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SPECviewperf 7.1: Professional Accelerators Benchmarking

What does the transition from 7.0 to 7.1 bring?

Over a year ago we researched the professional 3D accelerators in SPECviewperf 7 where we studied the seventh version of that test packet. Today this packet is updated to v7.1. You can get more information about it and download the latest version on the developers' official site. 

The seventh version of the SPECviewperf was described in detail last time. Let's outline just the important distinctions between the old version and the new one. No doubt, the main difference is the element of randomness brought into to protect from tricks in drivers of some vendors ;-). The element of randomness was used in the test scenes so that the inaccuracy of measurements was minimal. 

So, let's have a look at of the professional cards in the new version of this test suite.


  • NVIDIA Quadro 2 Pro
  • NVIDIA Quadro DCC
  • NVIDIA Quadro 4 550XGL
  • NVIDIA Quadro 4 980XGL
  • NVIDIA QuadroFX 2000
  • NVIDIA QuadroFX 1000
  • ATI FireGL 8800
  • ATI FireGL X1 128MB
  • 3Dlabs Wildcat VP870

Test platform

  • Mainboard: Intel Server Board SE7505VB2
  • CPUs: 2 x Intel Xeon 2.4GHz (HyperThreading on, 4 logical processors in all)
  • Hard drive: Fujitsu MPG 40GB
  • RAM: 512MB DDR 
  • Monitor: ViewSonic P 817-E

All the tests were carried out under the Windows XP Professional, Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0a, with all additions and drivers installed. Vertical sync, anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering were forcedly disabled in the drivers. Driver versions used:

  • For NVIDIA based cards - 52.16
  • For ATI FireGL 8800 based cards - 3056
  • For ATI FireGL X1 based cards - 7.88.41
  • For 3Dlabs based cards - 3.010.621

With 3Dlabs drivers you can set priority either for geometry processing or texturing. We compared both modes, the results on the diagrams are marked as 3Dlabs VP 870 (G) and 3Dlabs VP 870 (T) respectively.

3ds max Viewset (3dsmax-02) 

The first test named 3ds max Viewset (3dsmax-02) is based on the 3ds max 3.1 graphics.

Both Quadro FX shine in this test. The FireGL X1 is close on the heels. The Quadro4 is a bit behind, but it looks pretty good compared to the other cards. The generally low scores indicate that this benchmark make the cards work to their full capacity.

DesignReview Viewset (drv-09) 

The DesignReview Viewset (drv-09) was created for designing structure of buildings. DesignReview is a 3D design packet used to demonstrate a factory model including production lines, equipment and other structural elements like flange beams, HVAC pipelines and cable channels. The packet allows you view models from all points of sight, handle objects, detect noise, and search for components to give you a clear idea on a given model.

There are two groups again: leaders and outsiders ;-) Both Quadro FX are again ahead. The top Quadro4 has beaten the FireGL X1 which takes the fourth position this time.

Data Explorer Viewset (dx-08)

The Data Explorer Viewset (dx-08) is not a new benchmark as we tested its previous version. IBM Visualization Data Explorer (DX) is a general-purpose software suite for visualization and analysis of scientific data. It's based on the data flow controlled client/server model and works in Unix work stations from Silicon Graphics, IBM, Sun and Hewlett-Packard. The OpenGL Data Explorer was supplemented with the DX 2.1.

Here leading position is taken by the FireGL X1, and the 3Dlabs VP 870 makes a big jump ahead. There's not much difference between the priority modes of geometry processing and texturing, like in the previous tests.

Lightscape Viewset (light-06) 

Lightscape Viewset (light-06) is not a new benchmark either. Lightscape Visualization System from Discreet Logic is a new generation of the computer graphics technology which combines proprietary emittance algorithms and lighting interface in the physical base.

This test failed to start on the FireGL X1. That is why the whole Quadro family takes the lead ;-)

Pro/Engineer Viewset (proe-02) 

Proe-02 is based on graphics obtained with the PTC Pro/ENGINEER 2001T.

The situation is generally the same. Both Quadro FX improve their scores even more.

Unigraphics Viewset (ugs-03)

Teh Ugs-03 viewset is based on graphics obtained with the Unigraphics V17.

The Quadro FX thrives again, and the FireGL X1 takes the third position.


The popular test packet looks really better. The element of randomness makes the results closer to real ones, and the scores even fall down in some tests compared to the previous version. 

None of the cards had quality problems. The only disappointing fact is that the FireGL X1 refused to work in the Lightscape Viewset (light-06). The Quadro FX2000 takes the first place in 5 out of 6 benchmarks, with the Quadro FX1000 and FireGL X1 following it. 


At the moment of writing this review the developers made available SPECviewperf 7.1.1 at http://www.spec.org. Taking into account that the version was changed by 0.0.1, the difference must be insignificant. However, the developers do not recommend comparing v7.1 and v7.1.1. That is why in future we will use only the latest test packet version. 

Kirill Budankov (budankov@ixbt.com)

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