workstation graphics card, choices? - please help

tlunnuk

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I am researching videocards for use in a new workstation. 90% of my time I work in Autocad and 3ds Max, which only need a good desktop card, but i may start working in Revit and Maya, which require a good workstation card.

I have been mainly focused on the Geforce 8800 GTS and the Radeon 3870, or if i can find the extra $250, the quadro fx1700.

I am most curious about softmodding the 3870 into a firestream 9170. I can't find enough information to know if this would be beneficial working in primarily in max/cad and occasionally in Revit.

I am not opposed to modifying to get the performance gain.

of the four options, which has the best performance/price in architectural applications.

money is always a concern, so the quadro would have to be fanatastic for me to spend $450 at the present time.
 

dagger

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I'm curious, what justfies the high cost for the so called "workstation" graphics cards over normal ones? They cost so much more for inferior performance and no directx support. :p

Not sure about the other two, but autocad don't need powerful graphics, and is mostly about cpu and ram.
 

mlmiller1

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I run Revit, AutoCAD, Sketchup & games on two systems. One has an 8800gts-320 (the gaming machine over a year old) the other a FireGL v3600 (the "work machine" a few months old). If you install Rivatuner and enable the nvstrap, the 8800 is much faster at professional graphics (openGL) than the v3600. If I was to build a "work" machine for home, I would just mod a 3850. If it was for a business, then I would drop the doe for a v5600 ($475 newegg).

Revit is most particular about cpu speed. It only uses one core, unless rendering. It loves memory, but as of 2009 is only a 32-bit app.
 

tlunnuk

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thanks for the great information mlmiller.

from some research i have done today...i think that's the way I am headed.

i have read plenty of articles on softmodding a 2600xt into a v5600.

I am thinking of getting the 2600xt, softmodding it to a v5600, and benchmarking it against a 8800 GTS. Which ever gives me the better performance in my application I am keeping.
 

monst0r

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usually the workstation cards come with extra features geared towards rendering (hardware AA, etc).

it's really not worth the 2x price of its counterpart IMO, unless it will be used for super duper professional level work that demands the extra features.

:)
 

dagger

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Yes, but their performance is so low, even if price is not an issue... :sarcastic:
 

monst0r

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You mean in games? As I said, the only time it's justified is when it's for an application that sees significant improvement in whatever is needed.

Not an expert on the matter, just my thought as to why it's justifed :p
 

dagger

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Considering the vast difference in hardware and raw processing power, how can those old obsolete cards won out in anything? Game or not... :p
 

monst0r

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Well, some aren't obsolete. Some are based on the G92 core already I think (Theres a quadro with 1.5gb ram, and 128sp). But yes, they do still sell old generation cards at a high price most likely for the same reason the E6x00 series are still at their MSRP.
 

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