I plan to learn 3D animation software and I have purchased a workstation with specifications below:
Tyan S2462 Thunder K7 motherboard with dual AMD Athlon MP1.2GHz, 512MB of DDR RAM (buffer/registered), SCSI Harddrive & Matrox RT2500 Video Editing Card. The operating system is Window 2000 & the 3D software I would like to study is Newtek Lightwave 7.
Now I’m confuse about what type of graphic card I should use. The existing graphic card is GeForce 3. Everything looks okay but I heard from my friend that nVidia GeForce is more suitable for PC Gaming but not for 3D application. I try to get info from internet about OpenGL & Direct3D but what I understand that the latest GeForce 4-Ti or Radeon 8500 is also powerful enough for 3D rendering, T&L, etc. My questions are:
1. What is the ‘practical’ difference between nVidia GeForce 4-Ti & nVidia Quadro 4-XGL?
2. Can the GeForce 4 run under Win 2000 & match to the Lightwave 7?
3. For 3D application, which feature of graphic card is more important? the speed (MHz) or memory (DDR)?
4. If consider about balance between cost/price & result/performance, which graphic card is most suitable for me? Thanks.
Don't go for nVidia, go with ATi. Their Fire GL series are good. The Geforce 4 and ATi Radeon 8500 cards are powerful enough to run the apps, but they don't perform well under Open GL (due to the drivers). That's why you go with workstation graphic card instead of gaming cards. Check out the ATi Fire GL series.