Wildcat Realizm 800: 3Dlabs MultiGPU First Lookby Derek Wilson on March 25, 2005 10:00 AM EST
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Final WordsLooking back over the SPECviewperf benchmarks that we've shown today, the 3Dlabs Wildcat Realizm 800 is slower than the FireGL X3-256 under ensight and the Quadro FX 4000 under UGS.
Improvement over the Realizm 200 is generally between 15 and 30 percent. This seems to suggest to us that 3Dlabs lowered the clock speed of the GPUs a bit in order to compensate for the added heat. There is quite a bit of highly clocked silicon under the hood of the Wildcat Realizm 800, and it would definitely make sense to drop the clocks a little bit to compensate.
Of course, we would never expect 2x performance gain from this doubling of processing power with the added overhead of breaking up the scene. Aside from clock speed, there could be some driver/hardware issues associated with the way the scene is broken up, which could add to the bottleneck.
Regardless of the fact that we aren't seeing the 50 to 90 percent improvements that we would have expected, the Wildcat Realizm 800 is a high performance part across the board. Coming in at a street price of about $2000 USD, this part could pose some serious competition to the Quadro FX 4400 (~$2300 USD). Of course, we'll have to wait until we can get our hands on the top-of-the-line NVIDIA and ATI cards before we can really delve into that issue.
We are very interested in comparing this solution to NVIDIA's SLI option. If NVIDIA is able to adapt their SLI profiles to workstation applications effectively, we could see some very impressive numbers. NVIDIA isn't choosing to focus on performance as the main selling point of Quadro SLI though. They prefer to highlight the added features of the solution. The major advantages here are the massive display capabilities. We will be sure to pay attention to these key features as soon as we get our hands on a driver to test the system.
Until we are able to test the top-of-the-line NVIDIA and ATI graphics cards, the Wildcat Realizm 800 is on the top of the heap. But keep in mind that game developers will still prefer an NVIDIA or ATI based solution for their superior DirectX support. Hopefully after we get the rest of the cards together, our full review will be as interesting as our first look. Stay tuned!