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 Review, Prometeia Phase Change Cooler, Part II
Benchmarking in 3D Studio Max
By: Sverre Sjøthun, April 29, 2003  Print this article


The goal with this test was to see if there really is a benefit purchasing a system like this for professional use. Money is always a subject when purchasing new equipment, and we decided to find out if the price is justified by the performance-gain you'll undoubtfully see on a system like this.

Why 3D Studio Max?

3D Studio Max is a modeling/animation package developed by discreet, and is widely used by animators, artists, film makers, architects and so on. Rendering in Max will suck away any system recources you may have, and then some. In some instances it will take all your system memory, 100% of both of your processors, and eat up any and all virtual memory you have in your system, leaving almost nothing free.

The first system we tried comparing with was a Dual Pentium 4 Xeon 1.7GHz Dell Precision Workstation 530 we had in our labs, but we soon discovered that the Dell had no chance against the rendering power of our supercooled Prometeia system. It was simply way too slow.

We found a Max site called, and they had a Max benchmark database with plenty of systems in it as well as a tutorial on how they had performed their benchmarks, so we did exactly as described there for comparison purposes.

How the benchmarks were performed

This is a short description of how we performed the benchmarks. For a full and complete description, please read's benchmarking tutorial.

The tests were performed in 3D Studio Max 5.0, three different scenes at three different resolutions each to simulate different scenarios and working environment in Max. The resolutions are as follows:

- Film 2048x1536
- Web 1024x768
- TV 720x486

The scenes

(description of the scenes quote from
Apollo - a single complex lit object, reflecting common object render.

Location: Scenes/Space/Apollo.max
Poly Count: 162,465
Lights: 6

Islands - this scene contains advanced lighting methods, including refraction/reflection, and heavy raytracing usage.

Location: Scenes/misc/Islands.max
Poly Count: 21628
Lights: 1
Special Notes: Raytraced Reflection Water and Heavy Use of Post Effects

Waterfall - this scene contains particle dynamics in a elaborate waterfall sequence. Particles are renowned system hogs, and at higher resolutions, this scene brings a system to a halt.

Location: Scenes/feature_based/particles/waterfall.max
Poly Count: 86,908
Lights: 2
Special Notes: Particle dynamics combined with raytracing makes this scene a system killer at higher resolutions.

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