AMD FirePro W7000 vs Nvidia Quadro K5000 Rendering Performance in SolidWorks 2013

Posted by Tony DeYoung on March 05, 2013

This video compares rendering performance in SolidWorks 2013 using the AMD FirePro W7000 ($899 MSRP) vs the Nvidia Quadro K5000 ($2249 MSRP).

These are videos of identical scripted manipulations with real-world models under real-world rendering and lighting conditions using SPECapc for SolidWorks 2013 (designed to represent a day in the life of a typical SolidWorks user, i.e. not an artificial benchmark).

Cut to the chase: the FirePro W7000 is finished rendering the content at 9:06, while the same content on the Quadro K5000 isn’t complete until 13:48 – in other words, the FirePro W7000 is about 30% faster in SolidWorks 2013 rendering.

If you are a SolidWorks user, this comparison might be a bit of an eyeopener.

In addition to rendering performance, the FirePro card also benefits from PCI Express 3.0 offering less overhead and up to twice as much data throughput.  Also the FirePro card can simultaneously handle rendering and compute (e.g. FEA/CAE).  The Nvidia K series is PCI Express 2.0 and provides rendering only.

Specs for the test were as follows:
Hewlett-Packard HP Z600 Quad-Core Workstation running Win 7 Professional, w/ 8GB RAM
AMD Driver : 9.003.3
Nvidia Driver : 310.90
Screen Resolution : 1280 x 720
Benchmark:  SPECapc for SolidWorks x64 SP0.0
Models Used : Audi R8 S.SLDASM , Digger.SLDASM, Supercar.SLDASM, Rally Car.SLDASM, BRERA_ASS.SLDASM, Tower Assembly 02.SLDASM

Updated March 13 to reference SPECapc for SolidWorks 2013.

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