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Re: [ccp4bb]: PC 3D hardware

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Summary: I doubt if the sgi linux workstations are faster than similar
         self-build systems using the QUADRO chip.

I had the SGI Visual Workstation 230 with PIII 733 MHz here for testing a
couple of month ago. It certainly looks nice on your desk but in the end
we bought a self-made PC with similar hardware as SGI puts into their
linux workstations (except that I used the money saved to buy a dual 800
MHz board). As the graphics board I have a ELSA Gloria II which contains
the same graphics chip as the SGI boards.
For reasons I still don't fully understand why, but the O benchmarks
were even faster for the self-build system than for the sgi. Both systems
clearly had hardware- (and driver-) accelerated OpenGL. The additional CPU
should be no issue here since the benchmark uses only one CPU. Since both
PCs contain the same graphics chip (the NVidia Quadro) I think it may be
due to a newer Nvidia driver at that time I received the PC. (with the sgi
you could only use what they offered on their homepage).

However, I doubt that the additional design sgi has put into their PC
graphics boards is of any use with O. Anyway, the speed is more than
sufficient for most of your demands and it does beat the Max impact boards
which we have in R10000 195 MHz Indigo2s and 170 MHz SI Octanes. The
graphics quality (line quality) is still somewhat nicer on the sgi MIPS
workstations, I think.

The PC runs very stable. I also sleep well :-).

Best regards,


On Mon, 21 May 2001, Jeroen Mesters wrote:

> triangles are of no great use at all. It's the OpenGl you will need the 
> most. For all of you that want to read up on this check out the
> very usefull site of http://www4.tomshardware.com. You will
> find several tests of true OpenGL versus nVidia cards.....
> http://www4.tomshardware.com/graphic/00q4/001213/index.html
> Cards build for games that hardly use OpenGl can have
> 40 million triangles, but an OpenGl card with only 4 million
> triangles will always be on top, sorry!
> It is not for nothing that SGI introduced a subgraphics layer between
> the NVIDIA cards and the PC in order to deal with OpenGl called
> "OpenGl on a chip". Have a look at there linux machines. With the
> rebate you can get, the price is not so bad at all.... 
> In addition, the very best graphics cards donot mean nothing with the
> very best driver supporting it!! NVIDIA has a one for all driver for
> all of their new cards under linux meaning you will loose performance
> here. The same is true for the PC itself, you better make sure it is
> linux certified in order to avoid problems later.
> As you can see, the matter is complicated and difficult. For now,
> our lab still buys SGI and I sleep well knowing they function
> without any problems concerning the graphics....
> Jeroen
> -- 
> Jeroen Raymundus Mesters, Ph.D.                           Alias Geronimo
> Dept. of Structural Biology and Crystallography,  Institute of Molecular
> Biotechnology, P.O.Box 100 813, D-07708 Jena, Germany.
> Tel: +49-3641-656063, Fax: +49-3641-656062, E-mail: jmesters@imb-jena.de
> http://www.imb-jena.de/www_sbx/home.html
> --
> If you can look into the seeds of time and say
> which grain will grow and which will not - speak then to me    (Macbeth) 
> --