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Quad graphics card - which one?

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todd sali
Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 6:29:41 pm

Will the Quadro FX 4500 make a difference over the Geforce 7800GT for Motion work? what about any other apps, AE, FCP? And is it worth it to lose the extra slot? And...anyone know anything about the 3D goggles that connect to the 4500? cost, apps that support, etc?

Thanks,
Todd



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walter biscardi
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 6:53:37 pm

[todd sali] "Will the Quadro FX 4500 make a difference over the Geforce 7800GT for Motion work?"


Absolutely. The more power on the graphics card, the faster Motion will run and the more real-time you'll get. It's a graphics card intensive product and we'll see more Apple apps move in that direction as they evolve.

Losing the slot depends on what else you need to do with the machine. If you don't need all the slots then it's no big deal. If you need all four slots, then it becomes a problem.


Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

Director, "The Rough Cut"
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"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Jim Kanter
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 7:12:29 pm

Yes, it will make a difference. The GPU is faster, and there is twice as much VRAM for caching the various elements so you would definitely see the difference in performance.

Bear in mind that more and more apps will be shifting pixel processing to the GPU over time, so don't skimp on the card if you are planning on keeping your hardware for more than a year.

Jim Kanter,
Digital Film Institute
http://www.dfilminst.com


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specialcase
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 8:57:50 pm

Heya,

I know I'm going to get roasted for this, but I wouldn't recommend spending the extra wad of cash on the Quadro. Quadros are a throwback to the old "workstation" market, where you used to be able to charge $2K-$5K for a graphics card. That was also back when Maya cost $50K. The GPU manufacturer adds a few more capabilities (generally fairly minor) to a card and calls it a "workstation-class" card. Which is another way of saying "Pay up!"

I have seen/used both a Quadro and a 7800GT and the performance difference was imperceptible. Again, this is in reference to Motion. If you were running Alias Studio, AutoCad or a similar 3D app, you might have the benefit of more hardware lights, etc. Motion is all about pixel shaders (game technology) and Quadros, historically, aren't so hot on the games-oriented features.

Just my two pennies :)


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George Loch
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 9:37:11 pm

I am afraid I have to agree with specialcase. At this point, even in Maya, there are not MAJOR differences between these cards in performance. The reason is the OpenGL drivers in OS X. I have seen very unfortunate numbers when comparing the same Quadro 4500 on a Quad G5 and a Dual Opteron - the PC workstation numbers were all over the Mac. What's even more astonishing is that both the 7800GT and the 4500 are not THAT much faster than the 6800 in Motion even though they are much faster cards. There is a bottleneck that is holding these cards back and I think it's the OS X OpenGL drivers.

The barefeats mad scientist's experience also reflects this:
http://barefeats.com/quad03.html


-gl


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Gary Taylor
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 9:46:02 pm

Hi SpecialCase,
I was wondering if you have had a chance to compare the 7800GT with the 6800 Ultra when working with floating point performance? I am interesting in how fast OpenEXR files are processed. Thanks for any info you have!
Gary


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todd sali
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 17, 2006 at 10:55:59 pm

Thanks much for your opinion. So many choices right now, with new cards and all.

So the extra ram on the Quadra card is not that important? The main thing I'm trying to goose out of this new system is a kind of 2K playback system using Motion. Is that even a possibility. Or close to real time?

Thanks,Todd


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specialcase
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 18, 2006 at 12:39:03 am

Heya,

I don't think you'll find Motion a great tool for use as a 2K playback system. Cineon isn't supported, so you'd have to convert your frames to SGI, TIFF, etc. Also, Motion is compositing on the fly, so even with one sequence in the project you're playing back a composite of an image sequence.

I would check out Iridas' FrameCycler. It's not super-pretty, but it's a dedicated playback tool that supports a large number of formats.


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Scottgfx
Re: Quad graphics card - which one?
on Jan 23, 2006 at 7:12:14 am

Does anyone else see the irony of us not recommending the Quadro after years of people putting down the Mac because we didn't have "workstation class" graphics cards? :)

The drivers that run the card have just as much importance as the cards themselves. The Quadro probably does have very specific advantages over the 7800GT. Motion probably isn't affected by them. I would bet that a dedicated 3D application would be a better match for the Quadro... Just a guess.


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