Performance in SPECViewperf 9.0.3
This benchmarking suite may look somewhat odd among our traditional test applications. Its purpose is to test professional graphics cards under typical work conditions, i.e. not in games or in synthetic game engines like 3DMark’s, but in 3D modeling, CAD/CAM or scientific data visualization programs. We’ve added this benchmark to our testing program in response to multiple requests from our readers who use gaming-class graphics cards to run professional software due to the indecently high pricing of specialized graphics solutions. Although such solutions have lately been based on the same GPUs as gaming graphics cards, they come with special drivers that contain specific optimization. They also undergo complex certification and enjoy special support from the manufacturer. All of this is reflected in their price, of course.
Professional applications have specific features of their own. Particularly, they don’t use pixel shaders much, but instead require high speed and quality of texturing as well as high geometry-processing performance. Besides, such software often runs in the OpenGL environment or uses specialized APIs, so any optimizations for the gaming DirectX API are just not called for. SPECViewperf is a set of typical scenarios pertaining to professional applications, so we shouldn’t expect high performance from our games-oriented solutions. Anyway, let’s see what numbers we’ve got.
As the name suggests, the 3dsmax-04 scenario simulates a typical load on the graphics card in the Autodesk 3ds max suite. It uses geometrically complex models and from 5 to 7 light sources.
As you can see, the results of the Radeon X1950 XTX and both GeForce 8800 models are rather close, within 14-16fps, while the new Radeon HD 2900 XT is on the losing side. This must be due to its imperfect driver.
The frame rates are low. To get a higher frame rate, you should use a professional card from the Quadro or FireGL series.
The catia-02 scenario is for checking out a graphics card’s performance in the design and modeling system CATIA V5R12 developed by Dassault Systemes. It uses models containing from 1.2 to over 2 million vertexes, performs antialiasing verification, and changes model display modes on the fly, including a mode with textures and lighting.
Nvidia’s gaming solutions recede into the background, leaving top place to the humble Radeon X1950 XTX. The new Radeon HD 2900 XT has the worst result again. It suits poorly for working in CATIA, at least with the driver we used in our test session.
EnSight is a scientific data animation and visualization tool. It is frequently employed in physics research, particularly when studying the dynamics of liquids, the interaction of liquid and solid substances, etc. Each frame of the ensight-03 scenario from SPECViewperf 9.0.3 contains 3.2 million vertexes and some modeling modes make use of lighting, shading and texturing.
The Radeon HD 2900 XT is not as slower than the other cards in this test as it has been in the tests above, yet it still has the worst results. First place goes to the Radeon X1950 XTX again, which is closely followed by the GeForce 8800 GTX.