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Thread: Revit Hardware : Video Graphic Cards

  1. #31
    Member KiwiCodes's Avatar
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    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
    VIDEO RAM: 1gb
    BRAND MODEL: Gigabyte http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/comp...p?partid=14354
    DRIVER: 266.66
    WINDOWS: WIndows 7 64
    Revit version: rac 2011

    Just installed this card and it makes Revit Scream. Its unbelievable how I can now spin around my models with shadows/Ambiant Shadows and Realistic textures all turn on and it spins freely without and hessitation . Absolutly awsome.

    Oh and running Lumion 3d is now breathtaking

  2. #32
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    We just picked up a GTX 560 a couple days ago... haven't had enough time with it to officially report anything, but initial impressions are that it's pretty awesome.

  3. #33
    Member Tim West's Avatar
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    To throw in my 2 cents worth, I have seen a lot more problems with ATI cards that nVidia. The black screen issue, that completely disappears with hardware acceleration turned off (like revit is worth using without acceleration).

    nVidia GTX 460 & 470 having no problems with any of the drivers released since April last year.

    Point of clarity. The original post here suggests that GPU has no impact on 3D views that don't have shadows, etc turned on. This can be easily disproved by opening a 3D view and spinning it. Now turn off 'Hard ware Acceleration' and spin the same view. The results are generally obvious. Revit 2010 switched rendering engine from OpenGL to DirectX. Both of these can be handed off to the GPU and when Hardware Acceleration is on, this is done. Even 2D views (ane elevation/slice/plan) are quicker as the geometry is calculated/displayed by the GPU.

  4. #34
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    Brand: Zotac
    GPU: GeForce GTX 460 @710MHZ Core Clock
    Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5 @3600MHz Effective Memory Clock
    Driver version: 266.58
    Screen: Dual-24" Dell UltraSharps @1900x1200 32-bit Color

    This card has been great! I do get the status bar looping about every other day for 10 seconds or so, but I've seen that reported about Revit 2010 and 2011 all along and I certainly had it with my previous card. Excluding the Nvidia components, the card is pretty much no-frills with exception to a nice set of memory/speed and a nice cooler. I've been very happy with the Revit performance and can easily walk through a my current project with two linked .rvt models and a total project size of 167MB with smooth graphic performance... up to a point. Ambient occlusion looks great and creates very little lag as the workload is taken by the GPU exclusively. With ambient occlusion turned-up and at my high resolution (x2 screens*) you can definely tell when the 2GB of GDDR5 fills-up: if I really push it to test the limits, it will last about 5 minutes of constant, smooth behavior.
    * Revit is only running fullscreen on one monitor. This is long-enough to do a short walk-through for a client.

    I moved from the Quadro FX1700 that was ordered with my Dell Precision 690 almost 4 years ago primarily because of the 512MB of RAM causing video crashes (black viewport) and generally bad performance, but also because Autodesk had long since put its weight behind DirectX. I never liked OpenGL anyway and when OpenGL development went into hiatus for so many years, I hoped that software developers would make the switch. Though OpenCL looks even more promising, I'm glad to be making use of DirectX.

    I decided to go with the Zotac based-on price, the 2GB of memory. And because even if it flopped, I'd be able to move it to a non-Revit machine and still use it for CUDA processing. Haven't seen anything negative about Zotac in particular, just that it is packaged no-frills like you would get from one of the manufacturers mentioned by iru69 (lots of cables/connectors, nice manual, etc.) It has been really, really refreshing to have Revit come closer to keeping-up with me and all of the video hiccups and crashes (attributable to the card and not the software) are gone.

    __________________________________________________ ___________________________________________
    Hardware: Dell Precision 690 1KW, Xeon Quad x5365 @3GHz, 16GB DDR2
    OS: Windows 7 Professional x64 SP1
    Revit: RAC 2011, RST 2011, RME 2011
    Other BIM: Bentley, Tekla
    VDC: Navisworks, Tekla BIMsight
    Last edited by dthirlwell; March 23rd, 2011 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Add sig

  5. #35
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim West View Post
    Point of clarity. The original post here suggests that GPU has no impact on 3D views that don't have shadows, etc turned on. This can be easily disproved by opening a 3D view and spinning it. Now turn off 'Hard ware Acceleration' and spin the same view. The results are generally obvious. Revit 2010 switched rendering engine from OpenGL to DirectX. Both of these can be handed off to the GPU and when Hardware Acceleration is on, this is done. Even 2D views (ane elevation/slice/plan) are quicker as the geometry is calculated/displayed by the GPU.
    Hi Tim,

    I appreciate you chiming in on this. I would be more than happy to adjust my conclusions, but I guess part of the problem is that it is not quite as easily disproved as you seem to suggest.

    With all the eye candy turned off, I can *not* definitively tell the difference between HWA on or off.

    Maybe it's just the models/computers I work on? I just don't notice it on the typical models I work with (typically residential from very small to let's say less than 5,000 model elements and less than a 100 MB). However, to look more closely at your conclusion, I did a little more experimenting...

    3GHz Core 2 Quad w/ 8 GB RAM, GeForce GTX460 (W7 x64):
    I amassed one model at around 15,000 model elements and spun around it and switched to plans and sections, with both HWA on and off - both were kind of choppy and sluggish, but no discernible difference. I then created an array of 40,000 individual model elements, all 40,000 individually visible on screen at one time, which seriously stressed the hardware. Spinning around the model was extremely choppy, often taking a few seconds to regenerate the view. Switching to a plan view for the first time took ~85 seconds (used a stop watch). Tested with both HWA on and off... just about identical results. I guess the next step would be to do a "blind" test... but anecdotally, I can't tell a difference in speed with HWA on or off.

    2.93GHz Core i7-870 w/ 8 GB RAM, Quadro FX580 (W7 x64):
    Just to take it all a step further, I then ran the same tests on a faster CPU with a much slower video card. Again, subjectively, I could not tell a difference with HWA on or off. However, spinning around the model did seem slightly faster (very subjectively), even with the far inferior graphics card, than the other computer with the slower CPU and much faster graphics card. And switching to a plan view for the first time took ~70 seconds, about 15% faster.

    As far as I can ascertain, what currently accounts for speed differences, at least for the most part, is the CPU (and possibly memory speed). This is observable by looking at WTM and observing that the CPU (at least one core) is pegged at 100% when spinning around a model or regenerating a view (whether HWA is on or not). No matter how powerful the GPU, the CPU is still has to process the data of the Revit model from memory and feed it to the GPU for display. With no fancy eye candy to post-process, there's not much left for the GPU to do. Turn on shadows and "Realistic View" and it's a different story - the GPU can add shadows and textures much faster than the CPU can (the GPU is optimized for those kind of DX tasks).

    If others can chime in and confirm that they do see a definitive difference between HWA on or off (with shadows, anti-aliasing, etc. off of course) and under what circumstances (computer hardware, model complexity/size, 3D, plans sections, etc.), that would certainly be interesting to hear more about. More often than not when I've heard such claims, a little further digging reveals that the comparison wasn't apples to apples.

  6. #36
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dthirlwell View Post
    Brand: Zotac
    GPU: GeForce GTX 460 @710MHZ Core Clock
    Video Memory: 2GB GDDR5 @3600MHz Effective Memory Clock
    Driver version: 266.58
    Screen: Dual-24" Dell UltraSharps @1900x1200 32-bit Color

    This card has been great!...
    Nice feedback on the card - we'll have to add it to the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by dthirlwell
    With ambient occlusion turned-up and at my high resolution (x2 screens*) you can definely tell when the 2GB of GDDR5 fills-up: if I really push it to test the limits, it will last about 5 minutes of constant, smooth behavior.
    Hmmm... I don't think it works like that... the ambient occlusion wouldn't "fill up" the video memory... ambient occlusion wouldn't take up much (if any) graphic memory to begin with, and graphic memory should be cleared as needed. What really eats up memory are textures (i.e. realistic view), but you would likely need hundreds of them to eat up 2GB of memory.

    I don't know what the explanation is for the issue you're experiencing - it could be a bug in Revit or the video card/driver... or something unrelated.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by iru69 View Post
    We just picked up a GTX 560 a couple days ago... haven't had enough time with it to officially report anything, but initial impressions are that it's pretty awesome.
    Im considering this card as well, that's why i'm curious to know how well the gtx 560 performs with Revit. Taking into account the limited time you've had with the card, can you give me some insight on it's overall performance, but most importantly, Are you able to move around the model without the transition being too choppy?.

    Also, well this might be out of topic, but have you tried using google sketchup with the gtx 560 ?

    Thank you very much, any kind of insight is greatly appreciated

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    However, be aware that the 3GB switch can have a negative impact on OS stability, even while having a positive impact on Revit stability....
    Gordon, I want to make sure I read your post right
    using the 3GB switch can cause the OS stability issues
    what exactly do you call stability issues - BSOD, program crashing, etc?

    does this apply to win7 x32 or also win7 x64

    do you have any other insight for what it should be set to for 8gb physical memory (1gb video memory, if that matters in your configuration)

    most of our models are 110mb

    i currently am using the windows command
    bcdedit /set IncreaseUserVa 3072

    thanks for your testing and insight.

  9. #39
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums chaoticfreedom!

    So far, it seems like a very good card. I don't personally have one currently in my possession (it was bought for a co-worker's home computer for use with Revit), but he reports no problems so far.

    Don't know about SU specifically, but I'd guess that it will work well.

    Whether a new video card eliminated the "choppy" may be just as dependent on what CPU you have (it might be helpful to list the rest of your computer specs when asking a hardware question like that). It’s actually the CPU that is generating the geometry that is seen on your screen – it takes very little effort by the video card to turn that into pixels. However, if you turn on those fancy graphic options like shadows and Realistic Views, the video card will assist in processing those parts of the view.



    p.s. - I see you essentially posted the same question in another thread - in the future, please try to pick one spot to ask your question.

  10. #40
    Forum Co-Founder iru69's Avatar
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    btrusty, the 3GB switch only applies to x32. It does nothing with x64. There is no point in setting the IncreaseUserVa in x64 either.

    I suggest reading this thread, particularly the RAM part. Also, in that thread, I've linked to a post by Gordon that goes into a lot of detail about the 3GB switch.

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