[SunRescue] Re: Speaking of SGI equipment...

James Lockwood james at foonly.com
Tue Dec 28 22:12:12 CST 1999

On Sat, 18 Dec 1999, Michael Thompson wrote:

> We just benchmarked a 300 MHz SGI Octane with SSE graphics
> against a 440 MHz Ultra-10 with elite 3Dm6 graphics. Using
> our own CAD benchmark the Ultra-10 was 40% faster than the
> SGI and 30% less money.

I've done a lot of OpenGL work with Sun and SGI boxes, and with regards to
the current generation of graphics hardware I can say this:

In geometry performance and (Gouraud) shading rates, the Elite3D M6 will
clobber anything short of an Onyx IR.

For textured fills any SGI that supports h/w texturing (back to the
Indigo2 High Impact and the Crimson) will clobber any Sun framebuffer
currently shipping. 

If you need to work with lots of lights or use special features (full
screen antialiasing, stereo in a window) the IR and friends are the best

If you're CPU bound, at the low end (4 CPU's and below) Sun hardware has a
much better price/performance ratio.

What works the best depends entirely on the application.  Blender is a
perfect example of an application that Sun 3D framebuffers are perfectly
suited for, and it shows.  An Ultra 10/Elite3D M3 beats anything other
than an Onyx2 IR, and only loses to that by about 10%.  The M6 beats it by
nearly 30%.  Just don't try to do textured fills.

I'd be very very surprised if Sun wasn't working on accelerated texturing
support for their next generation of high end framebuffers.  It's the only
major thing missing for them to take on the high end visualization market.


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