Workstation Graphics: 19 Cards Tested In SPECviewperf 12


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.

Weighting for the 10 individual tests is found in a handy table below. Not surprisingly, AMD's FirePro W7000 serves as our example again.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
BenchmarksWeight in %FPS
4D Heart Data Set - Test 1

10.0072.194D Heart Data Set - Test 2

10.0074.604D Heart Data Set - Test 3

10.0050.064D Heart Data Set - Test 4

10.0019.344D Heart Data Set - Test 5

10.0038.76Stag Beetle - Test 6

10.0020.69Stag Beetle - Test 7

10.0018.07Stag Beetle - Test 8

10.009.21Stag Beetle - Test 9

10.003.27Stag Beetle - Test 10

10.003.79 Weighted Geometric Mean = 19.66

  • spp85
    AMD FirePro now a days performs very good at a cheaper price. Good job AMD. Keep on improving that.
    When AMD releases the mighty 16GB FirePro 9100 based on Radeon R9-290X core will be competitive to the Quadro K6000 in performance.
  • ykki
    Waiting for the W9100 benchmarks and oh lord (AMD) let it be good! :)

  • FormatC
    I've also reviewed the FirePro W9100 in a large article with a lot of real-world benchmarks (the review was published last week in German). But AMD is really funny: the W9100 launch was at 7th, the R9 295X2 at 8th... So we got not time enough to translate it faster or merge the results. It's a shame :(
  • Shankovich
    Can't wait for the W9100 benchmarks! Getting one sent to me but oh man I still want to see some results :D
  • PepitoTV
    I would've loved to see Titan benchmarks included as that card is often named as a 'poor man' workstation card...
  • bobcramblitt
    Thanks for this. Would love to see some future benchmarking of workstation-level systems using the new SPEC workstation benchmark (SPECwpc V1.0 -- But, then again, I'm a SPEC guy...
  • edhap
    Hey SPEC guy, when can we do away with synthetic benchmarks for the workstation market? Hopefully VP12 is the last of these and you can focus on real applications. The last thing I need is another benchmark that does not match real world use cases

    I find that internal benchmarking the only way to really understand the value of workstation cards. W7000 for example - it was awesome in our internal testing. While good, the cards is much better than these benchmark results suggest. Not sure why I would look at another SPEC benchmark when I will still need to test the cards in-house to really know how good they are for our applications and models.
  • adamglick
    Fortunately, VP12 is MUCH MUCH closer to an actual (non-biased) representation of real-world application performance than was VP11. Yes, it's still "synthetic" but it uses actual code traces from updated versions of real applications -and its results are typically in-line with actual application testing results.

    Unfortunately, testing in the real applications (using something like APCapc) requires actual licenses of the software apps. Many of these vendors (CATIA, NX, etc) simply don't make temp licenses available for reviewers/journalists or other non-users.

    VP12 should be quite good enough to help make informed evaluations of GPU hardware. If you are concerned about seeing in-application performance measurements for particular apps, you can ususually find the data with a bit of googling, although take results you find posted on the internet by "regular Joe's" with a grain of salt.

    Adam Glick
    Sapphire Technologies
  • adamglick
    *It is a shame Tom's did not include the results of the latest AMD FirePro 9100 card. They do actually have this card for eval and testing in house and It's a mystery to me why they chose not to include the results here.

    tsk tsk tsk
  • filippi
    It was a great review. thanks a lot!

    About CPU Scaling: "In the second set of our scaling results, only SolidWorks responds to CPU frequency. Core and thread count don't make a difference

    This is not entirely true. It goes as far as 10% at 4.5 GHz.