SPECviewperf12: Synthetic Simulations
Synthetic Tests: Energy
This benchmark simulates a typical volume rendering application, which is used for geophysical surveys (think seismology, along with oil and natural gas exploration) and medical imaging. During the surveys, 2D images are combined to form volumetric representations, creating 2D and 3D views that can further analyzed and evaluated.
The energy-01 viewset takes advantage of hardware support for 3D textures and the associated trilinear interpolation, which in turn depends on a lot of fast graphics memory. But despite its copious memory bandwidth, AMD's FirePro W9100 finishes far behind the Quadro K6000. In fact, the Hawaii-based board is barely any faster than the W9000. At least the two AMD cards beat Nvidia's Quadro K5000 by quite a bit.
Synthetic Tests: Medical
As with the Energy viewset, which covered geophysical surveys and imaging, SPECviewperf 12 uses a synthetic suite to represent the medical field, making use of functionality that is often used for this kind of texture-based volume rendering. Two-dimensional images, created through the use of computer tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), are combined into a 3D representation.
The direct volume rendering is achieved by lining up the image slices in parallel. This is done based on texture coordinates, which are specified at every single vertex. They consist of the location in the 3D space (x, y, and z) and also define the alignment and scaling of the texture on the polygon via an object. Next, the values needed for the actual display are calculated based on the texture coordinates. This is called compositing. The entire volume can be thought of as a large number of voxels, or volume pixels, which contain opacity and color on top of the texture information.
Volume ray casting is used to calculate the actual image from the voxels. The present benchmark has two parts. The “4D Heart Data Set” contains several 3D objects, and the “Stag Beetle” places large demands on memory. AMD's FirePro W9100 is a perfect match for both tests and wins hands-down.