Graphic card advice needed
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raymondlin

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I am going to get a new comuter, it's down to either the Matrox Parhelia 128 or the niVidia Ti4600 graphic card, from what I've read in the reviews, the Ti4600 wiped the floor compared to the Matrox. But that's in games, I am talking about in CAD environment here. Rendering times, real time 3D rotate/views and texture. Would the Ti4600 still rule supreme? And also in Photoshop, which has the best colour rendition? and lightning 2D filter pass ?

And before you start going on about ATI R9700 (I know it'll blow those 2 out of the water) !!!! I can get the Matrox the same price as the Ti4600 (cheap) but the ATI is another ball game and would cost me £150 more (as I have to order it from another company). And Wildcats are out of the question, they are £500 + !

As you can see, it's mainly for work with games on the side. But it'll be 3D work too, so I can't decide.
 
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CaptBubba

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I'm fairly certain that there is a driver hack to turn the Ti4600 into a Quadro series card. That would probably give it one hell of an edge.
 
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Driftwood

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Well, I tell ya, I use the GeForce 4 Ti 4600 on a daily basis at work and it is a nice card. However, if you are really looking for a graphics card for CAD work, you really do want to look into the Quadro series instead. If you are on a budget, the 4600 is a steal, and the 4200 is so rediculously cheap, there is no reason to go any lower. I'd take nvidia over matrox any day. nvidia is very good about drivers, and looking at matrox cards of the past, I'd think that 3d performance of the nvidia cards would put that of the matrox ilk to shame.

Driftwood

btw, I am not so sure about that driver hack dealy, I don't know for sure anything to the contrary, but I tell you there is a whole lot more crap on those quadro cards, especially the quadro4 series ones, that I am not sure how a driver hack could spawn all those extra parts....
 
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stallion11msu

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The Radeon 9700 Pro wipes the floor with both of them.
 
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Ctn

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I dont think there's a soft quadro for the gf4.

For CAD, anything that can do anti-aliased lines would do I think.
There are some gf4 mx quadro's which are pretty cheap and would suit the bill.

2D quality wise. Matrox reins supreme although some gf4 cards from leadtek come pretty darn close.

I would prob go with matrox for the 2d quality. Lines are pretty hard on the eyes after a while


Ive got a Leadtek gf4 ti4400. Cant complain about the 2D quality.
 
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aeberbach

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Think about drivers before anything else. None of these cards will be limiting you in terms of silicon for CAD work - 3D games already demand more performance than CAD applications. If you use DVI output into a LCD monitor from any card 2D quality will not be an issue.

Based on that I'd choose Nvidia. ATI in particular has a bad history with drivers.
 
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CaptBubba

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Well, I know the driver hack worked on GF3 cards, but I haven't checked for GF4 cards.

Basicly, the geforce core and the quadro core are exactly the same thing. There is just a resistor on the board that, depending on its location, tells the drivers if the card is a geforce, or if it is a quadro. If it is a quadro then the drivers enable all the special OpenGL commands that make the Quadro better at CAD work than a plain Geforce. Somebody hacked the drivers so that it wouldn't check to see where the resistor was, it just enables all the commands.

Somebody ran some O-GL benchmarks using both a Quadro DCC and a hacked GF3. The hacked GF3 was slightly slower than the DCC, but was much faster than the unhacked GF3. It is of note that the hacked GF3 showed a drop in gaming preformance, but not a significant one. Also of note is the price difference between the GF and Quadro series of cards!

Before these driver hacks, you could physicly move the resistor, but very few people were brave enough to take a soldering iron to a SMT resistor on a $300 graphics card!
 
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Ctn

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Quote:

Originally posted by CaptBubba
Well, I know the driver hack worked on GF3 cards, but I haven't checked for GF4 cards.


I dont know for sure, I just heard a rumor that nvidia got around the prob with the gf4s.
 
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andrzejpw

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What CaptBubba said. On GF3s(and 2s for that matter, and possibly 1, don't remember), you could switch some stuff around in config files, drivers, etc. Or you could move a resistor. Most people chose the former.


These days, I'm not too sure. I'm guessing nvidia changed it around this time. . .
 
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dngl

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Through analogue, the Matrox will look much nicer. I use a matrox myself. However, the drivers have been, are, and likely will be crap, often leading to application incompatibilities.

Through DVI, they will look the same (at least to my eyes). NVidia is much more supported by the 3D industry (not games, but Alias-wavefront, discreet, etc.), has great drivers, and perfect compatibility.

The Geforce4s are still the same as the quadros but with a few small changes.

I'd personally wait for the Radeon 9500 because it'll be a cheaper 9700 but still support Rendermonkey, which is très cool.
 
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dngl

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Quote:

Originally posted by aeberbach
Think about drivers before anything else. None of these cards will be limiting you in terms of silicon for CAD work - 3D games already demand more performance than CAD applications.


Whoa! Back up! wireframes in CAD require less performance than games, but full textured, lit, high poly renderings are still in the range of 3FPS on current hardware... it all depends on what type of CAD he's doing.
 
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raymondlin

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Well, I have really done it this time,

300W PSU
ASUS AD7333 mobo
AMD 2200+ xp
1024 MB PC2700 RAM
ATI Radeon 9700 !!!
Lite-on 16X DVD
Lite-on 48x CD-RW
SB Audigy 5.1 with firewire
PCI TV tuner
56k v92 modem
SB Inspire 5.1 speakers
No Monitor

all under £950 !!!

Or add a 17" Mitsubishi CRT for £120 or a 15" Samsung TFT for £200.

But I think I'll just get the unit and use my existing CRT and get a 17" TFT when the price goes down.
 
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dngl

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you're absolutely rockin' there, raymondlin! those are good prices, considering how computer stuff tends to be more expensive on that side of the pond. Now all you need is RAID...

PS- Make sure you do get an LCD monitor (for the improved quality), but wait out... there are promises of response time reductions in the near future, which means less/impercievable ghosting.
 
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raymondlin

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Right, I've ordered the above spec, but with a 420W PSU instead to beef up the power supply. As there are a lot of stuff inside, don't want the PSU pushing the limit on a daily basis.

The reason it's so cheap, I got it through work, so Tax free. It would have been £1163 instead.

As for the TFT, I am getting one next year, so my humble 17" Samgsung SyncMaster will have to make do for the next 6 months.
 
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Ctn

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Which psu did you get?

Enermax makes really nice psu's.
 
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