View Full Version : HP XW8200 Video Card recommendations

09-07-2005, 09:17 PM

I just about to order an HP XW8200 (Dual Zeon 3.6Ghz) and wondered if anyone has any recommendations on the available video cards. These are the options:

NVIDIA Quadro NVS 280 PCI Express (64Mb) 32bit
NVIDIA Quadro FX 330 PCI Express (64Mb)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 540 PCI Express (128Mb)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 1400 PCI Express (128Mb)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3400 PCI Express (256 Mb)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 3450 PCI Express (256Mb)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500 PCI Express (512Mb)

ATI FireGL V5100 PCI Express (128Mb)
ATI FireGL V3100 PCI Express (128Mb)

Firstly its deciding between NVIDIA & ATI....not sure whose better.
Secondly, While I realize there is a significant price difference, I wonder where which is say the minimum I should start with.....

Alternatively - point me in the right direction to get more info on these cards besides the manufacture websites.

Many thanks,

09-08-2005, 01:15 AM
Depends on what kind of work you plan on doing and what apps (beside LW you need to run).

I'm not sure what your price range is, but I would go with Nvidia myself, and at least the FX 3400. That is my own opinion, but the three reason I would go that way is 1) I would want at least 256mb of video memory, and 2) I have always thought that Nvidia has the best OpenGL drivers, and last 3) I THINK the FX 3400 and up have good OpenGL 2.0 support (but I haven't looked into that- you may want to double check that point with Nvidia).


09-08-2005, 09:51 AM
thanks Scott - Good info

The system will be used for some compositing programs (After Effects, Combustion, DFX) as well as an NLE.

I want to build this system to accomodate the 3D software (like Lightwave & 3D max) as I think they need the hardware horsepower the most.

I suspect a decent higher end video card would be overkill for other programs like the compositing ones, but it would be worth it for the 3D application.

I'm not familiar with Open GL 2.0 - Is the newest technology?


09-08-2005, 03:56 PM
I'm not familiar with Open GL 2.0 - Is the newest technology?


OpenGL is the newest 3D API that LW 8.5/9.0 will start to use. This means you will get the best/fastest display in LW with a card that fully supports OpenGL 2.0.

For the latest versions of Max- esp. 7 and the upcoming 8, they have a great DirectX driver too, so a card that supports good DirectX is also important. Max also has custom drivers for video cards that can help speed things up even more, so you might want to look into that for both the ATI and Nvidia.

My personal taste still leans toward a Nvidia Quadro FX 3400 or better as they are very full featured for the new stuff coming out in the near future and should be a great card for quite a while.

If money is an issue, get the cheapest card you can with the system you are buying and then just replace it with something like the new Nvidia 7800 GTX video card (~$600 US)- runs awesome for LW, Max, Maya, etc. and supports OpenGL 2.0 as well. Then sell the cheap card on EBay or something. :-)