By, Marco Chiappetta
and Chris Angelini
February 10, 2003
SPECviewperf is a program used to benchmark OpenGL performance. SPECBench.Org explains what SPECviewperf does to test performance,
"Viewperf parses command lines and data files, sets the rendering state, and converts data sets to a format that can be traversed using OpenGL rendering calls. It renders the data set for a pre-specified amount of time or number of frames with animation between frames. Finally, it outputs the results."
"Currently, there are five standard SPECopc application viewsets and one 'generic' viewset: ProCDRS viewset is intended to model the graphics performance of Parametric Technology Corporation's CDRS industrial design software. IBM's Data Explorer (DX), which has 10 different tests, is a visualization application. Intergraph's DesignReview (DRV), which now has 5 different tests, is a 3D computer model review package. Alias/Wavefront's Advanced Visualizer, now with 11 tests, is an animation application. And Discreet Logic's Lightscape Visualization System, with four tests, is a radiosity visualization application. These type of applications typically render large data sets. They almost always include lighting, smooth shading, blending, line antialiasing, z-buffering, and some texture mapping. Finally, the newest viewset is medMCAD. This is a 'generic' viewset that models the graphics performance of a range of immediate mode, MCAD applications suitable for medium sized models. It contains twelve tests. All six viewsets represent relatively high-end applications. "
If that explanation confuses you, just look at the numbers this way: Higher Numbers = Better Performance!
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| SPECviewperf Performance Tests |
| 3D Modeling Tests |
There is a lot of information to digest in this graph. The Athlons and Pentium 4s basically swap the performance lead in most of the SPECviewperf tests. We had some strange results in some of these tests. For example, in the DRV-07 test, the P4 3.06GHz Pentium 4 performs at roughly half the speed of the other CPUs. This seems to be one area where having Hyper-Threading enabled actually hinders performance significantly. The MedMCAD-01 test shows the Athlon XP 3000+ slightly ahead of the competition, but it's impossible to declare a clear "winner" in these tests.
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| FutureMark 3DMark 2001 (Build 33) - DirectX 8 Tests |
| Synthetic DX Gaming Scores |
Next, we ran 3DMark2001 SE (Build 330) at the benchmark's default resolution of 1024x768. 3DMark2001 uses the "MaxFX" gaming engine, from Remedy's very popular Max Payne, to simulate an actual in-game environment. 3DMark2001 also makes use of DirectX 8 Pixel and Vertex shaders to stress the overall performance of a gaming system. If you've ever looked at 3DMark2001's detailed results, you've seen that this benchmark is broken up into groups of "High" and "Low" quality tests. The final score is generated by taking the results of these tests and adding them together using this formula:
The extra 256K of L2 cache helps the Athlon XP 3000+ outperform the 2700+ by 456 points and the 2.8GHz Pentium 4 by 249 points, but it wasn't able to catch the 3.06GHz Pentium 4. These 3DMark2001 scores are all very good, but at almost 2 years old, this benchmark is definitely starting to show a little age. Luckily, FutureMark is planning to release 3DMark03 sometime this week. Hopefully, it will show larger performance deltas between the different processors and speed grades.
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| Novalogic Comanche 4 - DirectX 8 Gaming |
| Combat Helicopter Simulation |
Our next batch of tests were ran with Novalogic's Combat Helicopter simulator, Comanche 4. Comanche 4, like 3DMark2002, makes use of DirectX8 Pixel and Vertex shaders, and is a useful tool for testing performance under DirectX 8. This benchmark is very CPU dependant and generally scales with increased CPU speed.
In this test, the increased cache on the 3000+ gives it a 3.09 FPS speed advantage over the 2700+, but again we see the Pentium 4s are able to outperform it. The 3.06GHz P4 was a little over 7% faster than its nearest competitor, the 2.8GHz P4, and was about 10% faster than the Athlon XP 3000+.
Quake 3 & The Conclusion