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Workstation vs Consumer graphics cards: what's the big dif..

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2005 6:44:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

What exactly are the differences between consumer and workstation cards?
What aspects of graphics and video work require particular features of
workstation cards? Is there any GPU-rendering software for consumer cards?
If not, are any coming? Will PCI Express and/or the latest shader models
reduce the differences between workstation and consumer cards?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 30, 2005 6:44:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

Dean Siren wrote:

> What exactly are the differences between consumer and workstation cards?
> What aspects of graphics and video work require particular features of
> workstation cards? Is there any GPU-rendering software for consumer
> cards?
> If not, are any coming? Will PCI Express and/or the latest shader models
> reduce the differences between workstation and consumer cards?

Main difference is microcode and secondary components--for example
workstation boards generally have somewhat better quality capacitors.
Workstation boards also are more likely to have two DVI outputs. The main
difference though is that consumer boards generally have microcode
optimized for Direct3D while workstation boards generally have it optimized
for OpenGL.

Some consumer boards can be made into fully functional workstation boards by
simply reflashing the firmware that then loads the appropriate microcode.

What will "reduce the difference" will be the day that GPU power becomes
sufficiently greater than that required by application software that the
OpenGL vs Direct3D optimizations become unnecessary.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 31, 2005 3:59:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.video (More info?)

"Dean Siren" <deanas@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:too2e.522$44.146@newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net...
> What exactly are the differences between consumer and workstation cards?
> What aspects of graphics and video work require particular features of
> workstation cards? Is there any GPU-rendering software for consumer
cards?
> If not, are any coming? Will PCI Express and/or the latest shader models
> reduce the differences between workstation and consumer cards?

Generally speaking, in the past, "Workstation" video cards were designed to
handle large numbers of polygons, while "Consumer" or "Gaming" cards were
designed to handle large numbers of textures. Compared to serious modeling
work, "3D" games use very few polygons to create the image, but apply many
more textures to those polygons.

The most modern "Gaming" cards are begining to close the gap. They can
process considerably more polygons/sec than their predecesors.


--
Dan (Woj...) [dmaster](no space)[at](no space)[lucent](no space)[dot](no
space)[com]
===============================
"I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name"
!