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ccmass
08-10-2005, 08:05 PM
Hi all, Im going to build a new machine based on the AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+ and 2Mb of ram, was wondering what everyone thinks about putting 2 Geforce 7800 GTX's in SLI configuration into the system.(system will be used for gaming also. but mainly LW8.)

thanks, Christian

meatycheesyboy
08-10-2005, 08:40 PM
For gaming it'll be nice, for LW it will offer zero or close to zero benefit. SLI requires that profiles be written for the program in question for them to take advantage of SLI. Currently, I think only games have profile. And besides that, in its current form LW utilizes very few resources from the video card. In its current form, a 7800 performs just about the same as a 6200, maybe a bit better.

meatycheesyboy
08-10-2005, 08:44 PM
To add to that though, LW 8.5 and 9.0 promise big things on the OpenGL side of things so a fancy vid card might be useful in the near future.

Scott_Blinn
08-10-2005, 11:57 PM
As I mentioned in another thread, SLI will not work with any program that is not run at fullscreen (like games are). Any 3D that runs in a window (all 3D apps, inc. LW) will not be able to use SLI.

Getting one 7800 will be very helpful though if LW will truly support the OpenGL 2.0 standard. Let's just hope Nvidia/ATI/etc have great driver support for OpenGL 2.0. :-)

Radamanthys
08-11-2005, 06:00 AM
As I mentioned in another thread, SLI will not work with any program that is not run at fullscreen (like games are). Any 3D that runs in a window (all 3D apps, inc. LW) will not be able to use SLI.

Getting one 7800 will be very helpful though if LW will truly support the OpenGL 2.0 standard. Let's just hope Nvidia/ATI/etc have great driver support for OpenGL 2.0. :-)

i dont think SLI impose full screen, otherway why Quadro also offer SLI mode ? for sure not for gaming.

Safe Harbor
08-11-2005, 09:50 AM
If you want a good graphics card for animation, the best choices out there are the Nvidia cards by PNY, either the 3400 or the new 4500 that was shown at SIGGRAPH. These cards are optimized for 3D animation, and contain code written just for certain 3D apps (I think LW is one of them). Gaming cards are not recommended for animators - they're great for games but cannot provide the necessary speed and processing power that 3D animation requires.

NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 256MB PCI-Express: http://www.sharbor.com/products/PNYN5300010.html

Info on the 4500 is coming soon.

Scott_Blinn
08-11-2005, 12:22 PM
i dont think SLI impose full screen, otherway why Quadro also offer SLI mode ? for sure not for gaming.

SLI is a fullscreen only solution IF you want to have both cards work on the same display. One card renders the top half of the screen, and the other does the bottom half. When you are in windows applications (or even run a game in a window), SLI is disabled and reverts to only using your primary video card. I DO think though that if you have the two cards supporting SLI, that if you have dual monitors- you get one card for each monitor for better "second display" 3D performance (though I have not tested this out myself).

I work closely with the card companies as part of my job (esp. now we are doing next-gen stuff). The new Quadro is a great card for game development because it works well with the 3D apps and games, but also will SLI when we launch our game fullscreen (which helps emulate the framerates of the next gen console a bit better).

The problem with the 3d app drivers offered with these high-end cards is that it may cause games to run slow or crash (only matters if gaming is important on that system). If games do not matter and you got the cash- go for a "pro" card by all means- just make sure the type of work you do justifies the cost as for many users they would not see any difference between a high end game card and a pro card in their work (other than the price!).

For what it's worth, here is my home system specs- and it runs LW/Max/Maya etc very smooth/well- even with high poly work.

3.4Ghz P4
2GB DDR2 ram
Nvidia 6800 Ultra 256mb video
2 SATA 7200rmp hard drives (not in raid at the moment)
2 19" monitors

Note: Our development team also uses 6800 GT cards and they are working very well for us doing next-gen content creation work.


--SB

mattclary
08-11-2005, 01:00 PM
If you want a good graphics card for animation, the best choices out there are the Nvidia cards by PNY, either the 3400 or the new 4500 that was shown at SIGGRAPH. These cards are optimized for 3D animation, and contain code written just for certain 3D apps (I think LW is one of them). Gaming cards are not recommended for animators - they're great for games but cannot provide the necessary speed and processing power that 3D animation requires.

NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 256MB PCI-Express: http://www.sharbor.com/products/PNYN5300010.html

Info on the 4500 is coming soon.

Tiffani, Tiffani, Tiffani.... :tsktsk:

I'm disappointed that as a LightWave reseller you are not more familiar with LightWave's shortcommings. A pro-level card is lost on LightWave. Based on what Newtek is saying about the OpenGL improvements in 9, this may change then, but for now...

MiniFireDragon
08-11-2005, 04:25 PM
I will atest to the no change in display rate! I built a High powered box for someone (was an AMD 64 3000+ with 1gb Ram) and included a 6200(sorry forget the exact spec name)SLI with 256mb of DDR3 vram. Well, I was disaapointed when I ran the box next to my wimpy 2100 32bit Athlon with a 5700LE card (256mb ddr2). There was barely any noticable re-draw rates (and I didn't see much of a performance gain going from a 5200TI). :( But it did kick EQII's *****.

So that tells you (just like everyone else on the thread) Lightwave utilizes none of the speed boosting benefits of a graphics card.

umstitch
08-11-2005, 05:18 PM
tho its true that lightwave doesnt need a powerful pro card, you will see performance improvements using a top game card (6800gt etc) especially when utilizing the opengl preview to see many textures on many surfaces.
:agree:

ccmass
08-12-2005, 09:40 PM
Thank you to all who replied, the info was very helpful !!