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SoftModding, any opinions?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 18, 2008 9:09:33 PM

Hey everyone,

A member mentioned the possibility of SoftModding a gaming graphics card to facilitate the use of 3D software. I love the idea, IF it works. The user I am building this for will mostly be using SolidWorks 2008 and Solidedge v20, in 64-bit. I want to be 100% sure it will work before buying a card.

To give you an idea of the price to pay for 'stability' and 'support', here are two cards in the same price range:

Workstation: PNY nVidia Quadro FX570 (256mb GDDR2/128bit)
Gaming : EVGA 9800GTX+ SC (512mb GDDR3/256bit/2246mhz mem/778mhz gpu).

Even then the 9800GTX+ SC is cheaper since the quadro FX570 is Out of Stock at low prices. Now, I know that I can softmod the 8800GT, but for the price/performance, I'd rather get the 9800GTX+ SC. I just want to be SURE (as in 100%) that whatever card I get will work.

If it doesn't, I am SCREWED.

If we think logically, won't the 8800GT be a better bet than the cheap 570FX at whatever we do with it?? That's how I see it... I'd really need to try out the card to be sure.


I would like to hear some people's personal experience. I would like to actually SEE numbers, or proof.

Thanks for any support.

Patrick

More about : softmodding opinions

a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 10:27:18 PM

Soft mods aren't for 100% assurance, that's why you pay the extra money for a Qaudro and FireGL cards. With workstations cards you're paying for the certification and customer support.

Check out the softmod guide, but if this guy is a professional and is asking you to build him a workstation rig, make sure he understands it won't be certified, and while 99.44% as stable and usable, it may have issues, and unlike the workstation cards he won't get help on them from the IHV or ISV, only from the community.

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

As for your plan to soft mod the GF9800GTX+ , I'm not sure of your luck softmoding it, since there's no similar Quadro to the 9800GTX+ The 5600 is based on the G80-GTX and the 4600 is based on the G80-GTS, and the 3700 is based on the GF9800GT, and the 4700X2 the GX2.

Nothing for a GTX+, so likely easier to mod a GT, at least until they launch a single Quadro 4700.
September 18, 2008 11:53:32 PM

snipingkid,

what softweare are you planing on using?

if its max/maya/autocad i can personaly guarantee you that you DONT want a pro card anyway. All these use d3d that is NOT crippled in drivers like ass-old OGL thats 10x slower at best even when not crippled in drivers (worksation cards)
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September 19, 2008 3:00:03 AM

I will be using SolidWorks and SolidEdge.

Wait a sec, if I understood correctly, the 4700x2 would be based off the 9800GX2? You know, that would be great, since that is what I am using right now... I'd have the chance to test it. You know I don't mind spending that much if it works.

I am building this workstation for my Dad, he's currently using an FX4600 at work, which cost them about 1500$. This rig will be used at home, so the budget's a bit limited. However, if I can pull this one off nicely, he might ask me to configure his entire department.

I'll be testing the 9800GX2 with my old E6600 C2D, so it may bottleneck.
a b U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 4:41:12 PM

Ah ok, in that case, yeah test it out first, and if you're not doing it for a client who would be unaware of the issues, then definitely give it a go.

As someone who has to plan and order workstations for work, I'm just keeping an eye out to avoid issues for you both. In this case, yeah the 4700X2 would likely be a very good option if it's stable. As a 'work from home' rig that isn't worrying about certification or ISV EULAs it's a good idea, but when the possibility of configuring his whole department comes up, be sure you know the restrictions he (or his clients) may have.

One thing nV definitely does well and has more experience with, and could easily be said to do much better than ATi in the multi-GPU segment, would be their workstation SLi support which while still having issues every once in a while to me is more mature than ATi's.

Good luck the GX2 would have alot of raw oomph and only be a little bit memory bandwidth limited for situations like high AA (like 32X) support.
September 19, 2008 11:31:54 PM

Alright, I'll be testing that GX2, I just need to install Vista x86 on a partition since I don't have the 64 bit version of solidworks at home (will have it though).

Only problem now the price. If I go with the 9800GX2, I have to change the power supply. Which ups the price a bit.
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