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tcoursey
10-16-2012, 03:40 PM
We are looking to upgrade a few machines at our studio. We have always had workstation cards, but not the top of the line. Currently I'm working on a Quaddro FX 3700. Prior a 1700. I never have seen a huge difference in gaming vs workstation cards for the MONEY. I mean a low end workstation card is 700+ and some top $4,000. Top of the line lot's of ram Gaming card are sub $500.

What gives? Will Lightwave VPR or F9 renders tie into Cudo cores like Adobe suite? Future?
Do the gaming cards work pretty well when compared to the workstation cards in Lightwave?

Thanks for any real-world experience. Not looking for speculation or "my gaming card works great" If you haven't had experience with BOTH I don't feel the input would be worth as much, but still good I guess.

ShadowMystic
10-16-2012, 03:43 PM
Gaming versus Workstation doesn't make a huge difference in Lightwave unless working large. LW has no GPU rendering, but your GPU effects openGL performance.

Rayek
10-16-2012, 11:10 PM
At my work (college) all the workstations (Xeon [email protected]) have Quadro 2000s installed - I tested and compared with my system (AMD 7970), and the 7970 far surpasses the 2000 not only in viewport speed in Lightwave, Cinema4d, and Blender, but also gives 3gb of memory versus 1gb for the 2000.

Some figures (in Blender):
Test scene: ball with rim. Solid mode. Subd'd and applied for pure geometry. Screen res 1920*1200 both systems. Identical scene, same build Blender.

Level 1 393226 vertices
2000: 60fps (capped at 60fps)
7970: 128fps (capped at 128)

Level 2 1.572870 vertices
2000: 25fps
7970: 128fps (capped at 128fps)

Level 3 6.291466 vertices
2000: 12fps
7970: 41fps

Level 4 would crash the 2000 (lack of memory), so I decided not to test this further. Also of note to mention: the 2000 would take a second before orbiting would feel smooth, very laggy behaviour at medium-high poly counts - no such issues with the 7970. At the time (last February) I was using the latest drivers for both.

Price difference:
2000 can$699
7970 can$340~380 (overclocked edition for enhanced performance).

Cinebench:
7970 on my system: 75.17fps
Quadro 4000: 55fps (http://www.c4dcafe.com/ipb/Benchmarks/cinebench.html)
Not entirely fair, since Cinema4d's opengl traditionally shows much better performance on AMD/ATI cards. To be honest, a Quadro 6000 will outperform my 7970 by 15fps (but will cost ya $5000). The 7970 is still faster than a Quadro 5000, though, in Cinebench.

Although I haven't tested in Lightwave Layout, my experience has been that the high level consumer cards work much better than the lower level Quadro cards.

My opinion: unless you plan to use Maya or Max and install the Quadro workstation drivers for those, it really is like throwing your money out of the window. But there is the matter of support and service, of course.

Areyos Alektor
10-17-2012, 07:26 AM
For LightWave, with AMD, it's better to take a Firepro. Radeons are capped in OPEN-GL.

Rayek
10-17-2012, 12:08 PM
I seriously doubt that, based on my on benchmarking in different 3d apps - then how do you explain my figures? Perhaps you are talking about games being capped at 60fps?

Besides, check out this comparison of workstation level cards:
http://www.cgchannel.com/2011/10/review-professional-gpus-nvidia-vs-amd-2011/
Lightwave's 11 opengl is about twice as fast as in that review, btw.

Notice that my 7970 outperforms all cards in the Cinebench benchmark. And I can tell you I got excellent performance in Softimage as well, with ridiculously high performance in opengl.

Areyos Alektor
10-20-2012, 09:57 AM
No, the Radeon are capped in LightWave. When you buy a FirePro we primarily buy drivers and a better quality of manufacture of the card. And that difference is huge since the FirePro are optimized in LightWave (and non-capped).

For what is from my personal experience I prefer working on stations with FirePro rather than Quadro : cheaper and better in LightWave. In other software is different.

COBRASoft
10-20-2012, 10:34 AM
Gaming, no brainer. LW doesn't use the benefits of a quadro card. Also, if you buy Octane or so, you could go SLI with 2 or 3 cards and still be cheaper than a quadro

ShadowMystic
10-20-2012, 12:42 PM
There was a long discussion on the forum and someone said gaming Nvidia cards had OGL caps. However, an Nvidia card is still a ton better if you use any other programs beside Lightwave that can utilize CUDA cores. Especially TurbulenceFD.

Ryan Roye
10-20-2012, 12:59 PM
No, the Radeon are capped in LightWave.

I wonder if that explains why OpenGL in layout is so slow it is barely usable... i've only ever been able to use it to any meaningful capacity if all lights are disabled. The only thing i've ever used it for is to preview procedural animation and textures layered within LW. I have a Radeon 4800 series card.

Rayek
10-20-2012, 02:25 PM
No, the Radeon are capped in LightWave. When you buy a FirePro we primarily buy drivers and a better quality of manufacture of the card. And that difference is huge since the FirePro are optimized in LightWave (and non-capped).

For what is from my personal experience I prefer working on stations with FirePro rather than Quadro : cheaper and better in LightWave. In other software is different.

That is interesting to know - never realized AMD included special Lightwave drivers with their firepro cards. The cgchannel review opengl results for lightwave 10 were quite abysmal, though - I believe opengl in LW 11 layout has been much improved?

3dWannabe
10-21-2012, 11:28 PM
BTW - nVidia cripples certain crucial opengl calls after GTX-280. So the newer cards can be 10x slower for certain key operations. Did a lo of research on that a while back on the opengl forums.

Rather poor form to do that. I doubt they make enough money to counteract the negative sentiments generated from pissed off customers who had their performance go down with newer cards.

But, I'm limping by with a GTX-580 3GB, so ... at least for me, they are still the least of the evils - and ATI is having massive layoffs.

Rayek
10-21-2012, 11:44 PM
The newer Nvidia consumer cards do not mesh well with double-sided lighted polygons in opengl at all - once you turn that off, performance is much better. But still not on par with ATI/AMD cards. Not sure if this hampers Lightwave: last time I benchmarked Lightwave with Nvidia I had a 280gtx installed.

Of course, it also depends a lot on the specific 3d app used: for example, Max works best in DirectX mode, and owns most other apps in the viewport department.

I found that Softimage chews through absolutely huge poly-dense and/or object dense scenes like a pacman on steroids - I kept feeding it dense meshes, and went over 100 million, and it would still be relatively smooth. Its giga-poly tech is something to be admired.

Last time I checked Houdini is a mess with my AMD/ATI 7970 card. Crashes, it wouldn't run initially, now it sort-of does, though. But I just gave up.

Back on track: does Newtek have some sort of 'official' opengl/viewport benchmark available for layout? (Not even going to mention Modeler here ;-)

Rayek
10-21-2012, 11:49 PM
Double post??? Only clicked once... :-(

Lewis
10-22-2012, 02:49 AM
The newer Nvidia consumer cards do not mesh well with double-sided lighted polygons in opengl at all - once you turn that off, performance is much better.

Thats true, my modeler goes to crawl speed if Double Sided material is ON at my Nvidia 460GTX :(.

3dWannabe
10-22-2012, 09:52 AM
here's some info on the nVidia opengl issue:

http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/showthread.php/171394-slow-transfer-speed-on-fermi-cards?p=1216119#post1216119

Somewhere in this thread, they outline a workaround with the exact calls necessary to use CUDA calls to replace the opengl calls that were crippled.

Might be interesting if newtech could implement those calls - as I don't guess most Newtek users have Quadro cards.

eureka
10-23-2012, 03:29 AM
I'm also buying a PC...
Im not really into the tech details I really just want to know what components are the most cost effective to buy..
Don't worry about monitors/keyboard/mouse
Want to spend around 2-3k USD
Any thoughts