Introduction

The recent re-introduction of multiple GPU configurations into the mainstream has given us quite a bit to talk about over the past few months. Recently, the Quadro SLI from NVIDIA was paper launched. While we wait for the drivers to trickle out of NVIDIA so that we can begin testing, we have another interesting multiGPU solution to consider: the 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 800.

We've already taken a look at the Wildcat Realizm 200, which forms the basis for the 800. In our investigation of the Realizm 800, we will see more extensive testing of the part when we can get a hold of NVIDIA's SLI drivers, since that will be a relevant comparison. We would also like to compare this card against the top of the line Quadro 4400 and FireGL V7100, which we don't have in our labs yet. As the Realizm 800 is very much an extension of the 200, and because we don't have the very interesting comparisons available yet, we will treat this article as a brief introduction to the card.

3Dlabs parts have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether the Realizm 800 fits your needs or not, Creative has certainly helped to keep the battle for the 3D workstation space interesting. To get us started, here's a quick table showing the differences between some of the cards that we've tested and the Wildcat Realizm 800.

AGP Workstation Graphics Contenders
3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 200 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 800 ATI FireGL X3-256 NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000
Street Price ~$850 ~$2000 ~$800 ~$1500
Memory Size/Type 512MB GDDR3 640MB GDDR3 256MB GDDR3 256MB GDDR3
Memory Bus 256bit 512bit 256bit 256bit
Memory Clock 500MHz 500MHz 450MHz 500MHz
Core Clock ? ? 490MHz 375MHz
Vertex Pipes 4 8 6 6
Vertex Processing 36-bit 36-bit 32-bit 32-bit
Pixel Pipes 12 24 12 16
Pixel Processing 32-bit / 16-bit storage 32-bit / 16-bit storage 24-bit 32-bit / 16-bit selectable
Shader Model Support VS 2.0 / PS 3.0 VS 2.0 / PS 3.0 SM 2.0 SM 3.0
2x Dual-Link DVI Yes Yes Yes Yes
Stereo 3D Yes Yes Yes Yes
Genlock/Framelock Multiview Upgrade Multiview Upgrade No SDI version

Inside the Wildcat Realizm 800
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  • Athlex - Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - link

    I know this is a preview, but this article seemed a bit thin- no pictures of the actual hardware, no screenshots of driver config screens, would that break an NDA or something? Also, are "default professional settings" the same across brands? Seems like that might skew results if the driver defaults to different values between ProE/Solidworks/Maya, etc. Maybe a subjective appraisal of display quality could be part of this? Do these DVI ports also do analog output or is that unavailable with a dual-link DVI port?
    Might also be fun to see an OpenGL game benchmark on the pro cards to contrast the game cards running OpenGL apps...

    Can't wait to see the roundup!
    Reply
  • BikeDude - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    I too would like to see some game tests. I want a dual-link capable PCIe card and this effectively rules out all of the consumer cards! Before I fork out a lot more money for a "professional" card, I'd sure as hell would like to know that I would be able to play a mean game of Doom3 on the darn thing... (and using Photoshop is a priority as well)

    --
    Rune
    Reply
  • Zebo - Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - link

    Why are there no game tests??? Lifes not all about work ya know.. stop and smell roses..specially if you have an office door like me. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - link

    The "Professional 3D" cards have OpenGL performance several times greater than what you can obtain from consumer cards (by consumer I mean pro gaming). Even the ATI cards for professional 3D (FireGL series) are several times faster in OpenGL than their gaming counterparts.
    Also, "professional 3D" cards really needs high resolution/high refresh rates outputs, and multiple outputs.
    Reply
  • Draven31 - Tuesday, March 29, 2005 - link

    The difference is in the types of instructions used most often and the precision of many operations.

    And, more often than not in 3D, the number of polygons involved.
    Reply
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    Tom's had a good comparison.

    It's a little over twice the size of a dollar bill. :)

    http://www.tomshardware.com/business/20040813/sigg...
    Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    holy crap, that board is huge Reply
  • Jkames - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    arg! I meant to say "Are the differences internal instructions?" Reply
  • Jkames - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    I mean that are the differences internal instructions. Reply
  • Jkames - Saturday, March 26, 2005 - link

    What is the difference between workstation hardware and desktop hardware? I understand that workstation is more expensive and used for professional applications but would anyone be able to elaborate on the uses of workstation hardware? Is it the internal instructions such as MMX or junk like that?

    Any info would be appreciated thanx.
    Reply

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