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View Full Version : Need advice on Vido Cards for Lightwave.



Intuition
12-08-2005, 11:41 AM
Now, at home I am running the geforce 7800 gt. Its really nice and plays games like wonders. Now the only problem is that even though its a good card it seems very sluggish in Lightwave's opengl. I mean eat eats up wireframe easy but a smooth shaded display often gets choppy.

Now at work we have the QuadroFX 3800 series.

This card seems to slam through the openGL displays like hot samurai sword to butter. The problem here is that the benchmarks aren't realy that different. So why is itthat one costs $500 7800gt and the quadro costs $1800? Yet in the video games world they perform about th same where the cheaper 7800gt performs bette in some instances.

Now I would assume that the quadro costs more cause it performs bette. But If the bench mark is reletively the same then why does the 7800gt not run as well in Lightwave?

Is it just that I don't have the right drivers or is there something else?

mattclary
12-08-2005, 11:54 AM
Now at work we have the QuadroFX 3800 series.

This card seems to slam through the openGL displays like hot samurai sword to butter.

It slams through LightWave OpenGL like hot butter????????

My take on it has always been that pro cards gain you nothing in LightWave. I have owned a Wildcat VP970 and softquadroed an nVidia card, neither of which seemed to gain me an iota of perfromance. Now if you are using 8.5, maybe you are seeing a difference because they have made "some" updates to OpenGL leading up to 9?

From what I have heard, nVidia is going to stop producing Quadro's. ****, all a Quadro is, is a consumer card with a different set of drivers.

Intuition
12-08-2005, 12:08 PM
My assumption here was that I never installed the right drivers.

I noticed when you download the latest drivers that there is a page that has specific newtek/lightwave drivers on it.

Yet they also only apply to specific cards.

Whats the deal with these drivers?

Also when you have nvidia manager running in the startup bar I noticed there is a setting for lightwave there as well, only I do not see any difference when it is set to Lightwave.

mattclary
12-08-2005, 01:00 PM
Which card do you speak of when you say the "right drivers"?

I don't know of any drivers specific to any app, but the selections you see under the manger are common place. With pro cards, you will see pro apps like LW, XSI, Maya, etc... With consumer cards these selections include Quake, Halflife, Icewind Dale, etc... Thoose selections are just profiles that supposedly tweak the cards settings for the specified app. The settings are pretty much stuff you can do manually if you wanted to.

What I would "expect" to see is that you would see minimal differences between your 7800 and the Quadro. If anything, I would expect the 7800 to be slightly faster under an apples to apples comparison (i.e. processor speed, running programs, available memory, the same object or scene files). I say this because LW is heavily reliant on the CPU for geometry manipulation, (so far) it does not exploit OpenGL to the fullest.

AbnRanger
12-08-2005, 02:05 PM
Is there a softmod for that card (I've owned ATI cards for the longest, so I naturally don't keep up with Nvidia cards much)?...if so, softmod your card at home and overclock your card and CPU an intemediate amount , and you will be able to "slice away" like your card at work. CPU's and video cards are now made with a great deal of "headroom" for overclocking (because they cater to gamers)...they don't encourage it, but they put plenty of extra muscle under the hood, in case you know how to harness it. A Google search for "Overclocking an Nvidia 7800GT" will lend you plenty of resources.

The other thing to consider is the amount of RAM you have at work, compared to your home model...and the number of system resources being used on both while working in LW. Your work PC may have minimal system resources running in the background, while your home model has crap working in the background (and hogging resources)like Yahoo or MSN Messenger, Anti-Virus, Firewall, REAL Player, Quick Time, etc.
It may seem like your video card is slacking, but it works in concert with your CPU, RAM, and HD pagefile. If you lighten the load on those other resources it will make your video card seem to run faster....thats why gamers buy those WD Raptors (10,000 RPM HD's)...because the video card is not the ONLY hardware that has bearing on refresh rates.

Intuition
12-08-2005, 02:39 PM
Ram is the same. Well technically it is I have 4GB at home and 2GB at work. Since Windows doesn't utilize more then 2gb they are the same in that regard.

AbnRanger
12-08-2005, 04:18 PM
Well, the 2GB limit is just Win XP allocating 2GB strictly for Program access, and 2GB separately for system resources. At your workplace, that 2GB is being shared between the two, so your program doesn't have full access to that 2GB. If you apply the 3GB switch, then an active program like LW will have up to those 3GB to work with...leaving 1GB for system resources.

So, Windows XP does indeed use all 4GB. It just keeps system resources and whatever active program(s) you have running from "drinking out of the same bottle," so to speak.

mattclary
12-08-2005, 05:06 PM
Pretty sure you can't softmod the 7800, but could be wrong.

AbnRanger
12-08-2005, 06:15 PM
One last thing that could actually be the real source of the bottleneck is your pagefile. Let me explain.
I have 2 matching HD's linked in a RAID 0 configuration. It has the Operating System and all programs on it. I have an extra HD with 2 partitions on it. One large partition is for storage/backup purposes ONLY...no programs...no O.S. The other partition is just large enough to fit the system Page file on it. Designate that partition as your only page file. Set it to 1.5 times the amount of RAM you have...in your case, and mine, that comes out to 6144MB... for both the initial and maximum amounts.
This is the optimal method since it doesn't have to compete with requests from your system and programs that reside on the same HD. It streamlines the flow between your RAM and the pagefile.
If you don't have an extra HD for this purpose, you need to, at minimum, designate a partition on your HD for your pagefile...and make sure it's empty.
If you don't already have your pagefile setup in one of these two ways, then try it and see if you can't tell a difference.
Windows dumps non-active data from your RAM into your pagefile continuosly...in order to give your RAM sufficient room for active content...but it keeps that data closeby... in the pagefile... so the OS doesn't have to keep hunting around your main HD for that data. Keeping your pagefile on your main HD means it has to wade through"Rush Hour Traffic," if you will, whenever it leaves your RAM or is retrieved back into it.
Does this make any sense? I may be telling you more than you needed, or what you already know. Nevertheless, I hope it's of some assistance.

sonofmickel
12-09-2005, 09:26 PM
So...would partitioning the page file to the first part of a raid be a good option? What I mean is to partition a raid with the first part being smallish(the size of the page file). That should increase the the speed at which the OS could access the information by roughly 30%. Yes, No, Maybe?

AbnRanger
12-10-2005, 01:48 AM
So...would partitioning the page file to the first part of a raid be a good option? What I mean is to partition a raid with the first part being smallish(the size of the page file). That should increase the the speed at which the OS could access the information by roughly 30%. Yes, No, Maybe?
If you don't have an extra drive, what you are referring to would still be an improvement over having the pagefile sharing space on the same partition as your O.S. and all your applications. However, it's not the best method because a RAID 0 functions as one hard drive. Those little arms you see on an open HD, work their buts off going back and forth across the platter...they can only go so fast.
That's why having the pagefile on a separate PHYSICAL disk allows it to operate independently...it has an unhindered lane...an "H.O.V." lane of sorts... for its data to travel to and from your Memory.

sonofmickel
12-10-2005, 08:49 AM
I see... are you saying that a raid cannot be partitioned?

AbnRanger
12-10-2005, 01:20 PM
I see... are you saying that a raid cannot be partitioned?
You can add as many partitions (virtual drives ) to your raid as you'd like....but what I was saying is that Windows treats a RAID 0 configuration as 1 physical HD. It distributes data packets across both drives simultaneously.
RAID's theoretically should be MUCH faster than a single drive, but I've read in numerous articles that in REAL WORLD tests they don't provide much of a boost 95% of the time. It's of the greatest benefit when you have a very large file (such as very large texture files).
The following articles can perhaps shed a little more light on this subject:
http://www.windowsnetworking.com/kbase/WindowsTips/Windows2003/AdminTips/Admin/EnhancePerformancebyMovingthePagefile.html
http://www.theeldergeek.com/locating_the_page_file.htm