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IndustryArena Forum > Computer Technology > Computers / Networking > Game verses CAD/CAM Specific Video Cards
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  1. #1
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    Game verses CAD/CAM Specific Video Cards

    I just purchased Onecnc XR Mill Pro which I'm liking more every day but all those cool graphic simulations and live rotate and pan were very jerky, like watching a movie at 3 frames per second verses 30.

    I have a desktop PC with a 2.26ghz pentium 4, 533mhz front side buss and 500mb of ram, translation while its not a cutting edge 3.4ghz model this is a fast pc by any standard...but not fast enough it seems for CAD/CAM animations.

    A 3.4ghz pentium upgrade might improve things somewhat but I thought maybe I just need to upgrade the video card? I did some research on-line and most reviews suggested that while gaming video cards are good for games they are not generally a good choice for CAD/CAM applications which place different types of loads on the card. But I did come across one CAD/CAM video card review about a year old that included some high end game cards and the performance was close to the lower end CAD/CAM cards and in some cases better.

    It was an easy choice, once I recovered from the sticker price shock of CAD/CAM specific video cards I decided to go with a high end game card and just live with whatever level of performance it offered.

    I selected the very new PNY GeForce 6800gt video card, this is one of the latest offerings from Nvidia. My existing video card was a GeForce 4400, a good fast card in its day that ran everything I threw at it smoothly until I asked it to animate some Onecnc XR CAD/CAM stuff.

    Okay so what was the result? The results were WOW!!! Rotating, simulating and preview animations run very smooth, a huge improvement over what I was seeing before. I feel like I saved quite a bundle of money going this route, the performance is very acceptable and all I did was upgrade the video card. Currently $399 at CompUSA and that includes a free copy of the new Doom3. Hey if you don't want to blast the crap out of the bad guys you can always ebay it for $30 and buy some tooling!

  2. #2
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    I have discovered basically the same thing. I have two systems with the same software (CAD/CAM). One runs an NVidia 980XGL and the other an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro. The graphics performance seems identical. I can't see any difference, other than the price of the cards.

    Dan
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  3. #3
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    Onecnc just posted a note on their forum stating that a "game" card is actually the better choice for their software than the CAD card.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    Now if they will just include a copy of Doom 3 we will be all set!

    Dan
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  5. #5
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    On some of the NVidia cards you could convert them into the CAD card just by moving a couple of resistors.I tried it and it worked. So on some cards the real difference is just in the drivers.

  6. #6
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    Stay away from ATI cards for CAD/CAM use. I'm the CAD/CAM support person where I work and have found that ATI is faster for games but Nvidia is better for CAD/CAM work.

  7. #7
    Moderator Dan B's Avatar
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    FYI..

    We have quite a few ATI Fire GL cards running Mechanical Desktop and Rhino. They have not given us any grief at all. We only run Nvidia cards for our CAM software (WorkNC) because the ATI cards don't seem to handle the openGL simulations as well.

    On the other hand, I have read numerous reports on the Rhino newsgroup about people with ATI issues. They seem to be notebook users from what I have observed.

    Dan
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  8. #8
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    I should have said "Radeon" ATI cards. I don't have all CAD/CAM systems to try out but we have many. MasterCam, Solidworks, Pro-E all have issues with the Radeon ATI cards. And this has been going on since the release of the Radeon card. I have tried the newest drivers everytime they come out but with no change. I have never had any problems with an Nvidia card on any of our CAD/CAM software AT ALL!

    Now Cadkey has no problem with Radeon, or ArtCam pro is fine, and I think Rhino works with it too. It is still my feeling to stay with a safe choice and that so far is Nvidia with me.

  9. #9
    Community Moderator ger21's Avatar
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    ATI has always lagged behind NVIDIA when it comes to OpenGL drivers. ATI seems to ignore all the CAD/3D content creators who would use their cards if they had better drivers. NVIDIA, on the other hand, seems to always be recommended for CAD and 3D software because there drivers seem to always work better. And I believe they update their drivers more often than ATI as well.

    Oh yeah, like Jeff said, this is the Radeon cards I'm talking about.
    Gerry

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    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)

  10. #10
    Community Moderator cadcam's Avatar
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    Yep I alwas tell my customers to stay away from ATI cards they will not be happy.
    With are new release of Mastercam X coming we should be able to use ATI. this what corp office is saying.
    Will try one soon on the next beta release.
    But i will alwas stay with Nvida my self for most.
    (Note: The opinions expressed in this post are my own and are not necessarily those of CNCzone and its management)
    Cadcam
    Software and hardware sales, contract Programming and Consultant , Cad-Cam Instructor .

  11. #11
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    Re: Game verses CAD/CAM Specific Video Cards

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