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Test Configuration

OpenGL: ATi FireGL X2-256t and NVIDIA Quadro FX 1100
By

All the details in the following relate solely to the performance comparison, which is also included in the rating.

Common Hardware
Workstation HP Workstation xw4100
Processor Intel P4 3.2 GHz (HT disabled on WinXP)
Harddisk Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 (80 GB, SATA)
Motherboard HP DURAY (Intel 875 chipset)
System Memory 1 GB (4x256 MB Infineon PC3200/DDR400 CL3, ECC)
OpenGL Graphics Cards
ATi OpenGL cards FireGL X2-256
FireGL X2-256t
NVIDIA/PNY OpenGL cards Quadro FX 1000 (128 MB)
Quadro FX 1100 (128 MB)
Drivers & Settings
ATI FireGL series 6.14.10.6404 and FireGL 3dsm plugin
NVIDIA Quadro FX series 6.14.10.5303
3dsm drivers for Quadro FX series Maxtreme 3dsm plugin 4.00.29 (version 6.00.04 was evaluated)
Resolution 1280x1024x32, Vsync=off
Operating System Windows XP
Benchmarks
Viewperf (synthetic) SPECopc Viewperf 7.1a
Solidworks (Application) SPECapc Solidworks 2003 SP5.5 benchmark
3D Studio Max (Application) SPECapc 3DSMAX 4.2.6 benchmark

Lab Notes

All the benchmark charts were generated with HyperThreading disabled. Preliminary tests have revealed that the feature marketed so loudly by Intel leads to slight performance losses in numerous workstation applications.

Unlike in earlier tests, with this review, we are changing operating systems from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. While most benchmark results are still published under Microsoft's old OS at spec.org , the vast majority of new systems available are based on Windows XP.

A comparison of the values with our article Graphics Boosters For OpenGL Workstations is no longer possible since, besides changing the operating system, Solidworks was also run with Service Pack 5.5 (SP 0.0 at that time). Moreover, a CPU with a slower clock frequency was used back then.

In recent months, we have received numerous e-mails asking us why we still run the application benchmark SPECapc 3D Studio Max in version 4.2.6, particularly since version 6 is already available on the market. This is due to the development of the official benchmark scripts. Unfortunately, there is still no script for 3DSM6, which runs reliably. We believe that it shows SPEC up for having failed thus far to bring out a new benchmark for such a popular program. Tests conducted with the supplied files on 3DSM 6 tutorial CD unfortunately produced a set of unusable results, which we are not publishing. The new, and supposedly better, Maxtreme-6 driver from NVIDIA did not change anything in this regard either.

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