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Thread: 8800GTS for 3D Modelling?

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    8800GTS for 3D Modelling?

    A friend is starting his own company and he wants me to build him a pc for all his work plus some gaming.

    Since he does a lot of 3D modelling I was wondering how the 8800GTS would handle it...

    Anyone got any ideas?

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    Flak Monkey! Dorza's Avatar
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    Depends how involved the work is and the budget of course. I'm using a 7600GT and it handles everything I do fine, so did my previous card (6800gs). Unless your at a workstation in some organization there is no need to buy a workstation specific graphics card. Plus, take a look at the workstation specific cards; the budget ones are over a grand and their nearly identical to the consumer cards. Here is a quote from 3D world mag this month which has a supplement magazine aimed at 3d hardware.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3D World
    ...The two main players in the market, AMD and Nvidia, both carry industry-grade cards (ATI FireGL and QuadroFX, respectively). Theres are up to four times the price of their near-identical consumer counterparts, due mainly to the ratification process which ensures that they run stably with a huge swathe of professional software packages. However if your working from home or in a smaller studio rather than a large-scale commercial environment, you may get more for your money buying a consumer graphics card.
    I'm in no way a boffin when it comes CGI but I do know that a fast CPU, fast RAM, and lots of RAM are essential. On the CPU front the 3D industry seems to be way ahead of the game when it comes to supporting multi-socket/core processors.

    EDIT: The 8800GTS will more than meet your mates needs.
    Last edited by Dorza; 16-07-2007 at 03:16 PM.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    I might consider hanging on for the 1gb 2900xt model, as that should be more than enough gram to cope with anything.

    Workstation cards do tend to have amazing openGL performance though, not sure how relevant that is to his modelling.

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    Yeah I saw the prices which is why I wanted to avoid them. I've never really done much 3D work so I don't know how hard it is on the graphics card.

    He doesn't have tonnes of money to spare for it so I think the 8800GTS will do him nicely.

    OK so 29000XT or 8880GTS ..might confuse things lol

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    The 320GB 8800 GTS would be sufficient and cost effective.
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    I thought nVidia's QuadroFX or ATi's FireGL range of cards were the most suitable for 3d-modelling type tasks? G

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
    I thought nVidia's QuadroFX or ATi's FireGL range of cards were the most suitable for 3d-modelling type tasks? G
    The drivers are fine tuned towards Windowed OpenGL performance, but that's about it, the 8800GTS can still kick ass at 3D modelling in even complex scenes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Flak Monkey! Dorza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbow View Post
    I thought nVidia's QuadroFX or ATi's FireGL range of cards were the most suitable for 3d-modelling type tasks? G

    They are almost identical to their consumer grade counterparts. Your paying an excessive amount of money for the testing and refinement that has gone into them which better ensures or certifies them to work 100% correctly and stably with a range of 3D Software packages and in house packages. The Quadro and FireGL cards are better with OpenGL, where there is 3D environment housed in a 2D window, but for a small studio or a home user a decent consumer level card will do the job perfectly well. There is absolutely no need to spend the money (over a grand) on a workstation card if your starting a business where the studio will be small or if your in a home-workstation environment.

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    Thanks guys for making that clear . G

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    Cheers for all the input everyone.

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    Could someone confirm this, but I thought graphics cards had next to no effect on 3D modelling.

    Atleast when I use 3DSM I don't seem to render anything tough in real time, unless I'm missing something here it usually depends mostly on your CPU and RAM o.O

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    Flak Monkey! Dorza's Avatar
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    When your rendering a final scene it is done on the CPU or across a network of CPUs aka a render farm, but the actual interface and the 3D environment of the application is handled by the graphics card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorza View Post
    I'm in no way a boffin when it comes CGI but I do know that a fast CPU, fast RAM, and lots of RAM are essential. On the CPU front the 3D industry seems to be way ahead of the game when it comes to supporting multi-socket/core processors.
    Surprisingly, the RAM speed makes very little difference above stock, it simply isnt the bottleneck in the system
    RAW CPU speed is the single, most important thing when it comes to 3D rendering

    As for the graphics cards, the above has covered it pretty well
    The Quadro / FireGL cards are basically the same with improved / optimised drivers for OpenGL (mainly). This isnt a huge factor today, as all of the major programs (3DMax, Maya, ect..) will give you the choice of using either Software rendering (on the CPU = bad), DX / D3D, and OpenGL.
    A card like in 8800 range will fly at DX / D3D based stuff.
    Its important to note that when we talk about the graphics card power in the 3D programs, we are strictly talking about how many items / Polygons it can render in the viewports of such programs. When rendering the scene out, the GPU is not used in 99.9% of cases.
    There is on going work to get some rendering done on the GPU, and some programs do support it, but they are few and far between.
    IIRC, there is a plugin for 3D Max that will allow some rendering to be done on the card, although this was highly experimental the last time I saw it. I've no idea how its progressed.

    Graphics cards with more RAM on make a big difference if the scenes are texture heavy, as they can store them in its RAM and not have to keep swapping to the disk as the viewports are moved (which brings us on to my next point).

    Hard Disk speed can be very important, depending on the scene type. Plenty of swapping happens on the disk, and when rendering its important that the CPU isn't waiting around on the disk. If it is, rendering speeds will be really hurt.
    Say a user is rendering to a lossless format such as BMP, or PNG. These can be several meg in size each. If the CPU is rendering these quickly, its easy to see how the disk can become the bottleneck. Also remember that there is other stuff going on in the background.
    RAID 0 is worthwhile for something like this. I use 2*80gig on RAID0, a 320gig separate, and plenty of NAS storage (for network rendering).

    One last point - Dual and Quad core can literally mean double, or almost a 4times increase in rendering times, as each core can have an instance of the rendering program on it working on the same scene (assuming that you have enough RAM to do this). Again, this brings is back to hard disk speeds...4 cores outputting data at the same time is a LOT of disk writing.

    And one final point - Its worth asking your friend exactly what programs he is planning to use, as a few of the 3d applications have issues with Vista. Autodesk (3D Max), haven't long released a patch to solve most issues, and IIRC Maya is also okay, but its worth checking each application. A lot off the older ones have issues, and a lot of plugins for both mentioned programs are still waiting updates.

    I do 3D stuff day in, day out, so feel free to PM me if you need more advice
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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    The graphics card you use has absolutely NO effect of final rendering times, all it does work on is 3d viewports when you're makeingthe actual models.

    I full agree with Dorza, although both the Quadro and FireGL are fairly poor cards but as nvidia and ATi have killed off the good card manufactors.

    from what I've read the 8800GTS does perform quite well compaired to the Quadro and FireGL on 3d viewports.

    Put the money into CPU that's the key in 3d rendering.
    Last edited by Pob255; 16-07-2007 at 08:36 PM.

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    yep CPU is the main thing, i used to run 3dsMax on my laptops onboard intel chipset and it was fine if a little slow. just to show how little graphics cards affect it

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    finding nemo staffsMike's Avatar
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    The spec was always:

    Q6600
    4GB of RAM (vista 64bit)
    Possibly a raptor but probably just a good 7200rpm (maybe raid 0)

    and then the graphics card was open for discussion.

    I've specced a 640mb 8800GTS and it fits his budget so thats what it'll be.

    Cheers for all that Agent, much appriciated.

    From memory he will be using SoftImage ..again means very little to me.

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