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Thread: NVIDIA Performance: Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris

  1. #1
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    Default NVIDIA Performance: Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris

    Phoronix: NVIDIA Performance: Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris

    Earlier this week we previewed the Quadro FX1700, which is one of NVIDIA's mid-range workstation graphics cards that is based upon the G84GL core that in turn is derived from the consumer-class GeForce 8600 series. This PCI Express graphics card offers 512MB of video memory with two dual-link DVI connections and support for OpenGL 2.1 while maintaining a maximum power consumption of just 42 Watts. As we mentioned in the preview article, we would be looking at this graphics card's performance not only under Linux but also testing this workstation solution in both Microsoft Windows and Sun's Solaris. In this article today, we are doing just that as we test the NVIDIA Quadro FX1700 512MB with each of these operating systems and their respective binary display drivers.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11968

  2. #2
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    Default Image quality in Linux might not be up to par

    NVIDIA might have cut some corners when it comes to image quality on Linux which could explain why it seems faster than in Vista.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stan View Post
    NVIDIA might have cut some corners when it comes to image quality on Linux which could explain why it seems faster than in Vista.
    Nope. Vista's as much as 20-40% slower than XP. That's just a fact on either NVidia or AMD. Vista's design doesn't allow for as good a performance as previous versions of Windows, just so you know.

    There's a whole host of things that're going on and unless you've got proof of degraded quality, don't suppose this out of the gate.

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    Excellent review guys. SPECViewPerf is a standard benchmark for me and the industry I work in (I am the sysadmin at a small studio called Kanuka).

    Currently Kubuntu Linux on NVidia hardware is the standard workstation rollout for Kanuka, with a few MacOSX machines and one WindowsXP Pro box for 3DSMax work. Vista has been completely shunned from the studio, and for good reason as these benchmarks show.

    This review mirrors a lot of our own in-house testing, and reaffirms for us that we made the right decision not only for flexibility reasons, but also for performance reasons.

  5. #5
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    Sweet news.

    I'm going to try that benchmark myself too, it looks quite interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadi View Post
    Sweet news.

    I'm going to try that benchmark myself too, it looks quite interesting.
    It's something that's pretty aggressive and will really beat on your GPU hard in ways that games won't do.

  7. #7
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    You were right about the aggressive part - it was raping my laptop for half hour, and it was making quite a bit of weird squeaky noises.

    I did notice that it was using both of my cpu's though, each at half-power - is my setup messed up, or was it really supposed to use the CPU?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadi View Post
    You were right about the aggressive part - it was raping my laptop for half hour, and it was making quite a bit of weird squeaky noises.

    I did notice that it was using both of my cpu's though, each at half-power - is my setup messed up, or was it really supposed to use the CPU?
    OpenGL is single threaded (indeed, multi-threading any realtime API is damn near impossible).

    The benchmark is designed to stress your GPU (video card), but with that said it will need the CPU to feed it the data it needs. Modern video cards are still fairly primitive in what they can process. While they have been offloading "Transformation and Lighting" effects, and can now do pixel shaders and whatnot, most geometry calculation and texture preparation is still done by the host system in software, and then fed to the GPU at a later time to do the final rasterization to the output framebuffer, and then finally your screen.

    What you saw was the single thread jumping back and forth between your two processors, which is not all that uncommon on any multiprocessor system. And yes, it's perfectly normal behaviour for SPECViewPerf. Most of the models in SPECViewPerf have much higher poly counts (some by several orders of magnitude) than anything you'll find in a modern video game. As such, the CPU must work a lot harder to feed the GPU the information it needs to draw the scene.
    Last edited by elvis; 03-08-2008 at 05:14 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oh, okey.

    I still have yet to graph this data, but I did get two things - a) starting games on a separate X server (log out, switch session to failsafe terminal, start game) can be put into the "compiling your own kernel" category - useless on newer hardware, since the difference is minimal and not even clear, and b) same thing for compiz - it looks like there's no opengl & compiz conflict on the nvidia card, games run just fine, and there was not much diff with compiz on/off.

    Here's my raw data if anyone wants. I did it with two drivers, 169.07 and 169.12. Graphics card is "GeForce 8600M GT", CPU "Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T5250 @ 1.50GHz":

    169.07, with metacity, try 1:

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.20
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.55
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.43
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.204
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.62
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.459
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.50
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.879
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.162


    169.07, with metacity, try 2 (completely left the desktop alone):

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.01
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.48
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.40
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.073
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.83
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.569
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.54
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.898
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.210


    169.07, failsafe terminal, black screen kicked in twice:

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.40
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.55
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.51
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.417
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 26.01
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.533
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.50
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.869
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.126


    169.12, with metacity, try 1 (completely left the desktop alone):

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.11
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.72
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.42
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.963
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.72
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.423
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.59
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.891
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.211

    169.12, with metacity, try 2 (completely left the desktop alone):

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.892
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.54
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 11.54
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.991
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.59
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.455
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.53
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.889
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.157


    169.12, with compiz, try 1 (completely left the desktop alone):

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.38
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.773
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.73
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.119
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.37
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.387
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.13
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.714
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.087

    169.12, with compiz, try 2 (completely left the desktop alone):

    Run All Summary
    3dsmax-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.997
    catia-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.49
    ensight-03 Weighted Geometric Mean = 10.72
    light-08 Weighted Geometric Mean = 9.179
    maya-02 Weighted Geometric Mean = 25.26
    proe-04 Weighted Geometric Mean = 8.328
    sw-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 16.10
    ugnx-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 3.716
    tcvis-01 Weighted Geometric Mean = 5.112

  10. #10
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