I’m not sure what direction I should go in, so I would appreciate any advice or opinions you can give.
I’m choosing between NVIDIA Quadro 1600m on Vista or NVIDIA 2500 (maybe 3500, depending on funds) on XP.
I will be using this for the gamut of design school applications.
Will I need DirectX10 compat?
Is the Vista slowdown of OpenGl really that bad or did that get fully patched?
I’m leaning towards XP, but I don’t want to make a decision that in a couple years I’ll regret.
I was an early Vista adopter just about one year ago. I kept dealing with the problems, security issues, slow torrent download speeds, the overall lack of performance, and enjoying how it barely looks prettier.
My PC setup…
Dual core 3.4’s Ghz (6.8 Ghz total)
2 GB DDR2 RAM
1 Terabyte of disk space
256MB NVIDIA video card
…and Vista is still a slow problem-filled dog.
I just switched back to XP this week, and everything in my life is better. Flowers were blooming in my front yard, I won ten million dollars tax-free, and I just found the fountain of youth… in my bathroom.
If someone defends it, they’re still in denial of the facts. XP is no shining savior, but comparatively, it’s a massive and note-worthy difference.
Don’t force yourself into a Quadro card if you’re a student. The truth is as a student you’d be much better off spending cash elsewhere - any decent gaming card will comfortably handle the CAD work you’ll do as a student - and Nvidia drivers tend to work fairly well for most software (Alias/Rhino/Solidworks). Think about how many people in your class are probably using onboard graphics on their laptops.
Really it’s not even that big of a difference. It’s not like with the Quadro you get these incredibly detailed vivid graphics and with a Geforce card you wind up with blocky pixelated wireframes.
The hardware is THE SAME. Quadro chipsets simply have a driver specifically designed for workstation class Open GL programs instead of being optimized for playing Grand Theft Auto. In fact the Quadro cards are always SIGNIFICANTLY slower than their Geforce price point counterpart. In 80% of cases I’d say you’d be hard pressed to even notice the difference, and even then it’s usually related to number of shaded viewports or anti-aliasing - things that aren’t noticable or won’t impact your ability to do work.
A fast multi core CPU and a lot of ram however - that can be the difference between a 8 hour rendering and a 4 hour rendering.