Graphics cards

  wingchun bitch 17:39 17 Aug 2003

I use an architectural program called archicad, it can be used to generate 3d fly throughs. I am currently using a 64mb graphics card, and the fly throughs can take days to generate a 5 min sequence. As I am an architect and not an computer wizard could anybody tell me if upgrading to a better graphics card for instance a 256mb would speed up the generation time. If so, which one should I buy.

  powerless 17:43 17 Aug 2003

What is the other specs of your computer.

Processor and RAM?

  DieSse 17:46 17 Aug 2003

The generation time is not dependant on your graphics card - but rather, on the processor and RAM and general system speed - hence Powerless' question.

  DieSse 17:48 17 Aug 2003

The generation time is not dependant on your graphics card - but rather, on the processor and RAM and general system speed - hence Powerless' question.

  wingchun bitch 17:54 17 Aug 2003

I am using an advent laptop with pentium 4, and a 60gb hard drive, well I say that I am using it, but it was actually stolen in a burgalary three weeks ago. I am toying with the idea of going back to a desktop pc instead of a laptop and have been cruising the pc outlets to see whats on offer. So any advice relating to what kit to buy with a maximum of £1100,00 to spend is appreciated.

  DieSse 20:45 17 Aug 2003

I don't know what is the most important factor in your particular job, I can tell you that destops have two major advantages

The disk drives are substantially faster, as they can be allowe to consume more power and get hotter than in a laptop

The processor in a dsktop will not suffer any throttling due to haet or power consumtion (in normal conditions), as can happen in desktops.

So within your budget, get yourself the fastest P4 you can, with an 800FSB bus motherboard, and Dual Access RAM - the highest speed you can, and plenty of it.

Also get a 7200rpm hard drive.

I suspect the graphics card is not particularly critical, and something like a GFX5600 would be sufficient.

  goonerbill 22:38 17 Aug 2003

sorry to disagree with DieSse and powerless but if ya using a CAD program as archicad suggests, if ya going to get a desktop pc, ya best get one with a matrox parhelia graphics card. its configered for CAD progs.

heres link to card specs click here

  Ironman556 23:14 17 Aug 2003

For £1100 you should get a good spec system. As DieSse says get loads of Dual DDR RAM (1 GB) and the fastest CPU you can for the money. Serial ATA hard disks are a fair bit quicker than the standard, but I don't know if you'd use the extra speed. If AMD/Pentium don't make a difference on CAD/CAM programs (anyone?) then got for AMD as they're cheaper for the same amount of power.

You would probably be best to go to a local shop where they will custom build you a PC, it's unlikely you'll pick up a PC with the spec to suit you best from PC World or similar.

  Paranoid Android 23:20 17 Aug 2003

Agree with goonerbill. There are several specialist graphics cards for the CAD market, including the QuadroFX and FireGL ranges. These are usually extremely expensive. The Parhelia is not in the same league, but is also considerably cheaper, and it should give CAD performance well above that of a standard gamers' card.

Contact the manufacturer of the software and ask what is 'normal' for a 5 minute sequence - they should be able to give you some idea what to expect.


  wingchun bitch 22:59 26 Aug 2003

Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who responded to my questions, fantastic to have such a resource available for computer dum dums like me. The advice given has been noted and will be acted upon. Cheers.

  Pauper 23:25 26 Aug 2003

As stated previously, the generation time for a fly thru' is not dependent on the graphics gard, it is dependent on the processor and ram of the pc system. The graphics card will only dispaly the finished article and as you say, it can perform this in five minutes which you make sound as though it is at the correct speed. A good graphics card will allow for fast and complex rendering of the final recording including the use of realistic textures which are probably important to you. Check here click here for the full specs of the recomended equipment (pdf file at the bottom of the page), note the recomended 64mb standard open-gl graphics card.

Do not be suprised that the generation of fly-thru's takes (considerable)time as there is lot of work going on behind the scenes with the pc making a vast number of mathamatical calculations regarding the placment and rendering of items.

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