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iBuyPower P500X And P900DX Workstations, Reviewed

Rendering And 3D Animation: VUE, Blender, And SPECviewperf

e-on software Vue 10.5 PLE

e-on software’s Vue is a landscape renderer often used in addition to other 3D software to create realistic landscapes for 3D animation. Its tools are aimed specifically at landscape rendering, including procedural placement of vegetation and rocks across the landscape. Its system for instancing details is built into the software, making it easy to create beautiful scenery without having to build the landscapes using conventional 3D animation tools.

The 10.x revision of Vue features some pretty heavy revisions to the render engine, which actually result in increased render times compared to previous versions. Therefore, these numbers absolutely cannot be compared to earlier versions.

The P900DX comes out with a 3.3x lead over the P500X, which is in line with other 3D rendering results on these machines.


Blender is a 3D application with a bit of interesting history. It was originally developed as the in-house animation software for the Dutch studio NeoGeo. The primary author founded Not a Number (NaN) Technologies in 1998 to further develop and distribute the application. From 1998 until 2002, blender was distributed as shareware by NaN. Following NaN’s bankruptcy in 2002, Blender was purchased from NaN’s creditors for €100,000 and placed in the care of the Blender Foundation, which continues its development today. Blender is a fully capable free and open source (FOSS) 3D modeling, animation, and rendering package.

Our Blender test currently uses a custom workload rendered with the Cycles engine, rather than the older Tiles engine.

The P900DX comes out with a substantial 110% lead over the P500X.

SPECviewperf 11

SPECviewperf is a composite test developed by the Graphics Performance Characterization working group of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (also known as SPECgpc). The test aims to give an overall view of a system's real-time 3D performance. It includes modules that are built from the real-time display engines of animation and engineering software like CATIA, EnSight, LightWave 3D, Maya, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, and Siemens VisMockup and NX. We ran the tests with no anti-aliasing, as well as with 4x AA applied.

Some of the tests are clearly single-threaded, allowing the P500X’s higher clock rate and Ivy Bridge architecture to narrow the gap, and even make it the clear winner when there is no anti-aliasing applied.

Meanwhile, other tests give the edge to the P900DX, ranging from slight to substantial. Some of the application modules take a larger hit from full-screen anti-aliasing than others, and the P500X’s Quadro 2000 seems to take a larger hit from AA than the P900X's Quadro 4000.