graphics cards for cad?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

Hi,

I'm in the enviable position that I have been given a budget for a new
PC.. am currently looking at what spec to get and in particular, what
graphics card. Now, I'm fairly up to speed on processors, motherboards,
etc. but when it comes to gfx cards I haven't a clue. We're using
solidworks and pro-engineer here, and I think they support quite a wide
range. What about something like the Ati FireGL? Does anyone rate that?
I don't understand the real difference between 'pro/workstation'
graphics cards (e.g. for CAD) and gaming cards.

If anyone could share some light I'd appreciate it! Thanks
Dave
10 answers Last reply
More about graphics cards
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <ctvn96$uum$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm in the enviable position that I have been given a budget for a new
    > PC.. am currently looking at what spec to get and in particular, what
    > graphics card. Now, I'm fairly up to speed on processors, motherboards,
    > etc. but when it comes to gfx cards I haven't a clue. We're using
    > solidworks and pro-engineer here, and I think they support quite a wide
    > range. What about something like the Ati FireGL? Does anyone rate that?
    > I don't understand the real difference between 'pro/workstation'
    > graphics cards (e.g. for CAD) and gaming cards.
    >
    3D Labs Wild Cat 7110 Pro about £360 at Aria. They're set up for
    different optimisations over gaming cards.


    --
    Conor

    An imperfect plan executed violently is far superior to a perfect plan.
    -- George Patton
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Conor wrote:
    > In article <ctvn96$uum$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...
    >
    >>Hi,
    >>
    >>I'm in the enviable position that I have been given a budget for a new
    >>PC.. am currently looking at what spec to get and in particular, what
    >>graphics card. Now, I'm fairly up to speed on processors, motherboards,
    >>etc. but when it comes to gfx cards I haven't a clue. We're using
    >>solidworks and pro-engineer here, and I think they support quite a wide
    >>range. What about something like the Ati FireGL? Does anyone rate that?
    >>I don't understand the real difference between 'pro/workstation'
    >>graphics cards (e.g. for CAD) and gaming cards.
    >>
    >
    > 3D Labs Wild Cat 7110 Pro about £360 at Aria. They're set up for
    > different optimisations over gaming cards.
    >
    >

    Can you think of anything in the £100 range? My total budget is only
    about £1000! :-)

    Dave
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <cu04kd$37j$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...

    >
    > Can you think of anything in the £100 range?

    Nope. At-a-push I'd go for the Matrox G550 although its not a true CAD
    card however it does have some CAD application specific drivers/plugins
    and optimisations.


    --
    Conor

    An imperfect plan executed violently is far superior to a perfect plan.
    -- George Patton
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Conor wrote:
    > In article <cu04kd$37j$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...
    >
    >
    >>Can you think of anything in the £100 range?
    >
    >
    > Nope. At-a-push I'd go for the Matrox G550 although its not a true CAD
    > card however it does have some CAD application specific drivers/plugins
    > and optimisations.
    >
    >

    How about the ATi FireGL V3100?
    http://www.ati.com/products/fireglv3100/index.html

    I've seen that around the place. Looks ok..

    Dave
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    Dave wrote:
    > Conor wrote:
    >
    >> In article <cu04kd$37j$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...
    >>
    >>
    >>> Can you think of anything in the £100 range?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Nope. At-a-push I'd go for the Matrox G550 although its not a true CAD
    >> card however it does have some CAD application specific
    >> drivers/plugins and optimisations.
    >>
    >>
    >
    > How about the ATi FireGL V3100?
    > http://www.ati.com/products/fireglv3100/index.html
    >
    > I've seen that around the place. Looks ok..
    >
    > Dave

    surely the 'bleeding edge' cards from 2-3 years ago are now dirt cheap?
    you wonder how anyone did CAD 2-3 years ago without their 3D labs
    wildcat pro!! :-)

    Dave
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <cu0ao9$53r$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk>, Dave says...

    > surely the 'bleeding edge' cards from 2-3 years ago are now dirt cheap?
    > you wonder how anyone did CAD 2-3 years ago without their 3D labs
    > wildcat pro!! :-)
    >
    The Wildcat is "old". Its just been reduced in price by £400 a couple
    of weeks ago.


    --
    Conor

    An imperfect plan executed violently is far superior to a perfect plan.
    -- George Patton
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    "Dave" <davehowey@hotmail.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:ctvn96$uum$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm in the enviable position that I have been given a budget for a new
    > PC.. am currently looking at what spec to get and in particular, what
    > graphics card. Now, I'm fairly up to speed on processors, motherboards,
    > etc. but when it comes to gfx cards I haven't a clue. We're using
    > solidworks and pro-engineer here, and I think they support quite a wide
    > range. What about something like the Ati FireGL? Does anyone rate that?
    > I don't understand the real difference between 'pro/workstation'
    > graphics cards (e.g. for CAD) and gaming cards.
    >
    > If anyone could share some light I'd appreciate it! Thanks
    > Dave

    What version of Pro?

    I ran ProE2001, Solidworks, Catia on a Nvidia ti4200 64 meg gaming card.
    Currently I am running the all same platforms plus Inventor & Wildfire2.0
    with a 6800GT. I see no difference in CAD performance with the newer card.

    I can't say for sure but I do not believe there is that much difference in
    the silicon between workstation & gaming cards. A simple solder job would
    turn a Gforce2 gaming card into a Quadro2 workstation card. Any full
    OpenGL card should work well, depending on what you are planning on doing.
    Now if you plan on creating massive assemblies with 1000's of complicated
    parts, you won't be doing it with that budget.

    A ti4000 series card, like ti4400 with 128 meg RAM should be rock solid.
    Google up some older WHQL drivers for it rather than the latest, although
    the latest should work. I do not recommend ATI's Radeon series, but the
    FireGL's use a different chipset & should work fine.
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    > I can't say for sure but I do not believe there is that much difference in
    > the silicon between workstation & gaming cards. A simple solder job would
    > turn a Gforce2 gaming card into a Quadro2 workstation card. Any full
    > OpenGL card should work well, depending on what you are planning on doing.
    > Now if you plan on creating massive assemblies with 1000's of complicated
    > parts, you won't be doing it with that budget.
    >
    > A ti4000 series card, like ti4400 with 128 meg RAM should be rock solid.
    > Google up some older WHQL drivers for it rather than the latest, although
    > the latest should work. I do not recommend ATI's Radeon series, but the
    > FireGL's use a different chipset & should work fine.
    >
    >

    Thanks for the input. This kind of advice was what I was hoping for. I
    won't be doing massively complex CAD models, so that should be fine. I
    want to run a dual boot with linux too, but I think both the Ati and
    Quadro cards are well supported.

    Dave
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.homebuilt (More info?)

    "Dave" <davehowey@hotmail.co.uk> wrote in message
    news:cu7hjs$8ba$1@jura.cc.ic.ac.uk...
    >
    >> I can't say for sure but I do not believe there is that much difference
    >> in the silicon between workstation & gaming cards. A simple solder job
    >> would turn a Gforce2 gaming card into a Quadro2 workstation card. Any
    >> full OpenGL card should work well, depending on what you are planning on
    >> doing. Now if you plan on creating massive assemblies with 1000's of
    >> complicated parts, you won't be doing it with that budget.
    >>
    >> A ti4000 series card, like ti4400 with 128 meg RAM should be rock solid.
    >> Google up some older WHQL drivers for it rather than the latest, although
    >> the latest should work. I do not recommend ATI's Radeon series, but the
    >> FireGL's use a different chipset & should work fine.
    >>
    >>
    >
    > Thanks for the input. This kind of advice was what I was hoping for. I
    > won't be doing massively complex CAD models, so that should be fine. I
    > want to run a dual boot with linux too, but I think both the Ati and
    > Quadro cards are well supported.
    >
    > Dave

    Learned something new today. The main difference between gaming cards &
    workstation cards is something called unified frame buffers. From what I
    was told, gaming cards do not implement unified frame buffers. This
    requires the card to use video ram for pixels/colors for every window the
    user opens in a OpenGL application. Meaning it is possible to hit a wall
    when the video RAM is used up. Maybe some video guru could chime in here
    & tell us more.

    I experimented with Wildfire 2.0 just now & opened up the maximum windows
    ProE allows, 15. I was able to not only open them but manipulate & edit the
    models. That is with a 256 meg gaming card. (Gforce 6800GT).

    Main thing is to get 128 meg video RAM min on the card & 1 gig system RAM
    min. As much system RAM as you can afford will make for happy users. I
    use up the 1 gig my machine has regularly.
  10. "DC" Great, finally someone is questioning the application of gaming hardware for work. I am presently in a design program "college" and useing a Nvidia 8800 gts 320mGDDR3. It works a little better than the cards at the college. They are Quadro with 128 megs DDR2. I am trying to build a system "on a budget" that will satisfy the needs of CAD 2009, SOLIDWORKS, AND CHIEF ARCHITECT. Through reasoning with a wide variety of information, I believe that the 2 series from EVGA is heading in that direction but am unable to find testing results, of course they wouldn't want to kill the workstation market. That divisions EBITDA must resemble the Holy Grail of profit margins.
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