View Full Version : Need advice for a graphic card

11 November 2004, 08:29 PM

is there any card that is very good for XSI? I mean cards like FX5900XT or 9800 Pro or better get a profi card?

It is for a little firm working with XSI.

Thanks for any advice.


Art Of War
11 November 2004, 11:30 PM
The Nvidia Quadro family features high-end graphics boards, designed for professional 3D applications

11 November 2004, 07:54 AM
I know but I wonder if they are worth the many. What about a normal ATI 9800 Pro or a Nvidia FX 5900 XT? They are much cheaper than a highend 3D card.

11 November 2004, 08:04 AM
I'm using an ATI X800 Pro in XSI. Works great, but now I'm noticing weird white dots and anomolies the more complex my object gets. Nothing stopping me from working, just distracts me.

11 November 2004, 09:04 AM
At home I am working with a 9800 Pro with XSI and Houdini and I have no problems, but my company wants a new card and they are into those wildcat cards. But I believe that they are not worth the money.

How fast is a Wildcat VP880 Pro compared to a 9800 Pro or a 5900 XT?
I read something that the Wildcat is as fast as a FX500 with is just a little bit faste than a Geforce 4 MX. Is that true?


11 November 2004, 10:10 AM
I know a firegl card should be 3 times faster than it's equivalent gaming card.
Like my 9800xt is 3 times slower in xsi than when it's modded to a FireGL X2-256t via

I would be interested in knowing what the difference is between a geforce 5950 ultra and
a fx3000. Anybody can test?

11 November 2004, 05:19 PM
I would also like to get a few tips in this area. I just got a mail from 3dlabs that the price for their RealizmExtreme 100 & 200 has been lowered. For example the 100 should be about the same as an nVidia 6800 card, approx. I know 3dLabs are supposed to do more professional cards, mostly, than many of the usual nVidia cards. And Soft is informing of rather old cards on their webpage. But my guess is that maybe the 6800 cards are faster than WildcatRealizmExtreme100, which on the other hand has stable and sturdy openGL support. And that seems to be more important than some percent faster overall spec. Has anyone experience with both of these cards? (I am also impressed by the support of 3dLabs, which replaced an problematic card for me several times without any hassle at all. In spite they said "impossible" when I claimed that the same cardmodel had been altered between batches), so I have a soft spot for those guys. I am in the process of buying a card any day soon, so I would be glad to hear some advice.

11 November 2004, 08:26 PM
Being the "hardware guy" at my company, I have a few advantages when it comes to acquiring and testing hardware (I just order it and test it :)). I've recently run some tests (nothing with "hard" numbers - just impressions) with some "gaming" cards vs. "high-end" cards and found that overall, a decent gaming card with the right drivers will work 95% as well as a "pro" card. The biggest difference comes in situations where you want to use hardware openGL shadows (does anyone ever do this?) - the gaming cards don't support this feature. When it comes to just "raw" polygon pushing, I've found that in Maya and XSI, cards like the Geforce6800 and GeforceFX5900 perform right up there with the more expensive cards (with the exception of the odd feature here and there). One thing to keep in mind is that if you use MESSIAH, ATI cards will simply not work (at least it was this way about 2 months ago when I tested it). We have a lot of people running Maya at work - building worlds for games - and when we've tested pro cards in their machines they a) don't notice any serious improvements in performance, and b) usually bitch because their framrates in games like Doom, Far Cry, or Half-Life2 have dropped (when using the pro cards).

I have had some experience with the QuadroFX 4000 - and was very unimpressed with it's cost vs. performance - very expensive, very finicky to get set up, and NOT all that fast - I sent mine back. I have no doubt that the card is capable, but the drivers available for it really suck - so my FireGL X2 was easily outperforming it. I have a FireGL X3 on the way, and if I notice anything amazing about it, I'll post the information.

IMO and experience, the high-end cards just aren't worth the extra bank. Unless you have to have full-screen 4X AA, OpenGL Shadows, and a number of other features that you'll probably never use (XSI doesn't like the full screen AA BTW), save your money and get a nice card like an X800 or Geforce6800. One very interesting little note - if you look at an X800/geforce6800 side by side with a FireGL/QuadroFX, the cards look almost identical (ATI to ATI and nVidia to nVidia, that is).

If anyone has a compelling reason to buy a pro card, I'd truly like to hear it - but for me, there's definitely not enough difference to make it worth the extra money. For twice the price, I'd want twice the performance - and that's not what they deliver by any stretch of the imagination....


PS - I know I've mentioned this before, but if you're running the nVidia drivers on an nVidia card, be SURE to shut off Desktop Management - it really hurts XSI's performance and stability.....

11 November 2004, 03:03 PM
Just want to thank you for the impressions Joe. It seems my suspicions where strengthened by your info. (And also the lower price for high-end cards.) So the main reason for bying pro-cards should be any special feature for a particular app. And for XSI, it is mostly openGL shadows. It surely sounds comforting. (And I understand if the programmers at Soft, which are working hard for it to work, wants us to use it as much as possible.) But maybe, should they update their website to reflect this more clearly. It could even gain their sales a little maybe. Possibly.

11 November 2004, 04:20 PM
What I know and from my experience the "gaming cards" perform even better than the "pro" ones in games, because of the real time high quality textures that they support. The pro ones do not do that, but the memory they have and all their performance goes to polygons. A game is designed to have the fewer posible polygons, while a 3d model ready to be rendered for production needs quite more!
Both games and 3d software work in real time but they have very different needs. That's what I know!

P.S. Sorry for my English

P.S. 2 JoeW Will you sell the FireGL X2 when you buy the FireGL X3? I am willing to buy it!!

11 November 2004, 06:29 PM
I thought that when it comes to rendering that the cpu is doeing the job to render everything and the graphics card is idleing. Am I wrong?

11 November 2004, 06:58 PM
I thought that when it comes to rendering that the cpu is doeing the job to render everything and the graphics card is idleing. Am I wrong?
You are correct. Viewport performance is still important to modelers and animators - especially animators. It can be very useful to see your animation with as much detail close to the final result as possible. Allows you to tweak it on the fly, and saves time doing test renders.

11 November 2004, 09:56 AM
Just to get it right:

The viewport performance is mostly dominated by the graphics card. So if I have a lot of objects and particles ans stuff. To let it play in realtime in the viewport I need a very good graphics card and the CPU is not so important?

11 November 2004, 10:18 AM
The graphic card only helps in showing movements of polygons, particle calculation
is done all in cpu. Same goes for soft/hard dynamic stuff. (if I am wrong correct me plz)

11 November 2004, 05:18 PM
At one point or another your CPU is used for everything you do on a computer. The graphics card just assists in 3D acceleration. Key word is "acceleration" not replacement. Your CPU will always be used. How much is used depends on how much work gets offloaded to the graphics card, and in today's hardware a lot is being offloaded.

So needless to say, if hypothetically you were able to use a Quadro FX 4000 in a Pentium II 450 MHz system, it would not be comparable to the same card in a Xeon 3 GHz system for example.

11 November 2004, 05:46 PM
got quadro 980xgl cards here. very stable, fast, middle-price range. no problems at all.

11 November 2004, 07:33 PM
P.S. 2 JoeW Will you sell the FireGL X2 when you buy the FireGL X3? I am willing to buy it!!
Ah - sorry - I can't do that - the card belongs to the company I work for - so it will probably go to one of the worldbuilders who doesn't play games when I'm through testing it :(


12 December 2004, 09:03 AM
Thanks to everybody for the comments. My company is now going for a Geforce 6600 GT. We will see how good this card is. I think it will do the job very fine.

12 December 2004, 09:04 AM
dunno if its bin sed but the 6800 geforce ultra card kicks major major ass

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