The answer to the graphics card question depends on what you are willing to
spend! Most cards which are good for gaming (up to about $200) are not usually
designed for 3D MCAD work, which normally takes advantage of geometry accelators
which the more expensive cards usually have. There tends to be a jump in price
from about the $200-250 range up to about $800 and up for higher end cards for
workstation use. If you really want 3D CAD applications to fly, these higher end
cards are the way to go. Most CAD systems (even the lower priced ones now) use
some kind of graphics standard, such as OpenGL, or Heidi.
I personally have had good experience with 3D Labs Glint Delta Engine, running
Unigraphics on a 200Mhz Pentium Pro. I am not doing any hi-res shading, but the
card I have handle realtime 3D shaded rotation and low res texturing pretty
well. It is also about 3 years old, so it's pretty old technology (relatively!).
Here are a few examples of low range highend cards. Please note that these are
not endorsements for these cards. Please consult your software vendor for
All prices are from CDW (www.cdw.com)
I am not affiliated with CDW in any way.
AccelPRO MX 24MB PCI $889.01
AccelECLIPSE II 3D 32MB (PCI or AGP available) $1196.93
Oxygen 402 PCI 64bit 32 MB $827.08
There are many more, so a quick mlook at your favorite vendor should yeild more
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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