maya problems as well. (On this forum alone)

To quote Vb on the 9700 pro in max....

"And this thing chugs too. How can I make it faster? Every second or so it (mouse and everything) stops for a split second. It's impossible to work with."-Visualboo

When I get home, I can dig up problem threads on the 9700 pro and maya off the alias listserv hardware section. [/B]

I have two Quadro 2 Pros I've been using for a year or two and I bought a radeon9700 for my gaming box. I decided to give it the FireGL hack a whirl by installing win2k on a seperate partition, sans directx 8 or 9, and I tweaked it to my hearts desire to run Maya. There was some visual artifacting when working with fluids on earlier driver versions (1021, 1024, 1026) but I just got the ATI maya certified 1028 driver installed today and it's flawless.

I dont think you would want to play games on the firegl drivers though...

My nvidia card was always good for that and the drivers are great. If you're using MAX, no question - get an nvidia card, the maxtreme drivers are sweet - if you're feeling adventurous try out the FGL patch, but always use seperate operating systems...

The advantage of the quadro is that gaming performance is pretty good without having to do seperate OS partitions and driver hacks. I am going to try to get my 9700 working in linux for the heck of it - someone on this forum said it ran pretty good. I mostly use my quadro 2 Pro with the excellent linux drivers for linux apps like houdini or xsi.

unrealwarfare
03-22-2003, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by GregHess
The quadro4 900XL goes for around 500USD (or 350 for a 750XL).

I was talking canadian currency... around 800

Pablo3d
03-22-2003, 05:28 AM
I've read that most people avoid the gf4 ti4600 because of the high price and go with the ti4200 instead. I'm wondering if the gf fx 5600 is worth waiting for? Buy s 128mb gf4 ti4200 for $150 USD now or wait for the new card and pay around $200 USD?

Pablo3d
03-22-2003, 05:35 AM
If you go with a gf4 ti card don't get a gainward because alot of newegg buyers have been returning them because of graphic errors on screen. I read the user reviews at newegg to see if anyone has had a problem with a certain brand. I'm using a ti4200 eVGA at work with no problems. Other brands I've considered are ASUS and MSI.

elvis
03-22-2003, 05:48 AM
just a comment here to take us away from hardware for a moment: i've always been VERY pleased with the nvidia driver quality in the past for both applications and games. excluding the recent problems with older maxreme drivers (which seem to have been fixed in the .28 version we're using now) nvidia drivers have always worked with a minimum of errors and onscreen artifacts. i've used a variety of ATI cards in the past for fireGLs to their gaming cards, and it always seems i'm waiting around for a new driver revision to fix some artifact problem somewhere.

others have not had the same problems as I have, but it does seem that nvidia have the QA right up there for their driver releases. john carmack (head honch of id software) has always said if he tests his games under nvidia cards and sees artifacts, he knows it's his code and not nvidia's. that's a pretty good wrap of you ask me.

in all reality, if you are at the high end of system specs and are craving every frame per second you can for some benchmarking contest, then the ATi radeon 9700pro and up-coming 9800pro are your answer. if you want to do 3d work and care about solid 3d drive support, i'd personally pick the quadro4 series, downgrading to the geforce4 series if my budget was a key issue. sure you won't get 200FPS in the latest and greatest games, but i'm sure anyone where would be happy with a "mere" 100FPS worst-case scenario. :)

LanMan_themovie
03-22-2003, 09:13 PM
I ordered the GeForce4 4600, but I'm still wondering about that dang Radeon 9700. If the difference in gaming is that great, I know it will be eating at me. I keep wondering about those posts that say they installed the Fire drivers and it works "fine".

For one, I'm using XP. Can it be as easy and having one user have the Fire drivers, and the other user have the Radeon drivers?

I have done the dual format thing before, but I did it on the same hard drive and I think it caused problems when I was installing/uninstalling programs on both operating systems (like having Photoshop installed for both XP and Win2k).

elvis
03-23-2003, 12:19 AM
Originally posted by LanMan_themovie
I ordered the GeForce4 4600, but I'm still wondering about that dang Radeon 9700. If the difference in gaming is that great, I know it will be eating at me. I keep wondering about those posts that say they installed the Fire drivers and it works "fine".

For one, I'm using XP. Can it be as easy and having one user have the Fire drivers, and the other user have the Radeon drivers?

no it isn't that easy. you must first perform the soft-fireGL mod and then install the fireGL drivers after that. once you have done taht you can kiss your gaming performance goodbye.

driver implementations are at a system level, not a user level. so swapping users will not let you change driver sets.

as i said before, unless you are running hardware in teh high end of things (athlon 2800+ or P4 2.8GHz and above) you wont notice and increadible amount of difference between a GF4 and a radeon9700. radeon9700's really are high-end gaming cards, and unles you are a high-end gamer (regular LAN player, etc) the difference will more than likely be completely unnoticable.

i had the same decision to make around 9 months ago, and went with the geforce4ti4200. i don't regret the decision at all, for the reasons i mentioned above regarding driver stability and software compatability.

Nem
03-23-2003, 01:57 AM
people are saying the quadro 750 is better in maya than the GF4 4600, but is it also better in games than the 4600??
i heard somewhere that this wasnt true because of the different ways pixels are shown on screen or sumthing?

GregHess
03-23-2003, 03:51 AM
The quadro 750XL has the same core/clock speeds as a Ti 4400. In raw power, this means the 750XL would be slower then a ti 4600 in games.

Nem
03-23-2003, 03:53 AM
but it would perform at the same level as a 4400 in games and faster in 3d right?

GregHess
03-23-2003, 03:55 AM
It would be slightly slower then a ti 4400 in games (about 1-2% slower), and faster in 3d then a ti 4400.

Nem
03-24-2003, 08:26 PM
what kind of FPS are we talking about with a quadro 4 750 or 900 compared to a ti4600?

elvis
03-24-2003, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Nem
what kind of FPS are we talking about with a quadro 4 750 or 900 compared to a ti4600?

that's such an open ended question it's not even worth answering.

FPS in which application? using which drivers? on what cpu/motherboard/ram configuration? using what operating system?

specific questions will get you specific answers. broad questions will get you a whole bunch of waffle. remember that no two systems on earth perform identically. read up some reviews on various hardware and make up your mind that way.

google is your friend.

CgFX
03-25-2003, 05:03 AM
Originally posted by Nem
what kind of FPS are we talking about with a quadro 4 750 or 900 compared to a ti4600?

148

Signal2Noise
03-25-2003, 03:11 PM
And does FPS really matter once it gets over 60? I mean the human eye can only register up to 60 FPS, right? Or is it even less?

FPS becomes very moot and subjective and as Elvis mentions it would all come down to the whole picture of hardware configuration.

Nem
03-25-2003, 04:13 PM
well i was talkin about in game, like UT2k3 on a asus nforce 2 with barton xp2800, a gaming rig but with a quadro

dmeyer
03-25-2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by CgFX
148

:p heh

dmeyer
03-25-2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by Signal to Noise
And does FPS really matter once it gets over 60? I mean the human eye can only register up to 60 FPS, right? Or is it even less?

FPS becomes very moot and subjective and as Elvis mentions it would all come down to the whole picture of hardware configuration.

The only real point to having higher and higher FPS is that a higher rating would ensure less chance of slowdown in intense firefights, as the FPS tests don't really stress your GPU as much as a 16 player UT2K match...so a card that performs well over 60 in tests will still have the legs for that 16player match.

Signal2Noise
03-25-2003, 05:13 PM
Thanks for the clarification, dmeyer.:) That does make sense. I've never really been too concerned over FPS in games at it takes a backseat to CG for me. Good to know, tho'.

GregHess
03-25-2003, 06:58 PM
Nem,

I already told you. It would have around 1-2% LESS FPS then its geforce4 brethern. Worst case scenario...5%, best case? 0%.

Here we go.

If a geforce 4 ti 4400 has 100 FPS In unreal tournament2k under a timedemo, then a Quadro 750XL would have....

Average FPS of Geforce4 Ti X % lost by Quadro =Frames per second lost.

100x0=0

100x.02=2

100x.05=5

Average FPS of Geforce4 Ti - Frames Lost by Quadro =Average Frames per second of Quadro.

100-0=100

100-2=98

100-5=95

So anywhere from 0 to 5 fps lost.

Feel free to write a complex script for this formula.

CgFX
03-25-2003, 09:33 PM
Originally posted by Signal to Noise
And does FPS really matter once it gets over 60? I mean the human eye can only register up to 60 FPS, right? Or is it even less?
As I understand it, blue eyed people can only see 60 fps but brown eyed people can actually see 72 fps.

The ones you should feel bad for are the green eyed people that can only see 29.97 fps if they are watching NTSC. This is why 50 fps doesn't bother people in Europe. They have mostly green eyes and their threshold of 29.97 fps is well below the 50 fps of PAL.

That is, of course, unless they are drinking Guiness. If they drink Guiness with its legandary centuries-old healing properties it helps bring them up to 59 fps like the U.S. NTSC people that also love Guiness and have green eyes.

Again, this obviously doesn't affect brown eyed people that can see 72 fps and run all their monitors at 72 Hz.

GregHess
03-25-2003, 10:27 PM
But here's the real question.

What if one eye is blue but the other eye is green?

dmeyer
03-25-2003, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by GregHess
But here's the real question.

What if one eye is blue but the other eye is green?

Depends if they are drinking Guiness or not.

elvis
03-26-2003, 12:04 AM
remember that in gaming especially, FPS is not just frame rate but the feel and responsiveness of the game.

if a system can pump out 200FPS, then the game will be smooth as silk, and obviously there'll be plenty of CPU time left over for input control and the like.

you can really feel the difference between 60FPS and 120FPS while playing a game, even if you can't see the difference on screen. that few milliseconds of lag is enough of a difference to make you the winner, or make you dead.

as far as CG goes, i'm with you guys on that. a solid consistent 40-60FPS in viewport mode is all you really need, but obviously the bigger the scene the more it will hurt the system. the nature of the work my 3d guys here do is quite large (often needing to accurately model very large buildings and stadiums for both architectural visualisation and documentation), and we're always hungry for more power.

CgFX
03-26-2003, 02:27 AM
Originally posted by elvis
remember that in gaming especially, FPS is not just frame rate but the feel and responsiveness of the game.
True as most controller input is tied to the swap buffers.


if a system can pump out 200FPS, then the game will be smooth as silk, and obviously there'll be plenty of CPU time left over for input control and the like.


Actually, no. You are burning a ton of CPU and, more importantly, CPU memory bandwidth to draw the frame 200 times per second. This is beyond silly since you are not refreshing the monitor any more than 60-85 times per second.

Turning off vsync is very important for benchmarking as it shows a more accurate picture of what the GPU (CPU + GPU really) can do. When playing the game you should always have vsync on and run your monitor at 60-75 Hz.


you can really feel the difference between 60FPS and 120FPS while playing a game, even if you can't see the difference on screen. that few milliseconds of lag is enough of a difference to make you the winner, or make you dead.

This is true but has more to do with poorly design games, IMHO, that tie the I/O to the graphics frame. Maybe this makes the most sense with some engines and it does help with I/O latency but it will hurt you in scenes/areas where there are intense physics. For FPS this is not an issue but for simulations (such as driving) this can be more of a negative.

elvis
03-26-2003, 06:23 AM
Originally posted by CgFX
Actually, no. You are burning a ton of CPU and, more importantly, CPU memory bandwidth to draw the frame 200 times per second. This is beyond silly since you are not refreshing the monitor any more than 60-85 times per second.

ok, let me explain that a bit better...

200FPS is 200FPS MAX. benchmarking, running nothing but graphics as fast as possible. knowing that you can pump that much out doesn't mean you do all the time.

if i timedemo quake3 and get 200FPS, that's the absolute maximum. turn on bots, sounds, AI, etc and you've already dropped 50FPS.

this is what i mean by processing speed to burn. and no, video doesn't take preference to the game engine. that's what you call an unstable engine. do some 3D engine programming and you'll know what i mean.

CgFX
03-26-2003, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by elvis
do some 3D engine programming and you'll know what i mean.

I have, thank you very much.

elvis
03-26-2003, 11:25 AM
well then you'lll know what i mean! :p

CgFX
03-26-2003, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by elvis
well then you'lll know what i mean! :p

Sure, but that doesn mean it is right (or you are right). :drool:

:-)

maelstrom
03-26-2003, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by CgFX
As I understand it, blue eyed people can only see 60 fps but brown eyed people can actually see 72 fps.

The ones you should feel bad for are the green eyed people that can only see 29.97 fps if they are watching NTSC. This is why 50 fps doesn't bother people in Europe. They have mostly green eyes and their threshold of 29.97 fps is well below the 50 fps of PAL.

That is, of course, unless they are drinking Guiness. If they drink Guiness with its legandary centuries-old healing properties it helps bring them up to 59 fps like the U.S. NTSC people that also love Guiness and have green eyes.

Again, this obviously doesn't affect brown eyed people that can see 72 fps and run all their monitors at 72 Hz.

most interestingly, where did you get that from? but europeans certainly don't have green eyes in majority. there's heaps of different "races" in europe, but green is rare worldwide. i'd say northern europeans tend to have more bluish, southern europeans more brown eyes. but saying europeans have green eyes is about as saying americans have red hair...

sorry for going offtopic here :cool:

Signal2Noise
03-26-2003, 10:22 PM
Originally posted by maelstrom
...sorry for going offtopic here :cool:

Or is it "off-optic"? ;)

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