Workstation VGA vs Consumer VGA

Dear All

The use of my PC is moving towards digital content creation rather than gaming. I am about to replace a dead VGA card and have encountered a dilemma.

I was about to buy one of the following: Connect3D X850 Pro 256Mb GDDR3 VIVO or Leadtek GF7600GT 256MB GDDR3 HDTV/DVI.

I now have the opportunity to get a 2nd hand 3DLabs Wildcat VP880 PRO for slightly less than either of the other cards.

Can anyone tell me if this 3 year old workstation card will be a better purchase for DCC than the two new consumer cards.

Uses are 3DS Max, Photoshop, Flash, video editing etc.



Mobo: Leadtek K7NCR18D ProII
CPU: Athlon XP2800
RAM: 1024Mb, 2x 512Mb
Power Supply: Antec 380 Watt True Power
SATA Card: Adaptec 1210SA (Raptor Attached)
HDD1: Western Digital Raptor 36Gb (System Drive)
HDD2: Western Digital Caviar SE16 250GB 2500KS SATA
HDD3: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 160GB 6Y160M0 SATA
Sound: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro
5 answers Last reply
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  1. 3dsMAX is the only application you listed that is really going to care which 3d card you use.

    While I do alot of photoshop work, my knowledge is limited to Ati's and Nvidia's offerings, I don't know too much about the wildcat VP880 PRO.

    Between the 7600 GT and the X800 GTO, I'd pick the 7600 GT for 3dsMAX, Nvidia's drivers are a bit better for pro 3d apps like 3dsMAX. But the VP880 PRO drivers might be even better for MAX, then again I'm not sure because like I said, I don't know much about that particular card...

    How much MAX work are you going to be doing?
  2. I'll be doing a fair amount of Max work but nothing particularly intensive.

    I was curious as to whether the architecture of a workstation card, even a 3 year old one, lent itself better to 2D & 3D digital content creation better than the new consumer cards?

    Or have the technology advances in the past three years negated any advantage?

  3. Workstation cards *are* comsumer cards, they just use specialized drivers that are optimized for 3d apps, not games.

    For example, quadro cards are rebadged geforces, and FireGLs are rebadged Radeons...

    Because gaming drivers are not optimized for pro 3d apps, the 3 year spread might equalize them a bit in 3dsMAX, as the wildcat will use properly optimized drivers.

    But my gut feeling is, you'd probably be better off with the 7600 GT.
  4. get the 7600GT...

    i'm not sure 7600 can be softmodded into the workstation equiv... if it can, there is the Gelato renderer for MAX which speeds up rendering by a fair bit.

  5. Thanks guys,

    I've spent too much time already trying to decide what to get.

    I'll just order the 7600 and then I can start using my machine!

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