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How fast is your professional graphics workstation? SPECviewperf 12 tells you and CADplace shows you

For decades professionals have turned to SPEC.org for benchmarking graphics workstations. The newest release, SPECviewperf 12, provides a standard measure to compare modern workstation performance. CADplace ran multiple professional GPUs through our Dell Precision T7610 workstation. We show you the FirePro W5000, FirePro W7000 and Quadro K4000 running side-by-side in this CADplace video.

According to SPEC.org :

"SPECviewperf 12, released by SPEC's Graphics Performance Characterization group (SPECgpc) on December 18, 2013, is an all-new version of the worldwide standard for measuring graphics performance based on professional applications. SPECgpc members at the time of release include AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Lenovo, NEC and NVIDIA.SPECviewperf 12 measures the 3D graphics performance of systems running under the OpenGL and Direct X application programming interfaces. The benchmark’s test files, called viewsets, represent graphics content and behavior from actual applications."

SPEC.org is supported through memberships. The SPECviewperf 12 benchmark can be downloaded for free from the SPEC.ORG site. Companies selling and marketing computers and graphics products can purchase the commercial version.

CADplace tested three GPUs on the same Dell workstation: the AMD FirePro W5000 and W7000, and the NVIDIA Quadro K4000.  The FirePro W5000 is a mid-range solution for around 450€. The equivalent NVIDIA Quadro would be the Quadro K2000 (not tested here). The AMD FirePro W7000 and the NVIDIA Quadro K4000 are both high-end professional GPUs costing a bit less than 1000€.

SPECviewperf is designed to measure workstation graphics performance. It is created through industry participation and the data sets represent typical data and graphics workloads from specific applications. That said, as an industry benchmark, it is not necessary to have the applications - everything is contained in the SPECviewperf 12 benchmark.

While the benchmark focuses on graphics performance, the benchmark data sets may be more graphics limited or more CPU limited. CADplace will examine the tests from this angle in a later article. But in brief, performance in  tests will scale with the GPU performance when the data set is more GPU-limited and it will scale less with a faster GPU when the data set is CPU limited.

In the past, SPECviewperf has not benefited from multi-processor systems and with the current style of testing, it is likely to be the same with SPECviewperf 12. This reflects the use-cases being measured, too. Interactive work in 3D CAD and modeling programs loads a single CPU, even a single core of the CPU, and the graphics system, too.

View the entire SPECviewperf 12 video showing FirePro W5000, FirePro W7000 and Quadro K4000 results side-by-side