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XVR-600 vs. XVR-1200 in single-head -OpenGL- mode on an SB2K?

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by Vincent Cojot, May 12, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm pondering if I should get an XVR-600 or XVR-1200 to supplement the
    XVR-1000 in my SB2k.

    The XVR-600 and XVR-1200 are both WildCat-IV-based. Only differences
    appear to be the ammount of RAM (Texture, FrameBuffer, Display Lists,
    etc..) and the fact that the XVR-1200 supports the ARB MultiTexture
    OpenGL extension while the XVR-600 does not. Also, the XVR-1200 is
    "supported" in the SB2K while the XVR-600 is not (Most Likely because
    it's not supported as the primary console on the sb2k).

    The XVR-1000 is quite a different beast and is MAJC-5200-based (a SUN
    chipset).

    I work on the Solaris/Sparc port of a small cross-platform OpenGL
    application that has the following properties: It works fine on most
    MacOSX, Linux or Wintel boxes with NVidia or ATI graphics but on the
    Solaris/Sparc platform I found out that only the XVR-1200 would run that
    application at respectable speed (50-60fps) while on my XVR-1000 it would
    drop to about 7-8fps or less (much more than what benchmark data would
    suggest). I attribute that significant difference to the difference in
    chipsets between the XVR-1200 and XVR-1000: 3DLabs' WildCat IV appears to
    be a more general-purpose 3D chipset while the MAJC-5200 chipset has a
    different target market.. So, this result is not suprising considering
    that the source port I'm working on came from general-purpose machines
    (Mac's, PC's..).

    So I want to get a WildCat-IV-based graphics card from SUN but I'm
    wondering if I should get the XVR-600 instead of the XVR-1200 for the
    following reasons:

    1) I don't need multi-head and 32MB texture RAM is OK for me.

    2) If I'm only using one head on an XVR-1200, its performance should be
    similar to that of the XVR-600, right? I doubt 3DLabs implemented
    something a la 3Dfx SLI on a single card.. Unless I'm wrong, I think that
    both Wildcat-IV chipsets on the XVR-1200 drive only one video channel
    (I.E: they cannot "join forces" if only one head is used).

    3) The XVR-1200 (a 33Mhz or 66Mhz PCI card) can only (due to its width)
    fit in a 33Mhz slot in the SB2K. The XVR-600, on the contrary, is a
    single-width PCI card and -will- be able to fit in the only 66Mhz in the
    SB2K.

    Conclusion: Assuming that 1) and 2) are OK, 3) means I might get better
    performance on the XVR-600 with my SB2K -with- my application..

    Any comments or ideas? I'd really like to avoid spending a -lot- of money
    on an XVR-1200 if I can get an XVR-600 and get similar performance (for my
    app, that is, YMMV).

    ,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,
    Vincent S. Cojot, Computer Engineering. STEP project. _.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~
    Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Comite Micro-Informatique. _.,-*~'`^`'~*-,.
    Linux Xview/OpenLook resources page _.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'
    http://step.polymtl.ca/~coyote _.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._

    They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
    Between stars - on stars where no human race is
    I have it in me so much nearer home
    To scare myself with my own desert places. - Robert Frost
     
    Vincent Cojot, May 12, 2004
    #1
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  2. Vincent Cojot

    Randy Jones Guest

    Check out the following link:
    http://www.sun.com/technical-computing/ISV/PTCFaq.html#GRAPHPERF

    It may be of relevance.
     
    Randy Jones, May 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. Vincent Cojot

    Ade Guest

    The XVR-1000 is quite a different beast and is MAJC-5200-based (a SUN
    It is interesting to see you say about your dissapointment with XVR-1000
    performance. I got to play with an XVR-500 not that long ago and was
    surprised at just how spritely it was relative to the XVR-1000.
    Considering the amount of money it cost us when it was launched, the
    performance has been very dissapointing. The Sun document referenced by
    the other poster is interesting in that it shows a significant
    performance deficit from what i would have expected previously.
     
    Ade, May 13, 2004
    #3
  4. Vincent Cojot

    Chris Morgan Guest

    XVR-1000 is the last product of the Bill Joy reality distortion field,
    which somehow made Sun think it should design its own graphics chips
    in the 21st century. Every subsequent Sun graphics card (which I
    _think_ means every other XVR- device) uses a 3d party chipset (ATI,
    3dLabs) and is better off for it.

    Chris
    --
    Chris Morgan
    "Post posting of policy changes by the boss will result in
    real rule revisions that are irreversible"

    - anonymous correspondent
     
    Chris Morgan, May 13, 2004
    #4
  5. Vincent Cojot

    Jim Balson Guest


    Well, perhaps the following link might help:

    http://home.comcast.net/~xperf/

    I have been collecting X11 2D performance numbers for Sun systems.
    There is a table there wilth XVR-1000 numbers in it, but not the XVR-600.
    And if you'd like, please feel free to download the package and run the
    performance suite on your cards as well.

    The more data one has the more intelligent a decision one can make.
     
    Jim Balson, May 14, 2004
    #5
  6. Vincent Cojot

    ElCoyote Guest

    Don't get me wrong: I like the XVR-1000 in my 900Mhz SB2K (I got the
    workstation -new- for very little off a bankrupt company in '02 so I
    can't complain) and it drives the SUN 24" LCD just fine but it's true
    that its performance for general use (I.E: not just Pro/E or CATIA) is
    a bit disappointing. I started wondering about that issue when I
    played with SPECviewperf 6.1.2 on my sb2k and got about 1/10th the
    numbers of a basic PIV with an NVidia Quadro4 550 card (I reproduced
    the SUN SPEC numbers for my hardware very closely so it's not just my
    mistake.. :) ).

    The XVR-1000 is a great card with lots of RAM and features but it
    tends to lack behind a bit in performance. SUN apparently agrees with
    that issue as some OpenGL extensions are unavailable by design on the
    XVR-1000 as they would be too slow on it (GL_ARB_texture_cube_map for
    instance, was available on PGX64 in OpenGL 1.3 but a software fallback
    wasn't even provided on the XVR-1000). Anyway the XVR-1000 will be
    EOL'ed soon so it's not so much an issue anymore...

    It's great to see SUN move toward industry-standard graphics chipset
    (I.E: 3DLabs WildCat IV) but I hoped they wouldn't just provide us
    with 33/66Mhz PCI graphics cards after all the APG8x vs. UPA2 hype..
    At last, PCI-X is coming so perhaps we'll see a SUN version of the
    3Dlabs VPro 990 (2GFlops) supported in a current line of workstations
    some time in the future..

    I had almost given up on finishing the OpenGL client port of the
    Torque engine to Solaris/Sparc because of the (relative) lack of fps
    on my XVR-1000 (not to mention the other cards I tried) when I had the
    chance to test my port on an XVR-1200 and was very happily surprised
    by its performance there. In fact, the difference in end-user
    performance was much more (for my app) than what the numbers suggested
    (XVR-1200 vs. XVR-1000) so I started to wonder if OpenGL features'
    hardware acceleration wasn't directly related. I hope the XVR-600 will
    be able to reproduce this performance (I'm concerned about its lack of
    GL_ARB_multitexture, unlike the XVR-1200) but I sure cannot buy an
    XVR-1200 (anyone want to donate one? :) ).

    Vincent S. Cojot,
     
    ElCoyote, May 14, 2004
    #6
  7. |XVR-1000 is the last product of the Bill Joy reality distortion field,
    |which somehow made Sun think it should design its own graphics chips
    |in the 21st century. Every subsequent Sun graphics card (which I
    |_think_ means every other XVR- device) uses a 3d party chipset (ATI,
    |3dLabs) and is better off for it.

    Actually XVR-4000 was the last of those, though I believe it uses the
    same chipset as the XVR-1000, just many more of them. Of course, since
    XVR-4000 can only be plugged into the CPU bus of the V880, it's not
    likely you'll see one unless you're in the really specialized fields it
    was designed for.
     
    Alan Coopersmith, May 15, 2004
    #7
  8. Vincent Cojot

    Chris Morgan Guest

    Ok, I'll take your word on that. I'm probably showing my bias towards
    slightly more mass markets than the ones you refer to. If my customers
    aren't using a graphics card in their Solaris workstations, it might
    as well not exist for me.

    Thanks

    Chris
    --
    Chris Morgan
    "Post posting of policy changes by the boss will result in
    real rule revisions that are irreversible"

    - anonymous correspondent
     
    Chris Morgan, May 17, 2004
    #8
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