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Thread: workstation graphics upgrade - Quadro 2000 or Ati Firepro 5900?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Scotland UK

    workstation graphics upgrade - Quadro 2000 or Ati Firepro 5900?

    Looking to upgrade my workstation GPU from Geforce8800GT to my first pro card.
    2600k@4.7Ghz, 16GB 16GB Ram

    Mostly Lightwave 10.1, but use Vue, Z-Brush, Rhino as well as Adobe CS5

    Can get Firepro 5900 for 304GBP ($476)
    Quadro 2000 for 327GBP ($513)

    From what I can see the Ati is better spec'd (more like Quadro 4000?) but is available cheaper?
    Is this as much of a "no brainer" as it looks?

    I've had issues with lightwave using ATi cards in the past with the Radeon range due to driver/OpenGl problems.
    Is it a case of AVOID Ati (even the pro cards) with Lightwave?

    Nvidia has CUDA support which ATI doesn' this a problem in real terms?
    Is ATI's OpenCl viable?

    Guess Im asking...
    Firepro 5900 vs Quadro 2000.

    I'm thinking the Firepro because its a cheaper and better spec'd on paper;

    2GB vs 1GB ram
    64Gb/s vs 41.6Gb/s memory bandwidth

    Quadros memory clock is higer though, this make a difference?

    The 5900 spec wise seems more pitched at the Quadro 4000 than the 2000?
    Will avoid though if theres any horrific issues with Lightwave, like I experienced with their Radeon cards in the past.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Scotland UK
    Came across this which has kinda made my mind up regarding each cards relative performance...

    The ATI 5900 betters even the Quadro 6000 in their Lightwave OpenGL benchmark.
    Might not have CUDA but its gotta lot of horsepower...all for cheaper than a Quadro 2000.

    Short of it being a case of ATI cards being UNUSABLE with Lightwave 10.1...I'm sold on this one.
    Anyone use an ATI with 10.1...?


  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Los Angeles
    After the trouble I had with ATI cards while reviewing the HP z400 for Tom's Hardware I refuse to trust ATI's drivers.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Scotland UK
    Know what you mean about the drivers.
    Years ago I had nothing but problems with my Ati gaming card I tried to run with LW and had vowed to stick with Nvidia.
    But things seem to have improved (or at least do what they are supoposed to do) at AMD...

    Installed the Firepro today in my existing windows install and fired up Lightwave.
    No glitches, no interface wierdness everyting seemed rock solid.
    Obvious from the get-go that there was a big improvement in image quality, a lot sharper and cleaner.
    One thing though; I couldn't access the Control panel for the driver?
    Ah well I thought not to worry...

    Loaded up a large (500k+ poly) architectural model...
    and it wasn't a massive improvement over my old 8800GT
    It was better, but the frustrations with panning zooming etc were still there.

    Having had issues with ATI/AMD cards with Lightwave in the past I was set to return it to the seller and buy a budget quadro instead. Not near as good spec wise on paper and more expensive, but if it worked with Lightwave then thats a better thing.
    Not being able to access the Control panel made me think perhaps the driver wasn't installed properly?
    I decided to try a fresh install of Windows, give it a fighting chance before I sent the card back.

    Loaded up the same 500k+ poly model and WOW!
    What a difference..far more like what I was expecting.
    Fully textured model, instant zooming, panning fantastic.

    I'd read that Pro vs Gaming cards were a lot to do with the graphics driver and once I got the driver properly installed it was night and day difference.

    GLSL Open GL shaders run a helluva lot faster than before too, but not as fast as Multitexture.
    Absolutely fantastic card for Lightwave. Anything I do in a viewport is instant.
    This is the same for other Software I use, Vue, Cityengine and Rhino.

    Highly recommended - and then some.
    Last edited by gazjam; 02-15-2012 at 05:33 PM.

  5. #5
    So ATI's cards now play well with Lightwave? Interesting...
    Building giant robots since 1996
    Intel Core i7 950
    6Gb RAM
    Nvidia GeForce 9800GT
    Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit


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