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TechZone Heading
3D Studio MAX FAQ
Added on: Tue Apr 16 2002
Page: 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 

A. Video Card Questions (cont.)

What's a good video card manufacturer?

This varies from person to person, but my favorites are Leadtek and Gainward. The Gainward Ti 4200 has a variant, which uses 3.3 ns ram, which is extremely speedy, and under 150 USD.

My new graphics card didn’t decrease my render times any. Why?
Video cards accelerate the Viewports in 3dsmax, not the renderer. The renderer is a separate entity that’s speed is determined almost purely by the CPU and Memory system.

However…technology continues to advance at an astounding rate and the newer video GPU’s on the market do have the capability to performance preview renders in hardware. However it’s yet to be seen if this will be taken advantage of, and whether there will be some sort of method to capture the data. (The AGP bus isn’t fast enough to both receive and transmit rendered data).

My viewport textures are tearing and max keeps crashing or giving weird modeling errors. What's wrong?
Your video drivers could be corrupted, or have an issue with OpenGL applications. If you're using an Nvidia card, you're in luck. Go to and pick from the entire mass release of all Nvidia drivers ever created.

If your not using an Nvidia card, try updating your video card drivers at your manufacturers website. Also try updating your motherboard chipset AGP drivers, and IDE drivers.

If this doesn't work, try starting max with 3dsmax.exe -h and choosing direct3d or software HEIDI.

It could be possible that your card is just unable to deal with the way application OpenGL is handled. (In comparison to Game OpenGL). A wide variety of accelerators will work fine in games, but will be unable to perform adequately within a 3d App.

I have a card based on a 3dfx chipset. Why is my card not working in 3dsmax?
The early 3dfx cards, the voodoo1 and voodoo2, use full screen acceleration modes. Since max uses a viewport configuration, these cards will not work in 3dsmax, use software HEIDI instead. The later versions of 3dfx cards, the voodoo3 through the voodoo5 use Minigl drivers to accelerate games. Because of this they are incredibly unstable in 3dsmax, and I recommend using software HEIDI or direct3d instead.

Its also been reported, that because of 3dfx's downfall, the driver support for 3dfx cards is so horrible, that the only usable way to run these cards in 3dsmax, is to use software heidi. If you start getting weird errors or tearing in the viewport,
switch to software heidi. IT is the ONLY solution for 3dfx cards. Remember these are gaming cards and should be treated as such.

Does the amount of ram matter on my video card? Will getting a 128 meg card increase my performance over a 64 meg card?
Yes the amount of ram matters on your video card. However it depends on the type of work you do. More textures in the viewport increase the amount of ram in use.

Increasing the resolution you work at also increases the amount of memory bandwidth and size required to maintain the same level of performance.
Thus, 32 megabytes of ram might be fine at 1024x768x32, but could cause some speed issues at 1600x1200x32.
The latest batch of video cards feature a minimum of 64 megabytes of ram, and upwards of 400+ (For the wildcats), so ram should never be a problem when working in the viewports.

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