|ASUS Sabertooth X79 TUF Motherboard|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Motherboards|
|Written by Olin Coles & David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 13 November 2011|
Page 16 of 18
SPECapc (Application Performance Characterization) tests are fundamentally different from the SPECviewperf tests. While SPECviewperf tests incorporate code from the various test programs directly into the benchmark, the SPECapc tests are separate scripts and datasets that are run against a stand-alone installation of the program being benchmarked. SPECapc group members sponsor applications and work with end-users, user groups, publications and ISVs to select and refine workloads, which consist of data sets and benchmark script files. Workloads are determined by end-users and ISVs, not SPECapc group members. These workloads will evolve over time in conjunction with end-users' needs and the increasing functionality of PCs and workstations.
For this test, I ran the SPECapc "Lightwave" benchmark against a trial installation of Newtek's Lightwave 3D product. The benchmark, developed in cooperation with NewTek, provides realistic workloads that simulate a typical LightWave 3D workflow. It contains 11 datasets ranging from 64,000 to 1.75 million polygons and representing such applications as 3D character animation, architectural review, and industrial design. Scores for individual workloads are composited under three categories: interactive, render and multitask.
The benchmark puts special emphasis on processes that benefit from multi-threaded computing, such as animation, OpenGL playback, deformations, and high-end rendering that includes ray tracing, radiosity, complex textures and volumetric lighting. The test reports three scores: Animation (multitasking), Animation (interactive), and Rendering. The numeric scores represent the time it took to complete each section of the benchmark, in seconds, so lower scores are better.
I've found the SPECapc Lightwave 3D test to be an excellent indicator of overclock stability. In many cases, overclocked systems that will make it through every other benchmark here will crash in this test. It's also one of the most "fun" benchmarks to watch, as multiple windows with various complex rendering tasks appear and disappear on your screen.
These results illustrate how much difference benchmark configuration can make. SPECviewperf uses embedded code from Lightwave, while SPECapc is actually just a set of scripts that control a standard Lightwave installation. Note that in SPECviewperf's Lightwave section above, the 2600K returned the best performance numbers, while in SPECapc, the Sandy Bridge Extreme wins.