So far in this series, we have made some initial tests and conclusions about the balance between CPU and graphics in a workstation, and then focused specifically on the types of application covered by the industry-standard SPECviewperf 12.02 tests. In this article, we turn our attention to two very significant applications in the 3D content creation (3DCC) industry: Autodesk 3DS Max and AutoCAD.
The former is an extremely popular 3D animation application used in films such as Avatar and 2012, as well as the games industry and architectural or engineering previsualisation. AutoCAD, on the other hand, is very much focused on computer-aided design (the clue is in the product name), and has a thirty-plus-year track record in this industry, having first been launched at COMDEX in 1982. Now in its 30th incarnation, it is the most widely used software in its category.
As with our previous articles, we will be running our tests on three different workstation specifications using three different Intel processors, with four different NVIDIA Quadro professional 3D accelerators. All of the workstations and cards were kindly supplied by Wakefield-based PC Specialist. However, in this case we are focusing on how much the CPU affects overall performance for 3ds Max, rather than graphics card influence, and a variety of different subsets of our configurations for AutoCAD.