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Graphics cards for GIS work

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 3, 2010 4:13:10 AM

Hi there,

I am a total graphics card noob. I am doing GIS work with ArcGIS 9.3. All I know (or think I know) is that is more OpenGL based than Direct X? I am doing some work with 3D and Spatial Analyst, and wanting to do 3D visualisations etc.

Currently I have an N7600GS with 512MB on it, running 2 x 19" at 1280 x 1024.

Somebody once told me I should look at the NVidia Quadro series.

Opinions, thoughts, advice?? What series of cards do I need to be looking at?

Cheers, Ken
a c 1363 U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 2:31:12 PM

Workstation cards are optimized for OpenGL so what somebody ones told you is correct.
a c 172 U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 5:34:41 PM

I used to do such work on a crummy quadro nvs285, in any case you want a card that has a large frambuffer like 1GB (DDR3 or higher nothing below). First tell us your budget and we will go from there.
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April 3, 2010 8:45:36 PM

nforce4max said:
I used to do such work on a crummy quadro nvs285,.......
Hi there, probably $1000NZD (700US) max..... But, also feel free to advise on an unlimited budget (dreams are free!)
April 3, 2010 8:46:23 PM

Ah yes.... and what I find at the moment is drawing anything, my CPU is maxed out. (C2D E6700 @ 2.66GHz). I guess a decent graphics card would take the load off my CPU??
a c 172 U Graphics card
April 3, 2010 9:36:27 PM

Depending on the plugins your using so I would go look at a quadro or firegl which ever fits your taste.

As for prices they are over edge in terms of value unless the works flow is good (jobs) to ware the card pays it's self off fairly quickly. As for dreams my government is filled with bottom feeding scum sucking criminal politicians who spend trillions as if it were pocket change by mortgaging our futures and enslaving the people a little at a time. Even the department of education in one state is packing 14in shotguns hmm I wonder who will they be shooting. Oh I digress sorry I had to rant there. :( 

I would recommend the Quadro FX 1800 but the price and the specs are on the weak side.
April 4, 2010 8:46:44 PM

Rant is perfectly fine..... it seems to me the world has learnt little about priorities and how to be civilised.... we say we have moved on since the World Wars, but have we really?....

Anyway, before i digress....

The Quadro FX does have substantially better specs than my crummy little card! http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_11761.html

Anyway, now I am going show my ignorance..... so the FX 1800 will cost me $850NZD. I can get a GeForce 9600GT for under $200. They have a similar texels/second fill rate, adn apparently the 9600 GT does OpenGL 3.2.

Educate me please on why cards that both do OpenGL, and have similar texels/second figures are so different in price, and supposedly in performance?????

Thanks for your help... this discussion is educating me quite a bit :) 
a c 172 U Graphics card
April 4, 2010 8:56:35 PM

It comes down to drivers that is the real difference and they often dump partially defective chips onto professionals any way that wouldn't have been successful in in the normal consumer sector. You could go ahead and get a regular card like the 9600gt would should as some say knock your socks off compared to that 7600gs.
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