View Full Version : Best Graphics cards for LW?

02-08-2003, 09:54 AM
What do you like?

Elmar Moelzer
02-08-2003, 10:05 AM
We use only Geforces here in about most variations that are available (we have Gef3 Ti200, Gef4MX, Gef2 MX). We are quite happy with the performance, however the picture- quality of the MX- cards is not always that great higher res.
I also want to admit, that while we have never had any problems with the drivers provided by the manufacturer, some Detonator- driver- versions can produce errors in Modeler (polygon- selection) and/or make Layout crash.

02-08-2003, 10:11 AM
I use a Quadro4 900XGL NVIDIA and seem to get great preformance in LW!

02-08-2003, 10:27 AM
I have older cards but am still satisfied for my needs :

geforce 2 gts AGP
geforce 2mx PCI for secondary monitor

Proton, has your card dual head support?

02-08-2003, 10:33 AM

02-08-2003, 10:35 AM
I have a Blaster 4 - GeForce 4MX 420, It's not the fastest, but I could be off alot worse.
It's a creative card, so there's descent support(at least that's what I suspect from such a company) in case I should need it, and there's descent drivers to back it up.

02-08-2003, 11:39 AM
I tested few different manufacturers:

1. Matrox G400 32MB DH - great drivers and fantastic stability + unbeatable image quality on any resolution but slow performance :)
2. ATI Aiw 32MB - Just medium performance, a bit fater than Matrox but image quality isn't soo gud but stll very quality image :). Drivers are pretty stable but not very usefull in LW
3. Gainward GeForce 4 Ti4200 128MB - Performance is excellent and really fast in LW. Image quality is bad comparing to Matrox (i used all cards on same monitor and same resolution wich is 1600*1200 @ 90Hz). Not bad as useles but when i swithc monitor to Matrox car i see big difference. Drivers are very stable but i had compatibility problems with my new NLE card Pinnacle Pro-One RTDV so i sold Gainward
4. Now i work with 3DLabs Wildcat VP760 64MB - Performance is Fantastic (faster than GF4) and image quality is alsomust sma like Matrox (sharpnes and focus are pretty much shame only overall image is a bit brighter but that can be easy solved in brightnes options). But i need to use BETA drivers to be compatible with NLE Pro-ONE card 'coz overlay in premier eisn't working properly if not. That gives great stability in Premiere and all works fine but i had few times soem messup in modeler. I reported problems to 3DLabs development team (i made them video capture of problems) and they are working on it right now. All my problems with 3DLabs card they solver very quick and frinedly respond.

So my sum is that there is no perfect card but for now i prefer 3DLabs.

02-08-2003, 11:50 AM
I am pretty happy with my quadro 4 750 XGL, I would have gotten a 900 but I couldnt justify the huge $ increase the the amount of polygons more that it coudl handle.

02-08-2003, 01:18 PM
I heard the Quadro4 980 was the best for graphics. Haven't tested it though. So you may want to ask people who have tested both the gf4 ti 4800 and the quadro4. HAs to be some of them somewhere. :D :D

02-08-2003, 02:13 PM
I'm using a FireGL 8800...heck of a bang for the buck. Had a few problems initially with drivers and a strange conflict with my mother board bios, but after getting all of that squared away, it's a dream. I'm using on dual monitors now, don't know if I'll be able to go back to a single one now...:D

02-08-2003, 02:30 PM
Using a GeForce4 128MB TI4600. This card has served me very well. Image quality is very good except when runninig dual monitors it seems to degrade some. I get an occasional crash in Layout but other than that the system is rock solid. One thing I've noticed with Nvidia based cards is that image quality can be very dependant on the driver version you use.

Judas cow
02-08-2003, 03:21 PM
I just got a PNY Geforce 4 128MB Ti4400. So far the quality has been excellent. I was thinking of getting a Quadro 4 but after looking at the features, I noticed that they wouldn't make much of a difference in Lightwave. I never liked how companies jack up their pro card prices three-times as high as their game card when they both have the same chipset on it!

02-08-2003, 05:08 PM
Im still using a Geforce 3(the one that came out first and cost me 360, before they released the TI's and MX's) installed as a Quadro DCC :) Works fine but i really could use a new one.


02-08-2003, 06:30 PM
I'm on Nvidia cards... Quadro, GF2/3/4...

Alec Trevelyan
02-08-2003, 06:43 PM
I've been happy so far with my dual-head GF4 Ti4400....:)

02-08-2003, 07:11 PM
One question :)

Does anybody use Matrox Parhelia ? That is card wich supports 3 monitors at same time or better to say triple head (like dragon with multy heads ;)).

I would love to see "layout" on left "modeler" on mddle and "Pshop" on right monitor in same time :).

02-08-2003, 07:20 PM
Digital Producer gave it a good review

Review (http://www.digitalpostproduction.com/2002/12_dec/reviews/cw_matroxparhelia.htm)

Oh and I'm using a Geforce4 Mx 420, an improvement over my old ATI Radeon DV.

02-08-2003, 07:44 PM
Well... for dual head, I can tell you that I would NOT recommend the ATI 9000 Pro. None of the LW windows update correctly on my secondary display. I have probs with Adobe Illustrator as well.

02-09-2003, 02:36 AM
I am using an older card, a visiontek geforce 2 ultra. It serves me very well.

I am still a student but would love to get a quadro card when I can afford it. What are the benefits that Ill see? Do they just handle more poylgons or is there more to it than that?

02-09-2003, 03:28 AM
I used to use the Ati Radeon 9000 pro but even after downloading the lastest drivers, LW and other software don't display properly. SO i went out and got a Geforce 4 MX440 128 mb ram. Now every thing is cool and displays well. Also render speed is up.:cool:

02-09-2003, 11:06 AM
HELLBRING - nice avvatar. i had a GeForce 2 MX something or other, which i replaced 2 months ago with a PNY GF4 Ti4400 (128mb). gave the old card to my brother. can't say how much difference it's made in LW, as i've yet to do anything overly complicated, but it sure did the job for UT 2003 (UNREAL2 should street in about 2 weeks, last i heard)! side note: it's pretty cool being able to see where everyone's from.

02-09-2003, 11:19 AM
Unreal 2 came out on the 7th here in the uk.


02-09-2003, 12:05 PM
I think I'm the only one who uses a Sapphire Radeon 9700 Pro...
I don't know whether it's good or bad. But it brings the pixels to my monitor, so I'm quite happy with it. :D

02-09-2003, 03:47 PM
I'm working with gf4ti4200 64mb and i'd like to know what i can do to improve speed in my viewports ( i think it's way too slow) . I tried maya4ple and it was much more faster. I should add that i'm only on 256mb ddr. My Lw is version 7.5 on win2000 + sp3.

Alec Trevelyan
02-09-2003, 08:25 PM
Originally posted by GruvSyco
Well... for dual head, I can tell you that I would NOT recommend the ATI 9000 Pro. None of the LW windows update correctly on my secondary display. I have probs with Adobe Illustrator as well.

which monitor is set as the primary one? If you set the right one as primary, it can sometimes screw things up royally. Try switching it around, and see what happens...

02-09-2003, 08:28 PM
I think im gonna get myself a dual monitor setup, just need another monitor :) Im using a Sony Trinitron 19" at the mo i want another 19" to go along side it. I dont think id bother with a TFT cos i dont line the refresh rates on them, stuff tends to look blurry when it moves.


02-09-2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Alec Trevelyan
which monitor is set as the primary one? If you set the right one as primary, it can sometimes screw things up royally. Try switching it around, and see what happens...

Thanks for the advice Alec. I did have it set up with the right as Primary but when I changed it around, I still get the same thing.

Alec Trevelyan
02-09-2003, 10:22 PM
hmm, perhaps we'll never know....though I have actually seen instances of it happening no matter what spatial orientation people use...guess it's just one of those weird things that defy logic...;)

02-11-2003, 07:58 AM
Currently I'm using a Geforce2 Ti on my main box, and a Geforce2MX on 2 Monitors on my secondary box. Both Softquadroed...

Since I'm not really satisfied with the current nvidia drivers (the 40.xx series is buggy as hell on one of my machines, bringing Photoshop, Opera and Director down...) I'm thinking about an ATI 9700 for my next box (whenever that is going to happen).

02-11-2003, 04:06 PM
PNY GeForce4 Ti4600 at work. Very fast. Very stable. Horrid 2D display at 1280x960. I wish Matrox could produce a decent 3d card...

Elsa GeForce3. Fast, stable, smooth as silk.
ATI Radeon 9500 PRO. Haven't tried it with LW yet, but it should run faster than my GF3.

02-11-2003, 04:08 PM
Anyone use the Quadro4 700 Go GL? "They" are thinking of getting me a Dell Precision laptop for work with said video card, and I was curious if anyone has used LightWave on a laptop running that card.

02-11-2003, 11:53 PM
Well... I updated the drivers on my card today. They released new ones yesterday. Dual head seems to work now... yippee.

ATI 9000 Pro with good drivers is OK in my book

02-14-2003, 12:28 PM
My first post;

I set up a dual monitor with an ATI All in Wonder 7500, if I remember right and a Pny Gforce MX440 on the second. I read quite a bit about OpenGL on the boards and got it working somewhat. I can't use the main Layout or Modeler on the secondary monitor, I suspect because of OpenGL. So I figured it'd be handy for the menus etc. What is curious, though, is if Layout and Modeler use OpenGL for the viewports then why does Viper and the Render window work on the second monitor. I assumed those also used OpenGL. I'm also now debating replacing the video cards, but haven't decided what course to take; with so MANY cards out there. Somewhere I'd seen a commercial type of card with dual digital outs for apps like LW, but I forgot who it was.
I also tried using the program suggested on the boards here(I forgot the name) that facilitates dual monitors, but it acted the same as current setup. I also read that ATI's Hydravision would work, but not for me.
In any event I'm content for the moment to be able to use dual monitors for at least dialogs and the Viper/Render windows.

Since I've just begun in the 3D environment I would like to say how much I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE all the users here and there who have put so much effort in free help, tutorials etc. I've bought about a half dozen books and those and all of you are very much appreciated by REAL NEWBIES as myself

02-18-2003, 09:29 AM
does anybody have an 128 ATI 9700 TX? is it comparable to a Quadro4 900 performance wise? or is the Quadro4 just a better card?

02-18-2003, 08:47 PM
I have an ageing GeForce 256. With a 19" NEC HR19 monitor

Time to upgrade I think (mmmh Dual Xeon). If I get a new system with a dual head card, can I run dual screens with two diffrent size/rez monitors?

Also I have a Wacom tablet how does that work with a dual setup?

02-18-2003, 09:05 PM
I have a Ti4600 running dual with one monitor (19") at 1280x1024 and the other (17") at 1024x768. It works fine. The Wacom tablet also works across both monitors.

02-19-2003, 07:53 PM
Currently still running an old Radeon-64DDR, which works with Lightwave, but has some bugs and is pretty slow with complex models; however, given how many OpenGL programs would just crash with the original drivers when I first bought the card, I was amazed that Lightwave worked at all :). I'm finally about to replace the motherboard and CPU in my PC and drop in a 128MB Radeon 9500 Pro, as that seems to be the best price/features/performance compromise at the moment... and I'm sure that going from a PIII-550 to a 2.4GHz P4 at the same time will help a bit too :).

02-21-2003, 01:06 PM
Just an update...

The Quadro4 700 GoGL on a Dell Precision laptop works great. The 2D display is much better than my PNY GeForce4 Ti4600 (no ghosting with the Quadro). Speed wise, both cards are about the same in LW. So if you're only looking for speed, I don't think it's worth paying the extra amount for a Quadro over a GeForce.

One note about the Quadro4 700 GoGL - it has very limited resolution choices. In fact, under WinXP it only gives you four choices: 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024, and 1600x1200. The problem I have is that on a LCD screen (the laptop) 1280x1024 is too distorted to work with. Circles are oblong, etc. And since they don't let me choose 1280x960, I'm forced to run the laptop at 1024x768.

Other than the resolution issue, the mobile Quadro is a nice card.

02-21-2003, 08:21 PM
I have the same GFX card as Proton, a nVidia Quadro4 900XGL, and it does shift some!

I find nVidia cards quite stable too (used a GeForce Ti4600 before this card)

02-22-2003, 07:21 AM
ASUS GeForce TI4200 with 64 megs onboard and 8X AGP on a 1.8 gig/512 meg Ram box.

Image quality on a Sony 18" flat screen is excellant and render times reasonable although got some stutter in Modeler with a single object having 400k polys. :)

Dell 8200 Laptop - 2.4 gig, 1 gig RAM, ATI 9000/32/4x also very nice rendering.

02-22-2003, 01:04 PM
well i have a GeForce 4 46/700 Ti Xp Pro, he he. 128Mbs DDR. Pushes polys really well. But it is on a 850 Athlon, need more speed! My laptop has a GeForce Mobile 8Mbs wahhooo!!!

-Whoops forgot to say that i used to have a CTX 19" but it blew up, only 2 years old too! now using two 14" argh no, 1024*768 not 1600*1200


02-25-2003, 08:01 PM

02-26-2003, 09:39 AM
I use an XFX GeForce 4 Ti4200 with 128 MB Video RAM with another 64 MB nVidia card for dual monitors. Lightwave 7.5b works great on my system. I have a Dell Dimensions 4100 P3 800mhz with 512 MB RAM.

02-26-2003, 03:22 PM
I too use a GF4 Ti 4200 128MB (ABIT Siluro) and I've found it to be quite a bit faster than my old Matrox G400. For some reason my old card made chirping noises when I worked with high-polygon sub-patch models :confused:

02-27-2003, 04:05 AM
I got the 900xgl, and it smokes my old gladiac geforce 2 and oxygen gvx1

02-28-2003, 07:28 AM
...I think we have a win here!


02-28-2003, 08:10 AM
From another thread...


This article discusses the VP 560 and VP 970.

If you go here, they have VP cards really cheap. I'm eyeballing a VP 870 for $419 bucks. Kinda funny, for LW use, the VP 560 beat the Quadro 4 980, which is going for MUCH more $$$$!!!!


02-28-2003, 08:46 AM
In all fairness to others that didn't get it I was joking about the GPU previously posted. ;)

However, these Wildcat GPUs look interesting upon first glance of the specs even if the price is likely still out of the budget range right now. Thanks for the heads-up links.

02-28-2003, 09:11 AM
We got you! :)

03-03-2003, 06:40 AM
I've played with a gf2, gf4, firegl 8800 and have finally settled with a quadro 750XGL which I have to say is the fastest and most stable of them all. I've linked it to my iiyama as4673 and the picture quality from the DVI port is amazing! I would recommend any of the Nvidia cards - good speed but above all stable drivers! Whilst I'd ask everyone to think very carefully about buying a Firegl card as I had nothing but problems from the moment the card went in my machine! I'm not looking for a Nvidia vs ATi fight this is just my personal experience with ONE of their cards. :)


03-03-2003, 07:51 AM
I like Nvidia my self, currently have a TI 4200. When it comes to professional apps, 3D labs also has excellent drivers. I used to have an Oxygen VX1 and was really pleased with it. These cards look like they'll kick butt with LW, my only concern is how will they do with my recreational software like Jedi Knight II or Neverwinter Nights. If anyone has used these cards while gaming, could you let us know how well they do?

03-03-2003, 09:07 AM
Not that I have the money for one of these, but I'm hearing a lot about the Nvidia Quadro FX 1000/2000 and am really just curious as to what these cards offer that the XGL series don't. There seems to be a huge price gap between the two and most people with a 700-900 series XGL seem very pleased. Will you only see a difference with extrememly high polygon counts? Or are there other benefits to the FX for all around LW 7.5 performance? Interested to know what people have to say.


03-03-2003, 03:11 PM
Well, since my Geforce owns all of the above, i just want to gloat about this... i can run unreal 2003 at max everything and still get a massive framereate, like 40+, also i got my new CTX 19" and the magnets are all frilled, so i need to send that back to get another new one, Grr that sucks

Max Wolf
03-03-2003, 03:26 PM
i saw some great computers at ww.ibutpower.com

03-10-2003, 01:09 PM
Check this out. Half a gigabyte of ram! MSRP of $900


Jason T
03-11-2003, 04:28 AM
Half a Gig......Scary......

I use a PNY GeForce 4 Ti4600 with dual monitors and it's been very, very reliable indeed!

03-12-2003, 04:28 PM
I'm using a dual PIII 866 with 512 megs of ram and a hand-me-down geforce 2 64 meg card from another machine. Figured the geforce was a temporary solution until I got a better card, but I really haven't had any problems with it. It performs quite well.

It used to be (ya know...in the olden days) that you had to drop a pretty good wad of cash for a decent 3D card. Pretty cool that we can benefit from the advances in the gaming community.

03-16-2003, 08:55 PM
The video card that I use on my machine with Lightwave is none-other than a Newtek VideoToaster2000
(the machine is an Amiga 3000 :D )

Oh, I also have a Diamond Fire GL 3000 that I am going to put into my PC with Lightwave, right now it is running on the onboard video [VESA at best]

04-14-2003, 09:42 AM
I have geforce 2, 64 mb on my main render computer, along with the graphics card that come with the computer. On my secondary computer (dual booter with windows 98 se) I have Elsa Gladiac 511. The Gladiac is good for tv export in windows 98, but that function does not work in xp. Elsa is now long gone, but their cards still are pretty descent, and if you can find one, it's probably gonna be cheaper than some others as the support is now zilcho.

04-14-2003, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by mattclary
Check this out. Half a gigabyte of ram! MSRP of $900


Thats just a silly amount of video memory...I WANT IT!!! :D

04-26-2003, 12:00 AM
I'm in the market for a graphics card for LW modeller work. I read and searched all the posts, but can't find some basic answers. My question is:

Will buying a developer card (Quadro FX2000) as opposed to a gaming carding (GeForce FX 5800) allow me to manipulate very high poly meshes in LW Modeller without the terrible slow down and refresh lag i get with my current GeForce 3 gaming card? Or is a combination of upgrades required such as more memory, faster cpu, better motherboard with faster FSB/RAM etc... ?

The reason I'm asking this is that I don't know if LW Modeller uses the CPU or the gfx card for most of the workload. I noticed that with my Geforce 3 card, the CPU workload reaches 100% at times during manipulation of the my meshes, so either the graphics card is being overwhelmed and the load dumped on the CPU, or the grapics card is not used much in Modeller for rendering. Thanks :)

04-26-2003, 09:43 AM
From my understanding the viewports are handled by the video card and it's limitations, so based on that I would say the work- off load is going to the system when pushing too many polys for the graphics processing unit.

I think the best bang for your buck is the 3D labs wilcat VP series (and no I don't work for them) lol. I think there is a 512MB version available from them which should push a few polys around the screen :)

04-29-2003, 03:04 PM
My GFX card is an Albatron Ti4680 P Turbo - This is a GeForce 4 Ti4200 with 8xAGP support - It comes with a huge copper heatsink and fan and the memory has heatsinks too - I've overclocked it to slightly faster than a GeForce 4 Ti4600 (Core of 303.8 vs the 4600's 300 and 661.5 memory clock vs the Ti4600's 650) and soft-modded it into a Quadro4 780 XGL. The cost? 140 from www.theoverclockingstore.co.uk I've gotten it up to 320 core 702 memory (!) but UT2003 got a bit flaky (Quake III, LightWave and all my OpenGL apps were rock-solid stable though...)


04-29-2003, 03:09 PM
Aegis, how can i overclock my XFX GeForce4 Ti4200 (128MB video RAM)? And whats are the advantages and disadvantages to doing it?


04-29-2003, 03:10 PM

I'm having major problems with almost the exactly same setup as you. Could you please tell me what version of the detonator drivers you used and were there any special things you had to do to get it to like LW?


04-29-2003, 03:30 PM
jjburton, what version of the drivers are you using? I've heard a lot of stuff on the net about the newest 43.45 drivers not working well with a lot of programs. I would rollback to 41.09 if i were you, that might help. Also make sure you have DirectX 9.0a.

04-29-2003, 06:07 PM
Thanks Tornado, upgraded DirectX and got the 41.09 drivers. LW works now, only I get some funkiness on my second monitor. If anyone has ideas on that, I'm all ears.

04-30-2003, 06:12 AM
jjburton: I'm using the 42.51 Detonators from http://www.guru3d.com/files which are the last currently supported by SoftQuadro4 (SoftQuadroFX is on its way though and should fix that...).

No special stuff regarding LightWave - it just works although you might want to check out my SoftQuadro for dummies guide available here (http://www.darksunworld.com/LightWave3D/SoftQuadroGuide.zip).

Running LW on dual monitors is a little bit flaky (drop downs tend to appear half off the second monitor) but you can fix the "black points in Modeler" quirk by turning on Simple Wireframe Points in the display options.

Hope that helps!

04-30-2003, 06:26 AM
VWTornado: My favourite O/C tool is RivaTuner (http://www.guru3d.com/rivatuner) - With it you can change and optimize many settings on your nVidia GFX card as well as overclocking. I've been planning to write a guide on it but work commitments have put that on hold for the time being.

First, note that overclocking WILL invalidate your warranty if something goes wrong. That said, all of the GeForce4 cards I've used are capable of being overclocked to the next model up i.e.

Ti4200 -> Ti4400
Ti4400 -> Ti4600

The Albatron card I'm using right now is exceptional and is specifically designed for overclocking which is why I can get Ti4600/Quadro 900XGL speeds with it.

The benefits? More performance for free!

My advice if you try to overclock your graphics card would be to move up to a maximum of the next card up as below:

Ti4200 ---- Core 250 - Memory 500
Ti4400 ---- Core 275 - Memory 550
Ti4600 ---- Core 300 - Memory 650

RivaTuner allows you to test a setting before you finalize it - if you seen any screen distortion or corruption you should hit ESC to drop back to your prior settings.

Feel free to email me if you'd like some more advice.