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GPU Vs. Workstation Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 12, 2008 6:05:10 PM

Help Me out here....Im looking at purchase & build options for a digital art desktop. I need to know if a workstation card is the only way to go for a 3D program like 3D Studio Max...?
Can i find a graphic card replacement for cheaper<?>

Thanks for any knowledge..or links ..or ideas. :na: 

More about : gpu workstation card

a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2008 6:33:35 PM

ATI FireGL solutions perform best in Maya and AutoCAD, while Nvidia takes over the leadership in SolidWorks and 3ds max.
Nvidia has introduced the GeForce GTX 280 to the market, which is based on the GT200 graphic chip with a manufacturing process of 65 nanometers. The top-of-the-line model, the Quadro FX 5600, is still based on the G80 at 90 nanometers. Nvidia already took two intermediate steps by developing the G84, G86 and G92 at 80 nm and 65 nm.
So you can go with a gaming card. The drivers for the professional cards are better for the work, otherwise the hardware is inferior.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/FireGL-Quadro-Works...
September 12, 2008 6:45:54 PM

Here's an idea, it really isn't risky, but might involve "some" knowledge in rivatuner.

Buy an 8800GT (brand isn't important) for about $110-120, download the latest rivatuner and Quadro drivers. Install rivatuner and the geforce drivers that came with the card, then reboot and follow these steps:

1.) Open rivatuner
2.) On the upper selection area look for "Low-Level system settings" and open it
3.) Go to the NVStrap Driver tab.
4.) On the PCI DeviceID settings look for a dropdown box that says "Graphics adapter identification". Select "Custom" there.
5.) Cycle through the new options that you'll see now, until you find one that says (NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700). Press apply and Ok.
6.) Reboot your system.
7.) Uninstall the Geforce drivers and use Driver Cleaner Pro to make sure you got them all.
8.) Install the latest Quadro drivers.
9.) Be the happy owner of an FX 3700 for $120.
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September 12, 2008 6:47:36 PM

I'm pretty sure you need a workstation card. AFAIK you don't even really need a high end one to get better performance than a high end desktop card. Although not necessarily comparable, back when I had access to one I tested the workstation version of an ATI Radeon X300 (forget the model name) in Cinebench and it got an OpenGL score far superior to a 6600GT and surprisingly close to that of a GeForce 7800GT. Considering that the X300 is a 4 pipe card, the 6600GT an 8 pipe card, and the 7800GT a 20 pipe card the results are incredible. This was several years ago so the bar has undoubtedly been raised. Hope this helps.

-mcg
September 12, 2008 7:25:59 PM

evongugg said:
NVIDIA GeForce To Quadro Soft-Mod Guide Rev. 3.1

http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=539&pgno=...


You know that's completely the same as to what I posted (Except they use a G80 8800GTS and a FX 4600), but without pictures... right? In fact that's where I learned about it and tried with my G80 8800GTS :p 
September 12, 2008 7:31:22 PM

That true the hardware is identical on the Nvidia from the G80. It just a firmware difference. It's the biggest scam sense the DX SX days.
September 12, 2008 7:54:31 PM

wow...thats ridiculous!!!...making a $120 card into an $800...are these mods also available for ati cards as well?
September 12, 2008 8:12:52 PM

Apparently it can be done, but it's more complicated and instructions on how to do it are on chinese forums.
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2008 8:34:14 PM

evongugg said:
ATI FireGL solutions perform best in Maya and AutoCAD, while Nvidia takes over the leadership in SolidWorks and 3ds max.


Look at the tests again, it depends on if you use the SPECapc or SPEC Viewperf results for those two applications, they flip-flop for both apps (SPECapc favours nV SPEC Viewperf favours ATi).

The realworld performance is very close especially in those two.

As for the models, for both nV and ATi is makes sense to try softmoding if you want to save money, but even the gaming cards will handle it fine.
The softmod on the old GF8800s is a little easier though IMO.

The instructions on how to softmod to FireGL are actually at Guru3D, the main issue is getting the device IDs to match an existing FireGL card, and then doing a little cut and paste work. Result seems a bit more stable in Maya from my experience, but not sure about 3DSMax which can be finicky even on dedicated workstations IMO. Check out the Quadro softmod mention of the 3DSMax versions it has trouble with.

IMO, the most attractive option would be softmoding an HD4670 GDDR5 into a FirePro V5700, but first you have to have ATi release the GDDR5 HD4670s to the consumer/gaming market.
September 12, 2008 8:38:37 PM

Unless you're doing super-hardcore renderings with millions of polys and particles and all that jazz, you don't really need a $600+ workstation card. I've had experience with both(though with the not-so-awesome FireGL V5200 compared to the awesome HD4870) and I really can't see a reason to spend a lot more on a workstation card that isn't even as good hardware wise as a gaming card. Also, if you ever want to play games with a workstation card, you'll get a significant amount of crashes/incompatibilities, although it's still quite possible to play many games.

Anyways, I would recommend a nicer and much cheaper mainstream card. They will do just fine for your workstation needs. Also, make sure you get a nice Quad-core as 3dsmax and the like are well optimized.
September 14, 2008 5:11:06 AM

WOW great links..Thank you...Very valuable comparision link..thnx

Im really going to research the updating of the drivers...Sounds like a great save - I just worry of my un-expertise...I wont rule that out tho>>

If anything I would hope for more on this Post would be:

Does anyone know of a company with desktop ready workstation..3D capable computers<?>

Thank You ALL
!