Testbed and Methods
We decided to compare the new professional Nvidia graphics cards, Quadro FX 4600 and Quadro FX 5600, against the previous generation top professional graphics solutions – Quadro FX 5500 (you can check out our detailed test results of this solution in the article called Professional Graphics Accelerators of Today: ATI vs. Nvidia). Moreover, we were also going to compare the performance of the new Nvidia solutions against that of the newest competitors from AMD/ATI. However, AMD Company failed to provide us with the recently announced ATI FireGL V8650 and ATI FireGL V7600 graphics cards. Therefore, today we will only compare the new Nvidia solutions against the previous generation ATI FireGL V7350 and the review of the latest FireGL solutions will hopefully follow shortly.
We tested professional graphics cards on a workstation built around quad-core Intel Core 2 Extreme Q6850 processor working at 3.0GHz frequency and equipped with 2GB of RAM. Our workstation was configured as follows:
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (LGA775, 3.0GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 8MB L2, Kentsfield).
- Mainboard: ASUS Blitz Extreme (LGA775, Intel P35).
- Memory: 2048MB DDR3-1333 SDRAM (Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2/2G, 2 x 1024MB, 7-7-7-20);
- Graphics cards:
- AMD FireGL 7350;
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 5600;
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 5500;
- NVIDIA Quadro FX 4600.
- HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
- PSU: SilverStone SST-ST85ZF (850 W).
- Monitor: Dell 2007WFP.
- OS: Windows XP Professional x64 edition SP1.
The tests were run with the mainboard BIOS Setup adjusted for maximum performance.
This is the list of the drivers we used during our professional graphics card test session:
- AMD FireGL Driver Version 8.3184.108.40.206 for Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
- NVIDIA ForceWare Driver Version 162.50;
- NVIDIA MAXtreme Driver Version 9.00.01.
The graphics cards were tested in professional applications in 1680x1050 resolution with Vsync disabled, unless stated otherwise.