Video Card Question - Nvidia - SW tested cards and drivers

I've honestly tried browsing and searching this group for my answer
and thus far can't find a clear answer, please forgive me if this has
been covered and perhaps point me to the correct thread.
I have an Nvidia Quadro NVS AGP8X with 64Mb of RAM running on a 1.5Ghz
P4 with 1Gb of RAM. This computer was initially Win2000 but I upgraded
to WinXp. This computer used to work great with SW 2001 at some point
but somehwere in there either with upgrading OS, or moving to SW 2004,
or getting this new video card with dual DVI output, it is running SW
very slow. I ran Mike's ship in a bottle and got 109 seconds.
Sometimes I wait 30-60 seconds for medium sized assemblies to open or
My question is about video cards. I can't seem to see what people
like. Our IS thinks the Nvidia card is causing the problem. He wants
to use an ATI card. I looked on SW's "video card testing" page but it
seems to not have been updated in awhile. Can anyone point me to
recent info on cards? We are buying our computers from DELL so they
usually come with Nvidia. Our newest computer came with an Nvidia
GeForce FX 5200 AGP8X with 128Mb of RAM and it got 44 seconds on
Mike's test. It is a faster proc thoguh. Any suggestions would be
great. We are not doing anything fancy, just 3D modeling and 2D
drafts. Lots of parts but simple parts at that.
Thanks in advance.
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The Nvidia Quadro NVS is certainly part of your problem. Despite the Quadro name, this card is NOT optimized for 3D CAD applications. The NVS is targeted towards typical office programs that emphasize 2D quality instead of 3D quality or performance.
I would recommend almost any Nvidia Quadro or ATI FireGL card (not including the NVS, of course). I am most familiar with Nvidia, so I would recommend them, although the FireGL often does very well in the benchmarks I have seen.
I would recommend a Quadro4 750 or Quadro FX 500. These are mid-range video cards ($250-$350) that perform pretty well with SWX and, most importantly, are optimized for 3D CAD like SWX. The more expensive quadros will give better performance, but there is a point of diminishing returns. FYI, I believe the ATI cards are fairly close in terms of performance for a comparable cost.
Note: 'Gaming' cards such as the GeForce can work pretty well with SWX as well, but they are really not optimized for it. These cards DO have certain issues with SWX, especially after multiple windows have been opened. For instance, the screen may not refresh properly, or dimensions may disappear, or the graphics will suddenly SLOOOW DOOWWN (the most common problem with GeForce cards). More than likely, you will not see these problems by just running Mike's Ship in a Bottle benchmark (in fact a GeForce will often beat an equivalent Quadro by a hair). The reason for this is that this benchmark does not open multiple graphics windows nor does it really stress the graphics subsystem. It is more of a CPU/software speed benchmark.
P.S. It is possible to cheat some GeForce cards into thinking they are a Quadro and gain all of the benefits that come with a Quadro, but, IMO, it is not worth the time and effort and hassle.
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I would estimate your 1.5 ghz could do about 75 secs with a better card. you may have other hardware issues as well though. as Arlin said the NVS is really for 2D.
Reply to
We just got a couple of new Dells and they have the Quadro FX 500 with them. They work great and seem to be pretty fast (if you call SW 2004 fast).
Arl> The Nvidia Quadro NVS is certainly part of your problem. Despite the
Reply to
Did the test, 50 cycles in 49 secs.
HP/Compaq xw4000 'Workstation' with AGP 4x Intel P4 2,4 GHz 512 + 256 Mb RAM (PC2100) Nvidia NVS SWX 2004 SP1.0
Question is: 'Is it the card?'
Reply to
Count Zero
Mike's test is a great benchmark of Solidworks rebuild, but as I understand it, it has precious little to do with video performance. For example, it wouldn't show you the difference between a gaming card and a pro cad card, as there just isn't much happening graphically with the benchmark.
I think your biggest problem(s) lie in the processor and amount of memory. In other words, more of either one will gain a better ship score. A better graphics card might not.
Mike, is this correct?
- Eddy
Reply to
Eddy Hicks
"Eddy Hicks" wrote in news:
Adding memory might actually slow him down with the ship. I ran it the other day, and it fits comfortably in half the memory he has. Adding more memory modules could introduce memory timing problems that would actually slow him down. Yes, it's possible to have too much memory.
I agree with you comments about the graphics card. As to the original question, moving from an NVidia game card to an ATI game card can make things worse. I have a colleague who runs a Fairly recent Radeon, and he sometimes has driver troubles in addition to the multiple windows problems both card would have. Definitely stick to the CAD cards, or get to know SoftQuadro. I've been satisfied with the Quadro line, and the FIreGL is supposed to be good. I just saw an announcement the other day that FireGL will be supporting Real View, if you care about that.
Reply to
Dale Dunn
Hey Thanks for all of the answers. I've done some searching on "NVS" on this board and sure enough they are not recommended. We have 5 computers running SW here, all with Nvidia cards, and the ones running simple GeForce cards are way outperforming the two computers with NVS cards. I will request to either downgrade to GeForce or to get a non-NVS Quadro. Perhaps we'll try an ATI card as well, since a lot of guys here are big fans of ATI.
As far as the benchmark goes, I agree it probably isn't the best benchmark for graphics card testing.
Thanks again for the responses. Hopefully I can contribute likewise someday.
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That's how I see it. It's more of a CPU benchmark, although I guess a slow vid card can throw it off by a few seconds or so.
The NVS cards are going to suffer multiple window slowdowns, so to test for that you need an assembly with several unique parts. You would keep opening the parts, one at a time and rotate the view until all of a sudden you have serious slowdown with one of the parts.
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Mike J. Wilson
Back in 2002, I had an ATI all in wonder 128mb card It was crap!!! I switched to 3DLabs Oxygen GVX1 32mb it was outsanding compared to the previous card. A short while later I bought a home computer, it came with Nvidia geforce2 400 MX. 32mb It performed at the same level as the gvx1. , At work my workstation has a Nvidia 900XL 128 mb. Another workstation here is an identical box except it has a ATI fire GL 128mb and it is noticeably slower than my box. Stick with Nvidia Quadro 750 or better, You won't regret it. You certainly can use the geforce, I do at home but for my work computer I'd pry the coin from the boss's pocket for the quadro. My 2 cents
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I run with a GeForce 64Mb and have also found that this slowdown can occur. If this occurs, try temporarily altering the cards displayed resolution in the Display Properties / Settings tab in Windows. When asked if you want to keep the new resolution setting, decline politely upon which your existing resolution will be restored but the graphics card has had the neccessary kick to eradicate the slowdown. Bit of a work-around but does the job here!
Graham Neale
Reply to
I just tried it and it does actually make the offending part rotate smoothly again, however the slowdown gets transferred to another part (if you have many parts open).
It's not that big of a deal since you can just close that other part and all is well again.
This is a very good tip! Thanks for sharing!
Mike Wilson
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Mike J. Wilson

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