High-End Workstation Graphics Shootout - AMD FireGL V8650 Vs. NVIDIA QuadroFX 5600

Article Index

Testbed and Cinebench

Test System Details
Specifications and Revisions

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.0 GHz) Quad Core (1333 MHz FSB)
  • 4 x Kingston DDR2-800 CAS 4-4-4-15 Modules (4 GB Total)
  • 1 x eVGA nForce 680i SLI LT Motherboard
  • 1 x Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000 RPM SATA Hard Disk
  • 1 x Plextor DVD+/-RW Serial ATA Optical Drive
  • 1 x Corsair HX620W 620W Modular Power Supply
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional (32-bit)

  • ATI FireGL V7600 512 MB (Driver version 8.44)
  • ATI FireGL V8650 2 GB (Driver version 8.44)
  • NVIDIA QuadroFX 5600 1.5 GB (Driver version 169.61)
Why two cards from ATI and only one from NVIDIA? Well, NVIDIA just launched the new QuadroFX 3700, which looks like it will (more or less) replace the V7600’s competitor today, the QuadroFX 4600. We’ll have a FX3700 in the labs soon, hopefully, which we’ll run the same gamut of tests with. On to the benchmarks.

We also tested using Windows XP as both ATI and NVIDIA claim that Windows XP is still the dominant workstation operating system. Vista has barely made a dent in this market yet, as most workstation users are just making their way OFF of Windows 2000. Linux also has a big presence in the workstation market, but XP is still the leader. For the record, both cards now have full XP and Vista drivers for both 32-bit and 64-bit, so you certainly can run Vista if you like. However, many workstation applications aren’t certified for Vista usage yet.

Synthetic OpenGL Performance
Higher Numbers Are Better

The first performance tests, Cinebench’s OpenGL benchmark, showcases the QuadroFX in the lead. However, this is a synthetic test – let’s see how it performs against some real-world OpenGL applications.

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