In addition to the SPECapc tests, we wanted to take 3ds Max and LightWave for a spin using real-world workloads.
Whereas the SPEC tests take a variety of measurements and wrap them into composite scores, we simply timed two tests. One employs the default scanline renderer and the other uses the mental ray renderer.
Unfortunately, neither benefits from GPU-based acceleration, like the Arion light simulator (optimized for CUDA). The result is two very similar scores across both cards.
The OpenGL-based LightWave preview finishes just a tad quicker on the FirePro card, while the very CPU-dependent Modeler workload finishes in the same amount of time.
From there, we rendered four individual frames from our Tom's Hardware logo test:
|LightWave 9.6 Frame Render||AMD FirePro V9800||Nvidia Quadro 5000|
Again, we're looking at a processor-bound scenario. It all goes to show that, even in a workstation environment, building with balance in mind is a smart decision. Want more proof? Check out the Xeon 5600-based benchmarks that demonstrate how well LightWave rendering scales with as many as 24 threads.