Testing Participants Specifications Comparison
Before we proceed to our testing of professional graphics cards, we want to sum up their specs in a single table. It will help us analyze the results we are going to obtain.
Testbed Configuration and Testing Methodology
The testbed we use for our testing of professional graphics cards includes an Intel Core i7-3970X Extreme Edition processor, which is the fastest desktop six-core CPU available and works at 3.5 GHz, an Intel X79 Express mainboard, and 16 gigabytes of DDR3-1867 SDRAM.
So, our testbeds were built with the following hardware and software components:
- CPU: Intel Core Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition (Sandy Bridge-E, 6 cores + HT, 3.3-3.9 GHz, 6 x 256 KB L2, 15 MB L3).
- Mainboard: ASUS Rampage IV Formula (LGA2011, Intel X79 Express).
- Memory: 4 x 4 GB, DDR3-1866 SDRAM, 9-11-9-27 (Kingston KHX1866C9D3K2/8GX).
- Graphics cards:
- AMD FirePro W8000 (Tahiti, 4 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 900/5500 MHz);
- AMD FirePro W7000 (Pitcairn, 4 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 950/4800 MHz);
- Nvidia Quadro K5000 (GK104, 4 GB/256-bit GDDR5, 706/5400 MHz);
- Nvidia Quadro K4000 (GK104, 3 GB/192-bit GDDR5, 811/5600 MHz);
- Nvidia Quadro K2000 (GK107, 2 GB/128-bit GDDR5, 954/4000 MHz);
- Nvidia Quadro K600 (GK107, 1 GB/128-bit GDDR5, 876/1782 MHz).
- Storage subsystem: Intel SSD 520 240 GB (SSDSC2CW240A3K5).
- Power supply unit: Corsair AX1200i (80 Plus Platinum, 1200 W).
- Operating system: Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate x64.
- Intel Chipset Driver 126.96.36.1995;
- Intel Management Engine Driver 188.8.131.528;
- Intel Rapid Storage Technology 184.108.40.2060;
- AMD FirePro Display Driver 9.003.3.3;
- AMD 3ds Max 2010 and 3ds Max 2011 performance plugin;
- NVIDIA Quadro/NVS/Tesla/GRID Desktop Driver Release 320.00;
- NVIDIA 3ds Max Performance Driver 13.00.04.
We test professional graphics cards at a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels with Vsync turned off in popular professional applications for computer-aided design and 3D modeling. We also use special benchmarks from Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). The diagrams below show the test scores in points, so a bigger value always means higher performance.