I'm a 3D graphics designer and I'm facing a video card choice question for the workstation I'm planning to build in May-June 2008.
On one hand, I'm having a professional video card, PNY Quadro FX 1700, featuring a nVidia G84GL chipset, 460 MHz core clock and 400 MHz mem clock freqs..
On the other hand, there's a new GeForce 9800 GTX, with a G92 chipset, 675 MHz core clock and 2200 MHz mem clock freqs..
On the above mentioned specs, the 9800 GTX certainely tops the Quadro FX board, but it's not a gaiming machine I want to build, but a workstation for Digital Content Creation production (mainly in Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere).
Having the two cards side by side, it seems to me that the Quadro FX 1700 video card has a more developped architecture towards CAD and DCC, featuring (just to name a few):
- 128-bit color precision
- Unlimited fragment instruction
- Unlimited vertex instruction
- 3D volumetric texture support
- 12 pixels per clock rendering engine
- Hardware accelerated antialiased points and lines
- Hardware OpenGL overlay planes
- Hardware accelerated two-sided lighting
- Hardware accelerated clipping planes
- 3rd generation occlusion culling
- 16 textures per pixel in fragment programs
- Window ID clipping functionality
- Hardware accelerated line stippling
So even if the frequencies may be smaller than the GF 9800 card, I think that it may deliver more performance on 3D graphics software than a mainstream gaming video card. Unfortunately, I haven't found any head-to-gead comparisons between these two cards, especially for 3D graphics bench tests, and I would really like to know whitch one to choose for my workstation.
I'm also considering that the GeForce 9800 costs ~$100 less than the Quadro FX 1700 card. OTOH, I found a review that highlighted the noisy cooling system of the GF 9800, and I wouldn't like an aircraft reactor as a computer.
Any help will be appreciated. Mihail.
I'm poining out the rest of the configuration, if anyone needs it:
- Mobo: Supermicro X7DWA-N (Intel 5400 chipset, 1600MHz FSB)
- CPU: 2 x Intel XEON E5410 quad-core (2.33 GHz, 1333 MHz FSB, 12MB L2 Cache)
- Mem: 2 x 2GB PC2-5300 DDR2 667 Mhz FB-DIMM, FB
- Vid: TBD (PNY Quadro FX 1700 or XFX GeForce 9800 GTX)
- HDD1: WD1500ADFD Raptor (150 GB, 10 krpm)
- HDD2: WD3200YS (320 GB, 7.2 krpm, enterprise)
- HDD3: WD3200YS (320 GB, 7.2 krpm, enterprise)
- Case: Coolermaster Cosmos1000 (EATX)
- PSU: Coolermaster RealPower Pro 850W
- Disp: 2 x Samsung SyncMaster 226BW (22" TFT WSXGA, 1680 x 1050)
The Quadro cards, in my understanding, are developed for 2D and 3D graphics processing and applications such as CAD, etc. They have very extensive drivers and are engineered to meet these needs very well. The gaming counter parts of these cards are not meant to perform these tasks and do not to a good job of it. That is why the Workstation/Professional versions are much more expensive. Get the Quadro, it is what you need.
PS. There is no such thing as an "aircraft reactor"
You are correct in your statement that the Quadro FX supports CAD applications more. You would definitely want to get the PNY Quadro FX 1700 over the GeForce 9800 GTX. It may seem that the GeForce 9800 GTX has higher specifications, but the difference between the two cards lies in the firmware controlling the card.
In gaming, performance is more important as opposed to rendering every single detail. The firmware in the gaming graphics cards implements an algorithm to break the rendering process after so many iterations to maintain an acceptable level of frames per second. However in CAD and other 3D modeling applications it is more important to see every detail, even if it takes a while to finish rendering.
The interesting thing is comparing the workstation vs 3Dmark #s, also remember it doesn't affect output render times, look at page 3 and notice that they effectively take just as long to complete projects.
Also the memory freq of that 9800 is 1100 not 2200 or else the other frequency would be 800 to keep equivalent DDR numbers.
Also, would you recommend an ATI FireGL couterpart at the same price range (e.g. V5200 or V7100)? In the benchmark from your link, I noticed that the V7600 performs much better at CAD applications benches, at a lower price than the FX 4500 there (even if it has some driver problems, but may have ben solved by now).
Nvidia actually have an outdated pdf regarding Quadro vs consumer cards, if your into CAD or DCC a quadro is a must at a high to mid range professional level. I'd buy the FX 3700 myself, at spec its so close to the FX 5600 and a fill rate 4x that of the FX1700. Oh by the way, the ram you specified is too little and too slow.