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Written by Olin Coles & David Ramsey   
Sunday, 20 November 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
ASUS P9X79 Pro Motherboard
The Intel X79 Express Chipset
Closer Look: ASUS P9X79 Pro
ASUS P9X79 Pro Details
ASUS UEFI BIOS
ASUS P9X79 Pro Specifications
Motherboard Testing Methodology
AIDA64 Extreme Edition Tests
PCMark Vantage Tests
CINEBENCH R11.5 Benchmarks
CPU-Dependent 3D Gaming
PassMark PerformanceTest
Media Encoding Benchmarks
SPECviewperf 11 Tests
SPECapc Lightwave
Blender and POV-Ray
ASUS P9X79 Pro Conclusion

SPECviewperf 11 tests

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation is "...a non-profit corporation formed to establish, maintain and endorse a standardized set of relevant benchmarks that can be applied to the newest generation of high-performance computers." Their free SPECviewperf benchmark incorporates code and tests contributed by several other companies and is designed to stress computers in a reproducible way. SPECviewperf 11 was released in June 2010 and incorporates an expanded range of capabilities and tests. Note that results from previous versions of SPECviewperf cannot be compared with results from the latest version, as even benchmarks with the same name have been updated with new code and models.

SPECviewperf comprises test code from several vendors of professional graphics modeling, rendering, and visualization software. Most of the tests emphasize the CPU over the graphics card, and have between 5 and 13 sub-sections. For this review I ran the Lightwave, Maya, and Seimens Teamcenter Visualization tests. Results are reported as abstract scores, with higher being better.

Lightwave

The lightwave-01 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workloads generated by the SPECapc for Lightwave 9.6 benchmark.

The models for this viewset range in size from 2.5 to 6 million vertices, with heavy use of vertex buffer objects (VBOs) mixed with immediate mode. GLSL shaders are used throughout the tests. Applications represented by the viewset include 3D character animation, architectural review, and industrial design.

Maya

The maya-03 viewset was created from traces of the graphics workload generated by the SPECapc for Maya 2009 benchmark. The models used in the tests range in size from 6 to 66 million vertices, and are tested with and without vertex and fragment shaders.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the models. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.

Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup

The tcvis-02 viewset is based on traces of the Siemens Teamcenter Visualization Mockup application (also known as VisMockup) used for visual simulation. Models range from 10 to 22 million vertices and incorporate vertex arrays and fixed-function lighting.

State changes such as those executed by the application- including matrix, material, light and line-stipple changes- are included throughout the rendering of the model. All state changes are derived from a trace of the running application.

specviewperf.png

The SPECviewperf suite is a good example of a real-world test of applications that would normally be the province of a high-end workstation: the individual tests comprise code and models from real applications, running scripts that do real work. Still, the results are puzzling: the 2600K dominates, easily beating both of the six core CPUs. Results like this cause reviewers like me to scratch our heads and run the benchmark again, even though we know we'll get the same results. Another thing to notice is that while the ASUS P9X79 has consistently beaten the Intel DX79SI motherboard (which admittedly was hobbled by a beta BIOS), the difference in Maya here is dramatic, with the ASUS motherboard posting a 30% better score than the Intel motherboard.



 

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