Articles: Graphics

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Maxon Cinema 4D is a popular software suite for 3D modeling and animation. Its speed can be evaluated by means of the specialized benchmark CINEBENCH. The latter uses the engine of Cinema 4D version R11.4 but, according to its developers, can also provide some notion of a graphics card’s performance in the up-to-date Cinema 4D R14.

There are as many as four professional cards that offer similar performance in this application. These are AMD’s FirePro W8000 and W7000 and Nvidia’s Quadro K5000 and K4000. It is quite possible that these flagship products are just so fast here that the workstation is limited by the performance of its CPU.

PTC Creo Parametric 2.0

Creo is a popular CAD suite that has replaced Pro/Engineer. The benchmark we use features a car model that consists of a thousand components and needs about 1 gigabyte of graphics memory. It makes full use of the application’s functionality by enabling edge and reflection shading, hidden surfaces on/off, full-screen antialiasing (up to level x8), and photorealistic edge rendering.

In PTC Creo, the FirePro W8000 and FirePro W7000 are slower than the Quadro K5000 but faster than the Quadro K4000. However, we know that AMD collaborates closely with PTC, so Creo is one of the key applications AMD programmers optimize their driver for. As we can see, this doesn’t produce any miracles.

On the other hand, Creo Parametric 2.0 features a new visualization mode called Order Independent Transparency. This mode ensures the best reproduction of multiple overlapping transparent objects but is only currently supported on the FirePro series. That’s why it is not included into the formal performance benchmarks. So if you’re choosing a professional card for PTC Creo, you should be aware that AMD products can offer broader functionality.

The speed of processing models in other visualization modes is shown in the diagrams.

The competing cards from AMD and Nvidia deliver similar performance in the wireframe and shaded modes. Take note, however, that the FirePro W8000 and FirePro W7000 are very close to each other whereas the gaps between the adjacent models in the Kepler-based Quadro series vary from 10 to 50%.

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