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  • Engineering Video Cards vs Game Video Cards?

    Discussion in '2D and 3D CAD general discussion forum' started by richsmith, May 17, 2011.

    1. richsmith

      richsmith Member

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      Hi there, I am an engineer who works with 3D CAD engineering programs (such as CATIA or ProEngineer). I create designs and animations for engineering design purposes (a couple examples below just for fun).

      VmwkZKVDLzE

      t_TDEVhJ6sM

      It seems to me that the graphics demands that I place on my engineering cards are no where near as demanding what high end games do, such as Call of Duty etc.

      My question is why is it then that engineering cards are (such as my NVIDIA Quaro FX) are much more expensive than gaming cards and looking at them do not seem nearly as substantial from the hardware point of view?

      I have also heard (but I do not know if it it true) that Nvidia build into their cards algorithms that detect if you are using a gaming card for engineering applications that drasticly reduces the cards performance if detected, is this true?

      Thanks.

      Rich.
       
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    3. Ivan

      Ivan Member

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      This is small assembly, imagine assembly of fully working industrial production line animated, or entire factory.
       
    4. AeroSigma

      AeroSigma Member

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      At face value, it would seem imbalaced, but the truth is that it's not really an apples to apples comparison. Gaming cards are designed to render as quickly as possible without worrying too much about pinpoint accuracy. If the edge of a tree is off by a few pixles for a frame or two, it's not a big deal, but that frame has to be rendered in milliseconds. On the other hand, Engineering cards need to render with great precision; that circular edge needs to be rendered where it's supposed to be or else you may not be able to select it with your mouse, while a little bit of lag wont screw up your CAD.

      In light of this, the achitecture of the cards is actually very different. For example, Gaming cards have large "pixel pipelines" to move detailed textures around, you don't need these in CAD because all the 3D objects are shades of gray (or solid colors, or, at most, simple textures.) There are alot of other hardware features that make gaming cards fast but imperfect, and engineering cards slower but precise.

      The best way to get a good feel for this is to spend some time in CAD on a gaming card. You'll start to notice little inaccuracies, where the highlighting isn't at the same place as the edge, or you have to click to select something slightly off to the side of where it's rendered. Follow this link for an Nvidia white paper if you want meore detailed info on the differences.

      LIES! Remember: Believe all of what you read, half of what you hear, and not a damn thing you see on the internet!
       
    5. jamesneihoff

      jamesneihoff New Member

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      Great response. Well said and explained. My Dell workstation happened to come with a gaming card. It was a scratch and dent and I picked it up at a great price. Any recommendations for a decent engineering card that will not break the budget? Application is 3D architectural rendering and automation via 3dsmax and Pro E.
       
    6. Dana

      Dana Well-Known Member

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      There may not be all that much difference any more, especially as most CAD systems nowadays can spin rendered solids around, and that's used as often as wireframe. One of the tech guys at Kubotek (makers of KeyCreator, formerly Cadkey) did a test recently on several engineering and gaming graphics cards. Kubotek can use Opengl (traditionally used for engineering) or Direct3D (traditionally used for gaming) for rendering. Their conclusion was that there was little difference, and in some cases the gaming cards were actually better. I don't think they tested any of the real expensive engineering cards, but how many people actually buy those anyway?
       

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