NVIDIA Workstation Performance: Windows vs. Linux vs. Solaris

Written by Michael Larabel in Graphics Cards on 7 March 2008. Page 5 of 5. 13 Comments

With this being our first multi-platform Quadro comparison, going into the testing we were unsure which operating system would emerge as the leader in SPECViewPerf for representing real-world OpenGL workstation performance. Just nine months ago in our benchmarks of the GeForce 8600GT, which is the consumer counterpart to the G84GL-based FX1700, Microsoft Windows with the ForceWare driver had the upper-hand when it came to the quantitative performance. This, however, wasn't the case with today's benchmarking. Using the Quadro FX1700 512MB and the latest display drivers, Windows Vista wasn't the decisive winner, but the loser.

Ubuntu 8.04 Alpha 5 with the 169.12 driver had overall produced the fastest results within SPECViewPerf. In only three benchmarks had Solaris Express Developer 1/08 outpaced Ubuntu Linux, but with two of these tests the results were almost identical. These three tests were Maya (maya-02), UGS NX (ugnx-01), and UGS Teamcenter Visualization Mockup (tcvis-01). In the rest of the OpenGL tests, Solaris Express and Windows Vista were fighting for second place. In six out of the nine tests, Windows Vista was in last place. For those interested in NVIDIA's Quadro series for CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture; NVIDIA's GPGPU implementation), this technology is supported in NVIDIA's binary Linux driver.

We are continuing our workstation graphics investigation and we will be delivering more benchmarks in the coming days as we turn our focus to ATI/AMD and their high-end FireGL solutions under Linux and we will deliver comparative Windows results. If you have any additional test requests or would like more information, stop by the Phoronix Forums.

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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.