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Old 27-12-2006, 10:26 AM   #1
mrSimon
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Default Urgent: Which graphics card?

Yo. I have a project for university going on, and so far I have been using the universities own equipment to do my work in Maya.. however, I'm now away for a few months using my own PC, and right now its quite difficult to work with my current setup. I've created a 3d charecter, however even with the Smooth algorythm disabled, its still laggy. Pritty much anything I've made in Maya that is'nt a cube right now is quite laggy.

Right now, I'm using a Radeon 9550, on a AMD Sempron 2800+ PC with 1gb RAM.

I was considering getting myself one of the following graphics cards:
- GeForce 6200
- GeForce FX5500
- Radeon x1300

But now I think of it, I might need a new processor or something. I have no idea on the technical side, but I've been needing an upgrade for a while now. What would you recommend?
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Old 27-12-2006, 12:06 PM   #2
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Well, I just built a maya machine a week or so ago. Ill tell you whats good. The video card I have is a GeForce 7950 and it's great for maya. On the box it says it's meant for 3d as well. I recommend that one. You can get it on www.newegg.com for about 279.99$. I have 3 gigabytes of ram which is great but 1 or 2 will do. For hard drive you might want a faster one with more gigs because maya projects and maya take up alot of space. For proccescor I got a 2.4ghz E6600 from Intel. I would recommend getting a higher one but thats just me. I'm not an expert on computers but I got some help from computer nerds to pick out the parts for 3d modeling.
Good luck
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Old 27-12-2006, 12:20 PM   #3
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I'm not quite as rich as you I only have a budget of about 60 ($100?). If I could get one component which would seriously help performance, which would you recommend?
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Old 27-12-2006, 12:54 PM   #4
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I've been looking up about this, and I think I could afford a Radeon X1300. Would this be a wise upgrade?
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Old 27-12-2006, 01:25 PM   #5
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Oh okay no I'm not rich. Just saved up for a while. I looked up the Radeon X1300 and it looks pretty decent. Although you want speed. So you could actually get 1 more gig of ram to make 2 gigs cause that is 100$. Either way. If I were you I'd go with the ram but thats me. Keep me updated!
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Old 27-12-2006, 01:50 PM   #6
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I'm a noob at modelling, so my advice might not be the best. With that said:

It sounds strange that you get lag when working with objects beyond the cube. I've tried Maya 7PLE on an old laptop (1400mhz / radeon mobile 9000 / 256mb (!!!) RAM ) which is far inferior to what you run it on. I had no problems whatsoever creating characters and such. With a bit of hiding inactive objects and such that is. I doubt Maya8 is a lot more resource-hugging in the modelling process than Maya 7. Thats up for the pro's to clarify tho.

My suspicion is that there is something slighty "off" with your computer. Some driver issue or possibly (malware?) processes hugging resources. Paging file on a full/badly fragmented disk?

Maye someone better informed than me can debate this: The 9550 is capable of running games like Unreal Tournament (the original) and thus should have the ability to render an un-textured model unless your polycount is in the 10s of thousands? (Questions, not facts) Modelling 1 character vs rendering 10+ textured/lighted characters in-action. Doesnt make sense to me, but ... I'm the noob

Just doing a little brainstorming so you can really try to narrow down where your $60 should go. If you're lucky, you might even end up spending'em on beers while you model... if it turns out the issue isnt about your GFX card

Nub trying to help nub... pros: have a laugh and give some pointers

Last edited by Snyl : 27-12-2006 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 27-12-2006, 02:02 PM   #7
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I have just gone from a Nvidia GF6600GT to the ATI X1300 Pro. Either of those you have chosen will be good enough. The GF5500 should also be OK, but ur going back quite far.

If I was to choose get the X1300 Pro I am happy with it, but the 6200 will do the job. Oh get 256Mb RAM also it helps...
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Old 28-12-2006, 05:19 AM   #8
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My suspicion is that there is something slighty "off" with your computer. Some driver issue or possibly (malware?) processes hugging resources. Paging file on a full/badly fragmented disk?
It all certainly runs a lot quicker in my alternate OS... there must be something going on. I dont understand how a undefragged drive could interfere with throwing polygons around... but anyways, I hav'nt defragged for probably two years :S so I'll do that now.
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Old 28-12-2006, 10:25 AM   #9
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Think you're right about the fragmentation. It wouldnt make that much of an impact. Perhaps to some extent if you got the unfortunate combination of pagingfile on a full disk which is also badly fragmented, but not to the extent you talk about, i think. Was mainly airing some ideas trying to make you look past the GFX card.

Getting a new one might solve the problem, but personally i think thats not the main issue. The system i run on atm is not very far from yours:

Athlon xp2500+ / Radeon 9600pro / 1gig "budget" RAM

As a noob i make mostly cartoonish characters at about 3-7k polys atm, and have no slowdown issues whatsoever. Any chance you got someone who could lend you a vidcard for a test-run?

Not saying you shouldnt get a new vidcard, just trying to help you figure if thats really the problem. Hopefully you'll get it sorted so you can get your project done

Can it possibly be a driver issue? Guess you've tried several already tho.
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Old 28-12-2006, 12:22 PM   #10
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correct me if Im wrong.

my perception after working with a lot of different setups is this one ->


concerning hardware issues:

graphic card is pretty the last thing to consider. It really doesnt make any difference which card you use unless you need it for hardware rendering. Processor comes into use when rendering. So if you dont have those extra 1mio poly with fur + FG + GI renderings - your processor might be fine.

most important ->
go for as lot of RAM you can think of, cause this is what is being used while working in your 3dPanel. (also while rendering of course)

keep in mind - old ati cards often cause driver troubles with maya. so you might try other drivers for your card.

maya versions -> maya 6 and 6.5 is somehow "light" compared to version 7 and more version 8 which has real performance problems even on highend machines. I dont know what maya8 was any good for... (exept its called autodesk now)


so Id go with Zohar0s advice to buy RAM.


+ The pagefile
dynamic pagefiles defragment pretty fast. so change it from dynamic to static. but defragment the drive you map it to before setting it up.
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Old 28-12-2006, 01:23 PM   #11
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I've just finished defragging my disks, as well as assigning a 2-4gb page file, on both of my hard drives, and the sudden surge in performance is astounding! Everythings super smooth now, I can work again

Thank you very much everyone
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Old 28-12-2006, 05:57 PM   #12
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Glad to hear! Good luck making your project.
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Old 29-12-2006, 01:16 AM   #13
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Id rather assign a static pagefile like 2-2 or 4-4.
2-4 means that it is dynamic again and gets defragmented real fast.
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Old 29-12-2006, 02:29 AM   #14
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Falott > 'correct me if Im wrong...'

I my opinion, the order of importance for hardware in a Maya system should be: CPU, RAM and graphics card. You need a fast card for Maya becuase even if you are using wireframe and just modelling, the lines are rendered by graphics card using the 3D funtions. In most projects with thousands of polygons, the lines are going to make the whole computer less responsive to the point where it becomes unsable.

As for the old ATI cards having driver issues, are you refering to the Rage series? Those are indeed horrible but anything later than the first Radeons is going to be fine.

As for Maya 7 and 8 running slow even on high end machines, I don't think it will run slow on 4 and 8 way SMP systems.


Zohar0 > 'On the box it says it's meant for 3d as well.'

I think the marketing department put that there just to make it look more powerful. Cards meant for 3D are the Nvidia Quadro and the ATI FireGL.


Snyl > 'Maye someone better informed than me can debate this: The 9550 is capable of running games like Unreal Tournament (the original) and thus should have the ability to render an un-textured model unless your polycount is in the 10s of thousands? (Questions, not facts) Modelling 1 character vs rendering 10+ textured/lighted characters in-action. Doesnt make sense to me, but ... I'm the noob'

Game companies diliberately make games that looks good for a game, but runs fast on most hardware so it can be played by more people and thus equal more $$$ for them.
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Old 29-12-2006, 08:11 AM   #15
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I'm not going to make a statement on the order of importance 'cause everything adds up anyway.

What I will say though is that stay away from GF6200 (and older). I bought one for my secondary machine and returned it the next day. Coughed up a bit more dough and got a GF6600GT which was okay for that machine.

On my main workstation I got a GF6800GT which has yet a bit more power and it's been enough for even serious HW renderings (eg the 4 tornados scene i did a while back).

Can't say anything about the ATI cards 'cause I've never owned one. It might be just me but I have a certain type of fobia towards them

1GB of ram is okayish but even going to 1,5GB makes a difference. Going above that might not make that big difference unless you render really heavy scenes.

Your CPU should be fine.
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