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Testbed and Methodology

We tested professional graphics cards on a workstation built on the today’s fastest six-core processor – Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition working at 3.33 GHz frequency. Besides the CPU we also used a mainboard on Intel X58 Express and 6 GB of high-speed DDR3-1600 SDRAM.

In this test session Quadro 5000 will compete against the previous generation professional graphics accelerator from Nvidia – Quadro FX 4800. Moreover, we also tested one of the gaming graphics cards with the same architecture as Quadro 5000 in order to illustrate the differences between professional and consumer solutions.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get AMD’s FirePro professional graphics accelerators at the time of tests, so they won’t be included into this session. However, it is no big deal, in this case. Firstly, AMD solutions are not very popular in the professional graphics cards market. And secondly, within the next few months we are going to complete a massive comparative test session of all contemporary professional graphics solutions, which will of course include FirePro products, too.

So, for our today’s tests we put together the following testbed with the following software and drivers:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-980X (Gulftown, 6 cores/12 threads, 3.33 GHz, 12 MB L3).
  • Mainboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 (LGA1366, Intel X58 Express).
  • Memory: Mushkin 998679 6GB XP3-12800 (3 x 2 GB, DDR3-1600 SDRAM, 9-9-9-27).
  • Graphics cards:
    • NVIDIA Quadro 5000;
    • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800;
    • Leadtek GeForce GTX 470.
  • HDD: Western Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS.
  • PSU: Tagan TG880-U33II (880 W).
  • Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64.
  • Drivers:
    • Intel Chipset Software Installation Utility 9.1.1.1025;
    • NVIDIA Quadro Driver Release 258.98 for Quadro 5000;
    • NVIDIA Quadro Driver Release 258.96 for Quadro FX 4800;
    • NVIDIA GeForce Driver Release 258.96 for GeForce 470;
    • NVIDIA 3ds Max Performance Driver 12.00.07;
    • NVIDIA AutoCAD Performance Driver 18.1.4.

We tested our graphics cards in 1920x1200 resolution with Vsync disabled. We used popular CAD and 3D modeling applications and Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) benchmarks. The diagrams below present test scores in points, so the higher value indicates better performance.

 
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