• Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor
• Asus P5QPL-VM EPU
• Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 Vapor X video card 1GB GDDR5
• 4GB DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Sample render times:
The main difference between these two are the video cards, but would that make one PC render at 3x the speed as the other one?
3DS Max has the ability to utilize the rendering capabilities of your video card if the card is so enabled. the EVGA does and the Radeon card does not. The EVGA card is using nVidia's CUDA technology to accelerate the render. Here is more info on CUDA:
After doing a little research I discovered that the video card makes a difference in the rendering. The Radeon is a much more powerful card (even though it's a gaming card). I guess I need to look for a good card with openGl.
Even superpi would give you some indication of whether there is a problem with one computer vs. the other one. It's a free download, you could try it to see if one computer has a problem vs. the other one.
Another thought- if your app has the ability to use multiple cores there is always the possibility that one computer has some cores disabled. I have done this with my computer for testing purposes but I don't remember now how I did it. I think it was somewhere in control panel. You could check to see that both computers are set to run with all 4 cores.
What kind of budget do you have for getting a new card? I suggested the GTX 550 Ti because it's in the same performance class as the Radeon 5770. Right now they go for around $130 on newegg.com. This card has 192 CUDA cores, whereas your 8600 GTS has 32.
Replacing the 5770 with the 550 Ti will make your second pc faster than the one with the 8600 in rendering tasks.
See max's link to understand CUDA, an NVIDIA-specific technology.