GPU Performance for Workstations - SPECviewperf 13

The SPECviewperf benchmark from SPEC provides an idea of the capabilities of the GPU in a workstation from the perspective of different CAD, content creation, and visual data analysis tools. It makes more sense to process these benchmarks on workstations with professional GPUs, but, consumer GPUs are often the choice for machines that need to handle both gaming and professional workloads.

SPECviewperf 13 includes nine different workloads representative of graphics content and behavior of actual applications. They make use of the OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 12 APIs under Windows. SPECviewperf 13's workloads (termed viewsets) can officially be run only at two desktop resolutions (1920 x 1080, and 3840 x 2160), and need the display scaling to be set to 100% (DPI of 96). The available viewsets are listed below.

  • 3ds Max (3dsmax-06)
  • CATIA (catia-05)
  • Creo (creo-02)
  • Energy (energy-02)
  • Maya (maya-05)
  • Medical (medical-02)
  • Showcase (showcase-02)
  • Siemens NX (snx-03)
  • Solidworks (sw-04)

The 3ds Max and Showcase viewsets are available only when processing at 1920 x 1080. The rest are available at both resolutions.

We processed SPECviewperf 13 at both resolutions on the Intel NUC9i9QNX (Ghost Canyon). The benchmark measures the frame rate at which the GPU renders the scenes in a viewset. Each viewset is composed of different scenes and rendering modes, and the composite score for the viewset is a weighted geometric mean of the FPS measured for the different scenes. In this section, we take a look at how its composite scores stack up against other systems targeting this market segment.

3ds Max (3dsmax-06)

The 3dsmax-06 viewset comprises of 11 different scenes. They have been created from traces of the graphics workload generated by Autodesk 3ds Max 2016 using the default Nitrous DX11 driver. Additional details are available here.

The x16 configuration for the RTX 2070 delivers significantly better results compared to the x8 configuration.

CATIA (catia-05)

The catia-05 viewset comprises of 14 different tests created from traces of the graphics workload generated by the CATIA V6 R2012 application from Dassault Systemes. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: CATIA Viewset Composite Scores

The RTX 2070 in the NUC9i9QNX doesn't emerge as a leader in this workload, but its performance is almost as good as the top candidate in the x16 configuration.

Creo (creo-02)

The creo-02 viewset comprises of 16 different tests created from traces of the graphics workload generated by the Creo 3 and Creo 4 applications from PTC. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Creo Viewset Composite Scores

The significant difference between the x16 mode and x8 mode continues here, with the former putting the NUC9i9QNX within touching distance of the top performers.

Energy (energy-02)

The energy-02 viewset comprises of 6 different tests based on techniques used by the OpendTect seismic visualization application. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Energy Viewset Composite Scores

The NUC9i9QNX performs well in this workload, emerging as the top candidate. Strangely, the 1080p configuration seems limited by an unknown factor, with the x8 configuration performing better than the x16. At 4K, however, normal service is resumed.

Maya (maya-05)

The maya-05 viewset comprises of 10 different tests based on traces of the graphics workload generated by Autodesk Maya 2017. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Maya Viewset Composite Scores

The x16 configuration of the RTX 2070 emerges as the clear topper for the Maya workload.

Medical (medical-02)

The medical-02 viewset comprises of 8 different tests derived from 4 distinct datasets. Each test uses the ImageVis3D volume visualization program's Tuvok rendering core for 2D projections of 3D volumetric grids. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Medical Viewset Composite Scores

The NUC9i9QNX emerges second in this workload, next to the Core i7-7700HQ / GTX 1080 combination in the Zotac EK71080.

Showcase (showcase-02)

The showcase-02 viewset comprises of 4 tests created from traces of the Autodesk Showcase 2013 application rendering a racecar model with 8 million vertices using different modes. Additional details are available here.

The x16 RTX 2070 configuration is the clear winner in this workload.

Siemens NX (snx-03)

The snx-03 viewset comprises of 10 tests created with traces from the graphics workload generated by the NX 8.0 application from Siemens PLM. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Siemens NX Viewset Composite Scores

The performance of various systems in this workload is poor (as evident from the SPECworkstation ratings for the corresponding workload). There is not much to separate the various configurations in this workload, as evident from the scores in the graphs above.

Solidworks (sw-04)

The sw-04 viewset comprises of 11 tests created from traces of Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks 2013 SP1 application. Additional details are available here.

SPECviewperf 13: Solidworks Viewset Composite Scores

Overall, the RTX 2070 in the NUC9i9QNX delivers excellent performance for GPU-intensive workstation workloads. In all cases, the x16 mode provides much better performance compared to the original x8 configuration of our review sample.

GPU Performance - Gaming Workloads HTPC Credentials - Display Outputs Capabilities
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  • timecop1818 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Really bad selection of pictures. Did you not actually have a unit with you when reviewing? There's no external shots, there's no pics of the board/GPU connected together, there's no pics of rear backplane with ports/whatever, basically no useful info. I clicked through the gallery and I have no idea how big this thing is, or how the GPU fits into the picture, or anything else. Even "setup notes" page shows nothing useful. Reply
  • DanNeely - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    The chassis gallery on the 1st page shows the fully assembled system with the rear IO ports visible and gives a decent visual idea of how big the system is. Reply
  • timecop1818 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Oh hey, I see the stuff now. There's separate galleries throughout the article, for some reason I thought there was only one per page, and the 1st page only showed disassembled cpu module so I thought that was it. Thanks for pointing it out. Reply
  • FireSnake - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Based on this:
    https://www.notebookcheck.net/AnandTech-editor-rep...
    they are not getting any money from me!
    For a loooong looong time (those includd too).
    Reply
  • bug77 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    It's a good thing you don't get hung up on details like proof and stuff. Guilty until proven innocent, eh? (And yes, I know history doesn't work in their favor.) Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Ian doesn't seem like the person to throw around baseless accusations. Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    The tweet has been misinterpreted and now taken a completely unintended shape of its own. Ian plans to clarify the usage of the word 'incentive' in the context in an upcoming video / post.

    FWIW, if anyone believe AMD doesn't offer incentives to its partners (of a type similar to what Intel does, and what is completely legal), then the person has no idea of how the technology industry / silicon vendors operate.

    If anyone thinks the reason for lack of high-performance AMD-based (read, Renoir) 'NUC's is Intel, then I have a bridge to sell. No one is preventing AMD from creating a reference design for a Renoir-based 4x4 board or innovate with Compute Element-like products. OEMs can take the plunge only if the silicon vendors offer them a proof of concept. If a Renoir NUC reference design exists, but OEMs still don't pick it up to offer them in the market, that would be worthy of deeper investigation (that could still throw up legitimate reasons).
    Reply
  • Namisecond - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    Even when reference designs exist, availability of parts can come into play, or even OEM disinterest. Reply
  • quadrivial - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    AMD has reference designs and an entire set of embedded Zen 1 chips made explicitly for that purpose. Udoo Bolt was kickstarted by a fairly small company. If they could do it, why not bigger companies? Reply
  • arashi - Saturday, April 18, 2020 - link

    You must understand that Intel PR and legal has been in touch. Reply

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