[Chimera-users] Quadro FX 1400/3450 performance

Thomas Goddard goddard at cgl.ucsf.edu
Wed Jan 31 10:55:53 PST 2007

Hi Maya,

  It must be exciting and alot of work to get your lab running.  Glad to 
hear you are making Chimera converts.

  Graphics benchmark scores using Chimera with the quadro fx 1400 and 
quadro fx 3400 are shown here


We don't have any numbers for the fx 3450 and I don't know if it is 
similar to the 3400.  The 1400 and 3400 have very similar Chimera 
scores.  The Chimera scores indicate how big a test volume can be 
handled at 10 frames per second.  Both these cards are very fast.  The 
one difference I see is that on the Nvidia web site they say the 1400 
has 128 Mbytes of memory while the 3450 has 256 Mbytes.

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/quadrofx.html (fx 3400)

Maybe that info is out of date -- maybe there is a choice of memory 
size.  On the Chimera page the fx 1400 had 256 Mb.  And 128 Mbytes is 
small by today's standards.  256 Mbytes is common, and 512 Mbytes is 
available with some cards.  The amount of graphics memory is most  
noticable if you use the Chimera "solid" rendering mode because it tries 
to put red,green,blue 8-bit values for the entire volume on the card.  
For 256^3 volume that is 48 Mbytes, or if you use Chimera 2-D textures 
mode (the default) it take 3 times that (144 Mbytes).  It can also make 
a difference for very large contour surfaces -- ones you might use for 
making a figure but would be too slow for interactive rotating (e.g. 10 
million triangles at about 18 bytes per triangle = 180 Mbytes).

  Regarding stereo, I'm not sure if there are any flat panel displays 
that can work with the LCD glasses.  They don't refresh fast enough so 
there is too much flicker.  So you either need a CRT display or maybe 
some special high-end flat panel.

  See you at the EMAN workshop.

Maya Topf wrote:
> Hi Tom,
> How are you?
> I am slowly settling down in the UK. Lots of work and collaborations. 
> A few people from the EM group at birkbeck started using chimera and 
> they really like it!
> I have a question about graphics cards and maybe you can help me.
> I am thinking about buying either NVIDIA QUADRO FX 1400 (stereo) or FX 
> 3450 (stereo).
> Do you think that there is a big difference when I want 
> to visualise large maps with chimera for example?
> thanks,
> Maya
> I saw that you are coming to the eman workshop so I guess I will see 
> you there!


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