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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I know, not really what we do here but a man has to make money sometime. A friend wants his CAD workstation replaced. He runs SolidWorks 2011. I am setting him up with an i7 and some big RAM (9 to 12gb). My question, for a gpu does anyone have anything to say about the NIVIDIA Quadro FX3800? how about a card one step down? Minimum is the Quadro FX 580 but I want to get him something good while he has his wallet open.

I also know, quite a big difference in the Quadro FX580 and the QuadroFX3800. SolidWorks stresses to get a workstation card not a gaming card (the SolidWorks forums say this also).I ask if anyone has worked with this software/gpu combo?
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post #2 of 11
AFAIK, CAD cards are basically the same thing as gaming cards. The only difference is that they flash the cards with a different bios and provide drivers and support for the card. The drivers are also optimized for CAD work and designing but run very poor for games.

But the Quadro FX 580 is suppose to be the equivalent of a 9500 GT. As for the X3800 I don't know, you'd have to try to match the specs to another Nvidia card that has those specific specs.

Quadro FX 3800
G200GL
Core 600Mhz
Ram 800Mhz 1024MB 256-bit GDDR3
Memory Bandwidth - 51.2 GiB/s
3-Pin Stereo Connector
192 CUDA Cores
107W Power Consumption

Maybe someone can help you identify it, haven't bought an Nvidia card since Geforce2.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks anoob,you are correct that the difference is in the drivers. SolidWorks has a list of cards they "bless' as far as compatability. I don't think I have anything to lose by downloading a demo of the software and running it on some of my NIVIDIA gaming cards and see if all the warnings are for the birds. The cards labled "workstation" cards are no different hardware wise (at least at the low end). +rep
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post #4 of 11
Get a ATI Firepro V9800
post #5 of 11
Alot of the newer Geforce series cards can be flashed with quadro drivers a or softmodded with rivatuner, allowing the card to use the quadro drivers which as stated before are optimized for 3d modelling. If I remember right there should be a recent thread discussing this process. The only hardware difference is usually the amount of RAM on the card but they use the same GPU.

Also that Quadro fx3800 sounds like a GTX260
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
I will admit I have a bit of a problem with a gpu having its driver flashed. I say this a I always associated the term "flashing" with an activity centered around the cards BIOS.

About the Quadro FX3800 really being a 260,they must have had one heck of a flash as these Quardo FX3800's are being sold in the $800.00 range.

I am a bit bewildered as the shop owner is running his Solidworks CAD program on a bone stock HP model,the same machine he uses for his office duties. I am going to walk in and have to convince him he needs an i7 with 12gb and a new gpu and he should have seperate machines for his office work and his CAD work, I will let you know how it goes (probably with me being shown the door with some type of thievry comment following me).One thing I do have going for me is SolidWorks is dropping support for people who want to run SolidWorks under XP and this is how this shop owner is doing it. Now I will also have to explain how he needs an OS change. It is tough when people do not stay current with hardware and software and relate a push to "get with the times" as a attempt at deception.
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post #7 of 11
Here's a guide to use RivaTuner to softmod at Geforce card to a Quadro
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=539

Nvidia Workstation GPU info
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=95&pgno=3

Nvidia Desktop GPU info
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=88&pgno=8
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Select,Thanks For the links, I will try this with a card I have (hope it is on the list). I conclude that this is more of a firmware modification rather than a BIOS flash. I guess some hairs are getting split here. +rep
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post #9 of 11
i recommend an i7 2600K $300, some 12 GB of fast 1600 MHz CAS 8 DDR3 $150 and a good CPU cooler so u can overclock that beast to 4.5 GHz $90.
and to turn geforce to quadro you ARE modifying/flashing bios and firmware. it's basically transforming one card into another.
you mention $800, i would recommend the quadro 4000. it supports DX11 and uses the latest fermi architecture. it will also be quite a bit faster than the FX 580. (32 vs 256 cores)
Edited by james8 - 3/5/11 at 8:51pm
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post #10 of 11
Just a warning... the flash from a geforce to a quadro doesn't work 100% of the time and the geforce card won't work at the performance level of a quadro card. quadro 6000 is the best one out right now tho.
 
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