This review is a product of extensive two month testing by Mr. Brajan Martinovic and myself. Mr. Martinovic is a seasoned professional in the world of 3D production, with years of experience in the field. Personally, I wanted to get my feet again to the world of 3D. Thus, this review handles two views, a seasoned veteran and to be honest, a newbie in the world of modern 3D tools. The last time I really used 3D apps was in 2002, so consider majority of previous knowledge counting for… not much. Enjoy and as always, your feedback is greatly appreciated. Mach Studio Pro or is the time ripe for GPU-based renderer?
No matter where you come from or where do you work, there is one pressing fact - it is very hard to predict the future. Hence, if you would start talking about BlackBerries and iPhones back in 2000, people would look at you as you are a "trekkie" living in parent's house basement. Yet, more than five years ago a team of people around David and Yoni Konig, two brothers and more importantly people with a vision in 3D - started StudioGPU
, a company dedicated to bringing a 3D workflow that would harness the power of GPU. Five years ago, you could choose between ATI Radeon X800 and GeForce 6800.
We heard about MachStudio Pro
in spring of this year, when this promising company signed the deal with AMD
to bundle their application with AMD's most powerful graphics cards. Firstly, MSP was bundled with elderly FireGL V8650 2GB GDDR4
but in summer this got replaced with FirePro V8750 2GB GDDR5
, both being top-of-the-line products AMD can offer. The packageMachStudio Pro unwrapped: The software and ATI FirePro V8750
The fully-featured, $4999-version of MachStudio Pro comes bundled with a retail AMD FirePro V8750 2GB, current top-of-the-line professional board from AMD. V8750 2GB is based on ATI RV770, more known as the GPU behind Radeon 4800 series. Since we don't expect AMD to launch DirectX 11-based FirePro cards until April or August [NAB/Siggraph], this board will carry the torch for at least one more quarter. The card was packed in its retail box, with all the accessories that come along. MachStudio Pro is a simple DVD box containing one medium, USB keylock and keyboard shortcut cheat-sheet. Setup
In order to experience the difference between the FirePro board and regular MachStudio Pro, we decided not to install the card until we become comfortable with MachStudio Pro as a application on its own. Thus, we used Quadro FX 4800 SDI and GeForce GTX 275 based boards to begin with. When it comes to the application itself, installation was a breeze. You need to install the software, connect the bundled USB verification key and load the application. We tested the application on following systems:
- Intel Core i7 965 3.33 GHz [provided by Intel]
- Asetek LCLC [provided by Asetek]
- ASUS P6T7 SuperComputer [provided by ASUS USA]
- nVidia Quadro FX 4800 SDI [provided by nVidia]
- 12GB Kingston DDR3-1600 [provided by Kingston]
- 2x 600GB Seagate Cheetah 15.7K in RAID0 [provided by Seagate]
- Sony BD-100A Blu-ray burner
- CoolerMaster RealPower Pro 1000W [provided by CoolerMaster]
- Intel Xeon W3520 2.67 GHz
- 12GB Corsair XMS DDR3-1333
- DFI X58-R3H6 JR mATX
- Gainward GeForce GTX 275 896MB Golden Sample
- Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB
- Corsair 850W power supply
We have tried a variety of graphics cards with this software part: Quadro FX 4800 SDI [GT200b-based] and Quadro FX 4600 [G80-based], GeForce GTX 285 2GB, GTX 275 896MB from nVidia side and Radeon 3870 1GB, Radeon 4870 1GB, PowerColor Radeon 5870, FireGL V8650 1GB, FirePro V7750 1GB and FirePro V8750 2GB. As you can see for yourself, these ten boards present a good overview of hardware and performance that can be achieved from November 2006 till' today.
Given that this product heavily utilizes the graphics processor, difference in CPU speed is negligible. We did try to overclock the 965 to 4GHz, but saw no tangible performance difference. Expectedly, overclocking the GPU was whole another ballgame.
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