Messed up drivers?


Hey everyone, maybe someone can help me figure out this mystery.

I have a dual opteron 248 system, with the fastest opterons they sell for the dual series…i think 2.2? And my video graphics card is a quadro 980 XGL, and my motherboards is the tyan
Thunder K8W (s2885)

Now, I always kind of thought that maya … just… for the type of hardware I had, just run way too slow.

I have this old computer running maya, … a 1.4 athlon, like… 512mb of… just generic ram, and like a 90 dollar… just ati video card… really nothing special. I open up maya on it, and with an empty scene and the headsup display- frame rate on screen, I check to see how fast it is going. It is, super super smooth running at a constant 75 fps, which is also as high a refresh rate as that monitor can handle. WOw… ok. I come back to my computer and do the same thing… and… it hits an amazing 34.5 frames and won’t go any higher. I am using the latest, as far as I know supported drivers from nvidia and alias ( I also have selected “maya” under the custom opengl applications list.

And I am like… .damn… for a system that costs a little over 3000, i should NOT be getting less performance than that pos sitting in the corner of my room. And so just… to be funny, I put the driver setting on “3d studio max” and restarted maya… and… behold… it was running with an empty scene at 75fps… like it should. And then i’m like… well maybe it just a weird fps display… or something let me load up a scene I am working on. I loaded up a subdiv character with textures and spun the scene around as fast as I could and on the maya drivers I get 25 fps, switch it to 3d studio max opengl setting and I get 34.5 frames per second with the subdiv model. But it’s really not that the fps is just reading the wrong number, it is most definitely smoother when I rotate around.

What is going on? Why when I use maya opengl settings am I running it SLOWER than when i use 3d studio max ones? (out of curiosity i tried the softimagexsi ones… and they performed the same as 3d studio max)

I mean, I know that viewport performance does work off the video card and not just processor… but the fastest dual opterons? a video card running at AGP 8x, versus my little ati card running at agp2x… pushing better results, with drivers that aren’t even made for maya???

Any ideas of what might be going on, either with my system… or the drivers, or anything?

btw, on my computer i am using maya 5.0.1

any insight would be GREATLY appreciated. thank you


As an update… I kept fooling around with all of the settings, and I found that if I turn 'vertical sync" to off by default, as opposed to on by default, the maya drivers (when moving around the subdiv character) allow me to go like 42 fps… definitely faster than when I have vertical sync turned on.

But still… likewise, if I use the 3d studio max drivers and turn the vertical sync to off by default, they are faster than they were before, and therefore of course still faster than the maya drivers.

any idea what is going on still? or what exactly vertical sync is and why turning it off is increasing my performance?


any idea what is going on still? or what exactly vertical sync is and why turning it off is increasing my performance?

Here’s an explanation of Vsync

If the v-sync is the only setting resulting in a major performance increase, then I’d check the settings on your graphics card. If my understanding of v-sync is right, then if you have your monitor’s refresh rate set low, you could be having performance issues with v-sync. This could vary from application to application, as I believe ATI cards allow inidividual applications to v-sync separately. However, if you’re just getting ~30fps, I’d really doubt that the v-sync on the card has anything to do with it. I don’t even think you can set refresh rates to 30hz…
I’m guessing there’s some other compatibiliy issue with your video card, or maybe just some other simple setting that you need to mess with. No idea specifically what that could be, though.


The switches in the advanced properties tab of your 980 XGL for specific applications are not different drivers, these tabs for max, maya are applying specific settings in the driver like AA hardware overlays, vsync and so on. Take a look what the driver applies if you choose the Maya settings, it may enable some AA and AF settings and surely will enable vsync. These application settings are mostly useless today, dissable vsync dissable AA and AF and see if maya performs better with hardware overlays (it should).



Huh. This is still defintely weird. I tried out everyone’s suggestions but what is weird is that when I select the maya settings versus the 3d studio max settings, which was mentioned that they are just a selection of settings of aa, af, and vsync etc…between the maya ones and the 3d max selection, all of those setting are exactly the same. Some other program settings do change things like aa, etc…but between maya and max settings, all of the major options in the tabs are exactly the same, but yet the performance is… still different. So if all those settings are exactly the same under the maya and max program selection, what could be causing the difference in performance?


What about advanced opengl properties and hardware overlays? I don´t know if Maya is enabling it by itself and does an override of the driver settings. Is there a switch inside of maya where you can enable hardware overlays?



I have no idea about a switch in maya, as far as I know, I don’t think so. But in my "additional open gl " properties for my video card, I have “enable overaly in opengl” checked off and for the exported pixel types set to "color indexed overlays (8bpp)


Actually! I don’t know why i didn’t notice this, but …
that “enable overaly in opengl” command… not unless more is going on underneath the hood, but that is the difference between the 3dstudiomax setting versus the maya one. Maya has it checked on, and max has it checked off.

What does it do anyway?


[font=‘Microsoft Sans Serif’]The user interfaces of many professional applications often requires elements to be interactively drawn on top of a 3D model or scene. The cursor, pop-up menus or dialogs appear on top of a 3D-viewport. These elements can damage the contents of the covered windows or affect their performance and interactivity. [/font]

[font=Wingdings][font=Verdana]§[/font][/font][font=‘Microsoft Sans Serif’]To avoid this, most professional applications use overlay planes. Overlay planes let items be drawn on top of the main graphics window without damaging the contents of the windows beneath. Windows drawn in the overlay plane can contain text, graphics, and so on—the same as any normal window. [/font]
[font=Wingdings][font=Verdana]§[/font][/font][font=‘Microsoft Sans Serif’]The planes support a transparency bit, which when set, allows pixels underneath the overlayed window to show through. They are created as two separate layers, nothing has to be blended together. This prevents damage to the main graphics window and improves performance. Likewise, clearing an overlayed window to the transparency bit and then drawing graphics within it allows user-interface items to be drawn over the main graphics window. [/font]
[font=Wingdings][font=Verdana]§[/font][/font][font=‘Microsoft Sans Serif’]Clearing and redrawing only the overlayed window is significantly faster than redrawing the main graphics window. This is how animated user-interface components can be drawn over 3D models or scenes. [/font]


hm… i think i understand what you just wrote, but from … what you just said, wouldn’t that mean that if I have overlay ENABLED that maya would be running faster?.. as opposed to slower?

For me, maya runs faster with the overlay often unchecked.


hmm yeah, probably it should but only when you´re using the mentioned tools like artisan. But I remember that I read that it is not essentially neccessary since Maya 4 and people don´t have to rely on hardware overlays, it should work without the enabled feature. So if performance is lower, don´t activate it. Make sure that it works properly and try some painting or weighting on a spere with artisan and see if it renders correct without hardware overlays.



Yeah with it not checked, everything seems to be fine, with a better performance.

The only weird thing, not driver related though, is that when i go to paint weights… my mouse doesn’t work. I have to use my drawing pen.

I have the wacom tablet, where i use my mouse all the time, unless i’m drawing in photoshop. I have no special options or anything set, but when i go to paint weights… it just won’t let me if i use my mouse. I HAVE to use the pen? SO WEIRD. anybody have any idea why?


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