Graphics cards

Hi all, just had tentative agreement from my boss to build a new box for Solidworks (currently 2005 SP0.1), just wanted to get some opinions on
suitable graphics cards. Can I get away with an ordinary high end gaming card (Geforce 6800 GT or Ultra maybe) or will I see significant gains from a Quadro thingy?
N.B. needs to be available in the UK
Many thanks in advance Keith Kerwin Development Engineer BSL Gas Technologies Ltd.
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http://www.solidworks.com/pages/services/VideoCardTesting.html
If you pick something not supported, support will have trouble helping you. Stay to something on the list.
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Don't use a high end gaming card, if you want to work at a sensible pace. Yes the Geforce cards do work, but very slowly on an Assembly bigger than 50 parts. I have one at home,(Nvidia 5700-256Mb and also the ATI FGL8700( even slower)), but at work, I have a Quadro4 XGL 900 and the difference is amazing. Also you do not get realview with the gaming cards. Graphic card, Memory, Processor, Hard Drive, in that order to get the best machine. Just my 2 Cents :-)

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sigh - there goes most of the budget......... but I think you're probably right about using a 'proper' graphics card Pete
The thing that's actually causing me most grief at the mo' is saving, opening and rebuilding, particulary drawings - CPU usage indicator in task manager is 100%, memory usage less than half, network connection pretty much idle. The current system is a P4 1.9GHz, 1 Gb ram, Quadro 2 MXR, Windows 2000 SP4 and all Solidworks (2005 SP0.1) files stored on the network server.
I tend to save quite often, because even though 2005 seems to be pretty stable I still don't trust it not to lose work for me by 'terminating due to unhandled errors'. Trouble is, my boss seems to appear behind me every time I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to save, so it looks like I'm not doing any work!
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That's great, about the boss being there, get him to watch how long it takes to save a file. Quote, "time is money, you tight git!", and he will either get you a new machine or give you the sack!!, lol
I started with the Quadro2, but it really is Pentium3 era, and for old software. The case to point out is that for modern software you need modern pc's. Yes the initial cost is high, but so is waiting for file saves costly, not only in time and stress, but also in lost and forgotten ideas.
My BIG boss haves a nice big jag to impress the clients, (so he says), so why can't you use a ford, I asked ? "Because he can't do HIS job properly without the proper tools for HIS job", was his answer. "Exactly, I have the same problem", I replied. For once, and only once, he was speechless! I got the machine!, hehe, but less coffee breaks. Grrr :-(
A good boss listens and acts, a bad boss just moans about money and does nothing.
ps. Try showing him these posts, it may help, ok, pigs may fly, but it's worth a go!

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I don't think the graphics card will have much impact on your problems. If the CPU is at 100%, then a faster processor should help, but drawings aren't very graphics card intensive. Neither are saving, opening and rebuilds.
When you say memory usage is at half, do you mean that you are using only half of your 1GB of RAM? If so, then memory won't help either. If you mean you are using half of your total memory and it is set to, say, 3X your physical memory, then more memory would help, but usually you will see your CPU usage drop as you thrash your memory.
You might try loading some sample parts and drawings locally, then compare your working time. If you see a big reduction, you can talk to the IT people about how fast the network is. A faster network, or a way to load locally could help in that case. Although, again, I wouldn't expect your CPU to be pegged if you are spending time waiting for data to come over the line.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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P4 2.8 2Gb Ram Sata Raptor drives, Nvidia 900 xgl.
My cpu is always at 100% when opening assemblies, even locally.

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Pete, I like the look of the Raptor drives - how do you find them?
So if processors are used flat out when opening assemblies etc, then the more processor grunt I have the better - perhaps I should push my luck and try for an Athlon64FX (:O))
Does anyone know why my posts are getting reposted so many times: I don't think it's anything that I'm doing wrong...... I realise it must annoy people, so I'll have to go back to lurking and hope someone else asks the right questions!
pete wrote:

saving,
in
connection
Quadro 2

on
problems. If

drawings
rebuilds.
using only

you mean

your
see
compare
IT
locally
CPU to be

line.
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I get my Raptor drives from www, dot, insight, dot, com/ uk Make sure you use the /uk, or you will end up on a site, that has no computer parts at all! You can navigate from there, to anywhere in the world, then.
If you want, you can buy direct from western digital.
You could be making multiple postings, by sending more than once, they don't always appear straight away. Sometimes you have to come out of the newsgroup, look at another, then come back and your posting will be there.
If you already know this, then forget what I have just written!
See you have already! :-P, lol

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sigh - there goes most of the budget......... but I think you're probably right about using a 'proper' graphics card Pete
The thing that's actually causing me most grief at the mo' is saving, opening and rebuilding, particulary drawings - CPU usage indicator in task manager is 100%, memory usage less than half, network connection pretty much idle. The current system is a P4 1.9GHz, 1 Gb ram, Quadro 2 MXR, Windows 2000 SP4 and all Solidworks (2005 SP0.1) files stored on the network server.
I tend to save quite often, because even though 2005 seems to be pretty stable I still don't trust it not to lose work for me by 'terminating due to unhandled errors'. Trouble is, my boss seems to appear behind me every time I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to save, so it looks like I'm not doing any work!
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sigh - there goes most of the budget......... but I think you're probably right about using a 'proper' graphics card Pete
The thing that's actually causing me most grief at the mo' is saving, opening and rebuilding, particulary drawings - CPU usage indicator in task manager is 100%, memory usage less than half, network connection pretty much idle. The current system is a P4 1.9GHz, 1 Gb ram, Quadro 2 MXR, Windows 2000 SP4 and all Solidworks (2005 SP0.1) files stored on the network server.
I tend to save quite often, because even though 2005 seems to be pretty stable I still don't trust it not to lose work for me by 'terminating due to unhandled errors'. Trouble is, my boss seems to appear behind me every time I'm twiddling my thumbs waiting for something to save, so it looks like I'm not doing any work!
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I wonder why my post got posted three times?
Anyhow, convincing my boss (and the MD) that I needed a new machine wasn't too hard - they just said to tell them what I wanted and they'd find the money from somewhere. (I should mention at this point that my company is a very special place - I don't think that would ever have happened in many 'normal' organisations!).
That aside, I don't want to take the p*** by spending thousands which is why I offered to build the system myself, but that does mean that I've got to make sure the stuff that I choose is reasonably future proof.
At the moment I'm thinking something like a Quadro FX1300 PCI Express would be quite reasonable, coupled with a 'just behind the cutting edge' 64 bit Athlon, and about 2 Gig RAM. Does anyone have any comments?
Also, does anyone know the difference (in performance terms) of registered and un-registered RAM used dual channel? Thanks all
Keith Kerwin
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That all sounds pretty good.

The registered RAM offers a bit more stability via error-checking hardware at the cost of some performance. The dual channel memory of the Opteron and Athlon64FX seems to offset this, as their benchmark scores are better than what I've seen for the Athlon 64. IIRC the Athlon64FX can use non- registered memory in dual-channel mode, for the highest possible performance. (and cost)
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