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Old 01-23-05, 10:29 AM   #1
RobHague
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Default The Quadro Effect

Hi, this is related to the 6800 btw, so it tought it was better in here.

Has anyone in here played around with SoftQuadro?

The latest version of RivaTuner (15.3) lets you change/force the Device ID before the OS boots so you can turn your GeForce (or whatever you have) into a Quadro/FireGL product and unlock any masked pipes there might be (as in the 6800NU and 6800LE), this is probably old news to some people i guess.

But the thing is, as a quadro conversion this works far too well. I read an NVIDIA announcement with interest, that stated the Quadro FX 4000 line is different silicon to the GeForce. Well someone is fibbing, because optimized drivers or no, you dont get over 100%-600% increases in performance from 'better' drivers (not real performance anyway).

I was playing around with this mod, and i ventured into the BIOS flashing method, out of curiosity and bordem mainly. After trying a standard FX 4000 bios from a PNY card, it read as a quadro, but the performance was the same as the GeForce, dispite the Quadro drivers installing fine. Seems the optimized drivers theory providing all the performance increase is out then - the computer thought it was a quadro, the drivers worked, but performance was the same....

I was considering giving up, as i had the DELL Engneering Release BIOS for the FX 4000, but unfortunatley using VGABIOS to varify it with my card always resulted in a black screen. So i didnt want to risk it.

Well long story short, temptation to "fiddle" was too great so i modded it with RivaTuner to turn the 16pipes back on (for some reason the engeneering sample turns off 4 pipes by default) and altered the clocks. By some wierd coincidence my card runs at 370Mhz core as standard... the real FX 4000 runs at 375 so 5mhz up is nothing. I tried it out and flashed it, half expecting the screen to stay black and me having to blindley flash back the original BIOS, but to my supprise it booted up fine. Displaying NV40GL... good sign.

The drivers installed, this time working fully - all the options and panels showed up and a quick test of performance seems to bring it at least x2 faster in SpecView Perf - as much as 600% for some tests. Will run more tests later when I can find some other tools as tweaks like this purk my interest.


It appears that the released BIOS on final cards, has some sort of protection to stop it being used on a card with the resistors setting its ID to something else. While the DELL BIOS appears to lack that.... or over-rides/forces its own.

Dunno what ill do with it now of course, im not a 'CAD' buff or anything, i dabble at best so it might end up getting its old BIOS back once the novelty wears off maybe lol - But i thought my experiences would be worth sharing. If anyone wants to know the exact tools and bios i used i will be happy to point them in that direction. Be interesting for other ppl to see what results they get (especially with other 6xxx cards).

For now though, a conclusion thats obvious is that the Quadro cards are simply unlocked NV40's, while NV40's are simply NV40GL's with their professional features turned off. I wish NVIDIA would stop the pre-tense though that they are 'totally different'.

EDIT:
I just made this chart up from my results in SpecView... as you can see there is quite a performance jump.

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Last edited by RobHague; 01-26-05 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Added new benchmark
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Old 01-23-05, 10:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

You're right they're not totally different. But they are different in quality.

It's like AMD selecting Athlon XP chips that pass under extreme situations and labeling them XP-M. They're the same chip, but with certain features unlocked.
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Old 01-25-05, 04:29 AM   #3
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Arrow Re: The Quadro Effect

There are bonding options with Quadros that are different than the GeForce. Quadros come off a different factory line than the GeForce. You're fooling yourself if you want to believe you have created a Quadro when you buy a GeForce and change character display strings and timing in the BIOS.

Regardless of what the BIOS and drivers report, you can't put VTEC stickers on your Honda to make it go faster. Jus' don work dat way.
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Old 01-25-05, 09:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricercar
You're fooling yourself if you want to believe you have created a Quadro when you buy a GeForce and change character display strings and timing in the BIOS.

Regardless of what the BIOS and drivers report, you can't put VTEC stickers on your Honda to make it go faster. Jus' don work dat way.
You totally sure about that?

BEFORE as 6800GT
Quote:
---------- SUM_RESULTS\3DSMAX\SUMMARY.TXT
3dsmax-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 15.78

---------- SUM_RESULTS\CATIA\SUMMARY.TXT
catia-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.06

---------- SUM_RESULTS\ENSIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
ensight-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.15

---------- SUM_RESULTS\LIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
light-07 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.748

---------- SUM_RESULTS\MAYA\SUMMARY.TXT
maya-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 18.96

---------- SUM_RESULTS\PROE\SUMMARY.TXT
proe-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 14.52

---------- SUM_RESULTS\SW\SUMMARY.TXT
sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 13.46

---------- SUM_RESULTS\UGS\SUMMARY.TXT
ugs-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 4.607
AFTER as FX4000
Quote:
---------- SUM_RESULTS\3DSMAX\SUMMARY.TXT
3dsmax-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 31.11

---------- SUM_RESULTS\CATIA\SUMMARY.TXT
catia-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.35

---------- SUM_RESULTS\ENSIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
ensight-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.66

---------- SUM_RESULTS\LIGHT\SUMMARY.TXT
light-07 Weighted Geometric Mean = 17.30

---------- SUM_RESULTS\MAYA\SUMMARY.TXT
maya-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 30.23

---------- SUM_RESULTS\PROE\SUMMARY.TXT
proe-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 34.73

---------- SUM_RESULTS\SW\SUMMARY.TXT
sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 18.81

---------- SUM_RESULTS\UGS\SUMMARY.TXT
ugs-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 29.51
UGS-04 test is the most impressive, from 4.607 to 29.51. It's not just numbers either - the benchmark runs noticably faster (actually A LOT noticably).

You dont need to flash the BIOS btw, rivatuner can over-ride the device ID for you with NVstrap. But its just a more 'full' solution to flash it. BTW not any old Quadro FX 4000 BIOS will do - using one from a released card gave the results you said. It said it was a Quadro but performance was the same. You need the special engeneering release BIOS for it to work.
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Old 01-25-05, 03:03 PM   #5
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Arrow Re: The Quadro Effect

Yeah, I'm totally sure about that. I used to work at NVIDIA on the Quadro line.

Quadro come from different fab lines than Geforce. They have different bonding options. The metal balls that stick out from the plastic chip case connect inside to different pads on the die for Quadro than GeForce. Different connections, different logic. This is why changing BIOS, PCI ID or strapping options won't change a GeForce into a Quadro.
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Old 01-25-05, 04:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

And Quadros have hardware based AA that the GeFORCE line lacks, among other features.
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Old 01-25-05, 04:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricercar
Yeah, I'm totally sure about that. I used to work at NVIDIA on the Quadro line.

Quadro come from different fab lines than Geforce. They have different bonding options. The metal balls that stick out from the plastic chip case connect inside to different pads on the die for Quadro than GeForce. Different connections, different logic. This is why changing BIOS, PCI ID or strapping options won't change a GeForce into a Quadro.
Im sorry i really disagree. Although i cant say what you used to, or didnt used to work at - I heard it from an NVIDIA rep that the whole "distinction" of the GeForce and Quadro line being "hardware differences" is for the reason of marketing only. Not only that.. im seeing it with my own eyes right now.

They said the actual differences are that Quadro GPU's are hand picked, the cards (PCB) are made by NVIDIA (not 3rd partys who may cut corners) to certain specifications and last quite a bit longer than the average GeForce. After all its a BIG investment and these are not cards that are replaced every 6 months.

I would like to hear your explanation though, since this is doing nothing but making it say QUADRO on the screen and Drivers, of why doing this MOD (not just me, lots of other people) seems to have a significant increase in performance (100% to 600%) for CAD/3D work? Not to mention the fact that it enables certain "hardware only" features that only the Quadro is supposed to have in these applications?

Unless the NV40 is the same GPU, mine must have gone all BORG like and started assimilating and redesigning itself…

Quote:
Originally Posted by superklye
And Quadros have hardware based AA that the GeFORCE line lacks, among other features.
Yes they do... I have these features now. And?
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Old 01-25-05, 04:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

You can't have hardware AA enabled by a softmod. It's...oh, what's that word? Uh...um...ah yes! IMPOSSIBLE. This has been talked about time and time again...you cannot add HARDWARE supported features via software unless the hardware is already there.

That would be like flashing your SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 to an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro (I don't even know if that's possible) and then assume you can decode DTS via hardware...unless you have that optical or coaxial output for DTS capabilities, YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. This is the same situation here.
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Old 01-25-05, 04:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by superklye
You can't have hardware AA enabled by a softmod. It's...oh, what's that word? Uh...um...ah yes! IMPOSSIBLE. This has been talked about time and time again...you cannot add HARDWARE supported features via software unless the hardware is already there.

That would be like flashing your SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 to an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro (I don't even know if that's possible) and then assume you can decode DTS via hardware...unless you have that optical or coaxial output for DTS capabilities, YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. This is the same situation here.
It's quite possible because the NV40 and NV40GL are the same GPU . Why exactley, would i lie about this? I cannot prove this myself because i do not have the applications available to me right now to show you, however i can point you to some threads if you care to read though them.

6800 > Quadro FX questions
http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread....0&pagenumber=1
(you will have to look through this one a bit to find relivent information to what we are discussion though)

To quote
Quote:
Maya viewports do not seem to benefit much in speed, only in quality (hardware overlays support makes paint effects and other artisan tools work better)."
The Original Hardware and BIOS mod...
http://newbietech.net/eng/qtoq/nvidia/6800/6800mod.php

The pre-15.3 release of RivaTuner with NVstrap included.
http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php...highlight=15.3

to quote the first post
Quote:
OpenGL works as expected. AA edges works in OpenGL!
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Old 01-25-05, 05:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

For doubters, I suggest checking out this thread:

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread....hreadid=123844

I'm fairly certain there are some diffs between a softQuad and a real one, but that doesn't stop the softQuad still doing significantly better under Maxtreme using SpecAPC. SpecAPC is NOT a synthetic like SpecViewPerf, and gives indications of real world speed boosts.
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Old 01-25-05, 05:52 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

Quote:
Originally Posted by superklye
You can't have hardware AA enabled by a softmod. It's...oh, what's that word? Uh...um...ah yes! IMPOSSIBLE. This has been talked about time and time again...you cannot add HARDWARE supported features via software unless the hardware is already there.

That would be like flashing your SoundBlaster Live! 5.1 to an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Pro (I don't even know if that's possible) and then assume you can decode DTS via hardware...unless you have that optical or coaxial output for DTS capabilities, YOU DON'T HAVE THEM. This is the same situation here.
Do a little research pal, AA lines work on geforce to quadro mods. Your statement is sort of true in that you can't add hardware supported features. Thing is that the feature is hardware supported on the geforce, its just not enabled.
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Old 01-25-05, 06:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Quadro Effect

Sorry, but I trust the guy that worked for nVIDIA more than anyone else on this topic.
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