View Full Version : Poor graphics card performance with LW

12-09-2006, 06:58 PM
I currently have an older work station with LW 8.5 installed,and just recently replaced a graphics card with a Nvidia based e-GeForce FX 5500 256mb graphics card. My motherboard is equipeed with an AGP 4X slot. Its an older machine and the graphics card isn't super high end, but the performance in LW 8.5 is terrible. Overall performance in Modeler is really bad screen redraws are slow, make poly takes forever, and in Layout menus seem to constantly have to redraw themselves and OpenGL performance is terrible. Overall its just not that good.

Whats interesting is the card that I replaced was a much older Nvidia card with lower end specs. That card was a MSI G4Ti4600 128mb AGP 4X card. There wasn't any of the same issues and the performance was way better.

I tried the Nvidia drivers that came with the card, and just recently installed the most current ones, but nothing has changed.

Anybody have a clue as to whats going on?

12-11-2006, 08:15 AM
When you installed the most recent drivers were they from www.nvidia.com or from the card manufacturer? Also try backing up your LightWave config files to a new location then deleting them to see if its just a bad config when you updted drivers. If not then you could place your old ones back without having to rescan plugins or setup shortcuts.

12-11-2006, 10:18 AM
I installed the drivers from the nvidia website, so I know thats not the issue. I will try the config suggestion.

Im wondering if its the card itself. I have heard the 5500 chipset was not so great. Even though its newer than the ti4600 card I replaced. Is anyone out there running a 5500 based graphics card with robust functionality?

12-13-2006, 01:11 PM
I was using a GeForce FX 5700 AGP with LW8, 256 MB, and it wasn't so great, either. I didn't have too much trouble as far as speed went, but it's like every now and then it wouldn't refresh the memory or something. Modeler had t be minimized and manually resized, becuase the maximize button caused it to have weird artifacts in Open GL.
And also, that card kinda sucked for most of the better, newer games - like shards of broken glass flying at the screen all the time.
Now I've got a better machine, using LW 9, and a PCI express Nvidia 7600 GT 256 MB, and it's worlds better. Not even close to what they recommend for LW, but plenty good enough. Modeler itself has pretty bad OGL response anyway, and I know this because that card can handle all my other OGL apps just fine, and I use it to play Oblivion with almost all the settings maxed out.
I might add that for a brief time there before I got my new machine, I used a GeForce 6600 AGP, 256 MB for LW 9 and that was far better than the 5700, as well.

12-13-2006, 01:18 PM
Yeah I think its time to move it over to my net machine and get a different Nvidia card. It was cheap and the specs were better than my old card, but its not getting the job done :thumbsdow

12-13-2006, 03:00 PM
Nvidia is in the habit of plopping old GPU's on new lines of video cards, optimizing them a bit and putting a new number on. I don't know the specifics but it might very well be that that 5500 low end card has a much more cripled gpu than a decent 4600ti.

12-13-2006, 03:08 PM
I suspect that it's just not all that much better than the Ti myself. The 5500 was never a really high performing card, I had a 5600 for a long while, but I was comming up from an Elsa Gloria II (quadro) so it was generations ahead of what I had.

Though with the 5xxx series you can softquadro it, and that'll give you a big boost. I used to see about double the performance in LW by running quadro drivers on my 5600 but no I have a 7800 and it's not possible anymore.

12-13-2006, 05:38 PM
Though with the 5xxx series you can softquadro it, and that'll give you a big boost. I used to see about double the performance in LW by running quadro drivers on my 5600 but no I have a 7800 and it's not possible anymore.

Thanks for the tip I will give it a try

12-16-2006, 02:47 PM
The fx series or mx series of cards were never really all that great. If you have a new machine and new graphics hardware to go with it then great! If you still want to try to eek some performance out of your old 4x agp system then I suggest getting a BFG geForce 7600 512 mb GS OC (Overclocked) card. It is only like 150 bucks and if you have a good power supply in your machine (card requires 350 watt minimum), you should do ok.

However, one thing to consider is that lightwave's display performance is very much CPU based. Unfortunately, unlike other apps, lightwave does not glean much performance from high end graphics cards (even professional ones) as there are no professional driver extensions written for lightwave's OpenGL implemenation. Other apps like 3d max and Maya will benefit from high end openGL cards as they have special drivers written to take advantage of that hardware.

Still, if you are looking to make an old system viable for a while longer, then look into that card. It is a good card for the price. I replaced a geForce 6800 and put in a new power supply to accomodate the card and there was a good performance increase (and I am stuck at AGP 4x as well - for time being). It cost me 250 bucks to get teh card and the new power supply, but this was cheaper than getting a new machine (which is going to start happening sometime soon).

The only thing that I like about the old card is that the chip, while older technology, was of better quality and overclocked like crazy. Since this card is factory overclocked, the speed increase is modest and the chip is already at its performance limits, so the card does not overclock well. However, at stock speed it has 4 times the video ram and runs better than the old card for games.


12-16-2006, 04:02 PM
Adrian, very insightful thanks for your post :thumbsup: