Professional Affair: OpenGL Graphics Cards Compete

Elsa Drivers - The Bad News

If you use other OpenGL programs besides 3D Studio Max or Autocad, you must go back to the Elsa standard drivers. The dedicated plugins do not help anymore. Of course you would expect drivers that achieve maximum performance. We now use the synthetic benchmark Viewperf 6.1.1 to compare two of the latest Elsa drivers 102 and 116 on the Asus K7V with Nvidia's Detonator drivers 5.13.

While the individual tests with the Nvidia drivers run through very fast, we were twiddling our thumbs with the Elsa drivers. Do you notice the massive performance drops in almost all categories? Even a GeForce with Detonator drivers shows a better performance than the Quadro on the Gloria II. The new 116 drivers are even slower in Viewperf than the older 102 drivers.

This trend continues in a real application as well. In Solidworks 99 the Nvidia reference driver leaves the Elsa drivers in the dust. At least the 116 Elsa driver is a little bit faster than its predecessor 102.

In the Fogcity benchmark the Elsa drivers again displayed the weakest performance. We discovered another interesting point: Even though the GeForce has less memory and a slower clock rate, it is able to profit from the higher bandwidth of the DDR memory. The GeForce-DDR card is more than 50 percent faster than the Gloria II with Elsa drivers.

Uwe Scheffel