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Dell Precision T5600: Two Eight-Core CPUs In A Workstation

Results: NewTek LightWave 3D 11.5, E-on Vue 11, And Blender

NewTek LightWave 3D 11.5

If you've followed our revamped workstation coverage, you know that our 3D application testing started with LightWave. This is based purely on my familiarity with that product.

LightWave 3D Rendering

This scene originated in LightWave and is probably best optimized for it. It has numerous n-gons (polygons with more than four points) that keep geometry manageable, but then get necessarily tripled before getting exported to other applications. In all four frames, the difference between the two machines is close to a factor of three.

LightWave 3D OpenGL Preview

The OpenGL preview in LightWave serves the same purpose as the animation preview in 3dsMax and the playblast in Maya and works similarly. We run the preview test in the older multitextureshaders and the newer GLSL modes. The multitextureshaders are designed to work with more antiquated OpenGL systems and are incredibly fast for generating previews, while the GLSL technique uses shaders that evaluate much more of the surface options, including bump mapping and procedurals. Naturally, the GLSL mode takes a lot longer than the older mode, and the single-threaded nature of the preview means that the baseline machine comes out faster in GLSL. Thanks for that, higher clock rates and Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture.

LightWave 3D Modeler

This test uses a script within LightWave to clone polygonal geometry across the surface of our Tom's Hardware logo object. That, in a few separate stages, is how the detailing for the logo was created. The metric also reports how much time it takes to complete this operation. Even though Modeler is largely single-threaded, the test responds extremely well to the T5600's additional memory bandwidth, wrapping up in less than half the time of our baseline system.

E-on Vue 11 PLE

E-on’s Vue is a piece of 3D software designed for rendering landscapes. Our scene was originally created in Vue 8, and we load it into the current Personal Learning Edition for rendering. Vue makes good use of the Xeon E5-2687W's extra cores and memory bandwidth, yielding a 3.5x-faster result than the baseline.

Blender

Blender’s new Cycles renderer is more modern and efficient than the previous Tiles renderer. It supports newer features, including GPU-based rendering. But in this test, we’re performing a purely CPU-based benchmark. As we’ve seen with several other render tests, the Precision T5600 comes out slightly more than three times faster than iBuyPower box.