I need some clarification on video card stats for Mudbox

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  09 September 2012
I need some clarification on video card stats for Mudbox

I want to upgrade my current card, GeForce GTX 260, for use in mudbox. At 7 mil poly it starts to get choppy, 15-20 mil is simply unusable.

Initially I thought getting a workstation card like a quadro 600 would be sufficient, but then I read that it's not good in Mudbox because of some sort of memory throughput? And that it's better to spend the equivalent on a gaming card since they a have higher said throughput.

It's all very confusing so here are a few specs I'd like to be spelled out for me in terms of relevance to working in mudbox:

Memory size/ interface - 1 gb with 256 bit interface or 2 gb with 192 bit (or any combination thereof)Which would allow better performance at high poly counts?

Core clock/ Shader clock - I would imagine this is really only relevant in games, am I wrong?

What the heck are CUDA cores and do they matter in Mudbox?

Budget is under 300
Machine specs:
i7 3930k OCd 4.0Ghz
16 Gb DDR3
Asus Sabertooth X79
  09 September 2012
Mudbox is just slow, period. I don't want to start a flame war but I own both Mudbox and ZBrush latest versions and I only use it for texture painting because ZBrush's sculpting is a bajillion times faster and it doesn't use the GPU.

CUDA cores don't make a difference. Mudbox doesn't use CUDA or OpenCL.
  09 September 2012
The main reason I'm using Mudbox is because I just can't get use to the workflow in Zbrush. My school had it, I was never confident in what I was doing. Plus the controls are the same as maya.
  09 September 2012
ya, that's pretty much why everyone uses Mudbox. Nevertheless, the tradeoff is that it's slow and it has shitty sculpting tools.

ZBrush: goofy workflows but amazing tools.
Mudbox: simple workflows but sucks as a sculpting tool.

I'm sure someone will show "proof" that Mudbox can be used for sculpting but it doesn't change the fact that it's slower. The only problem with ZBrush is that it's 32-bit, which should change next year. I completely loathed ZBrush when I first used it but once I got past the workflow hiccups, I loved using it and still do. But I still use Mudbox for it's intuitive layered painting. As this is typical of a professional studio, I doubt you'll see Mudbox suddenly get great sculpting tools because people just use ZBrush for that. Yes, there are exceptions.

Anyway, I don't mean to discourage you, but you're not going to get amazing performance with Mudbox with any one video card. Don't throw money at it. I have a Quadro 4000 and the same 3930k and it's slower than a Radeon in my MacBook Pro with Mudbox.

Last edited by cgbeige : 09 September 2012 at 01:20 AM.
  09 September 2012
Hmm, ok. Now that I'm out of school, I suppose I have more time to get use to ZBrush controls. I only had about a week to get thesis level quality from it, so stress didn't help with the learning.

Well, then do you think my old 260 can handle 20 mil smoothly? If not, any suggestion for a sub $300 card?

Wait, zbrush doesn't use the video card. Well then I guess that's a much better, even cheaper solution.

Thank you sir for the help

Last edited by Dispatch88 : 09 September 2012 at 03:20 AM.
  09 September 2012
the only complication is that ZBrush's 32-bit memory limit won't get you up to 20-million polygons unless you pull some tricks like use HD Geometry. Is there a reason that's a magic number? ZBrush gets more detail with less polygons I find.
  09 September 2012
In mudbox at least, I need about 20 mil to get the details i need. But seeing how zbrush handles geometry differently, perhaps that will be lower.
  09 September 2012
If i can jump on this thread with a question, at least to avoid creating another thread to bog the forums down.

I'm building out a new workstation of my own, based off the duel quad core xeon Dell Precision t7400 platform (bought from www.stikc.com) primarily to work in 3damax 2012, mudbox 2013 and (potentially) mari 1.5. Im mostly using it for animation, sculpting and painting, with the last one being the key deciding factor in my graphics card purchase.

I currently have a firepro v8700 and it works fine for most things, but it absolutely gets crushed while painting high res uvws in mudbox due to it only having 1 gig of VRAM. I'm looking for something that will let me work with multiple 4k tiles without the insane lag. I'm also looking at switching to Mari for painting, but that will mean learning that program inside and out, as well as needing to get at least a gtx 680, which has little to info on it for performance as a workstation card.

I've done a ton of research, but I'm no closer to understanding what the best card for mudbox painting is, without a huge drop in 3dsmax's performance.

So I'm torn by whether or not I should just get a gtx 680 4gb for potentially improved mudbox performance, or if a quadro 4000's 2gb VRAM will be enough to do what I want it to (it's essentially the same price as the gtx), or if the quadro will even work better for painting than my firepro. Or if I should get a gtx 680 4gb, and move my paint pipeline entirely over to Mari?

It's darn confusing!

Any help in clarifying what the best approach is would be greatly appreciated!
  09 September 2012
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