Last Updated on October 3, 1999
3D ExerciZer Benchmark
By: Mike Chambers - October 3, 1999
3D ExerciZer is an OpenGL based graphics application designed for use on "Intel-based" workstations running Windows 95/98/NT. 3D ExerciZer is used to stress test the 3D graphics performance of a system and can be used to compare performance of different graphics cards, systems, and drivers.
With NVIDIA's GeForce 256 due to appear shortly, and a lack of readily available "consumer based" software to test the Geforce's Transform and Lighting capabilities, 3D ExerciZer may be a good candidate for comparison purposes (especially the processor and geometry stress tests).
Much of the information that is covered in the Testing section appears in the 3D ExerciZer readme. The readme covers such topics as:
- Setting up your system for optimal performance
- Details on how to use 3D ExerciZer
- Special features found in 3D ExerciZer
- Details on how the various tests work
This is a list of the following benchmark tests that can be run using 3D ExerciZer:
Having read the following information, that there may be a couple of tests in 3D ExerciZer than will utilize the new features of the GeForce 256: the lighting capabilities in the lighting and processor stress tests and the number of polygons used in the geometry stress test.
Texture stress: 3D ExerciZer comes with 11 unique textures. By increasing the
number of textures on the wheel, you load the texture buffer of the graphics
subsystem progressively until you hit the physical limit (if there is one).
(Note that although you may see the same textures being repeated, 3D ExerciZer
is taking copies as if each is a new texture, so that the subsystem is genuinely
being stressed.) When the subsystem texture buffer hits the limit, it is forced
to start swapping textures to main memory, and the frame rate will reflect this
Lighting stress: The "Blob" appears first with a spotlight at the camera
position. The lighting algorithm requires extensive use of any available
geometry acceleration in order to compute path of light waves. Geometry
accelerated subsystems will show higher frame rates.
Processor stress: The "Explosion" tracks the path of thousands of particles in
space emerging from a core. This makes no use of texture memory, geometry
acceleration or lighting capabilities, and is a pure processor-related test. The
floating-point arithmetic capabilities of the processor will be reflected in the
frame rates as you increase the number of particles in the picture.
Geometry stress: you begin the test with the figure "Ping", a man floating in
space. In his metallic body you see a spherical reflection of a texture. As with
all tests, you can change the texture using the "T"/"t" key. You can increase
the instances of Ping using the + and - keys and observe the frame rate change.
During yesterday evenings chat session with NVIDIA's Nick Triantos and Dwight Diercks, I had the opportunity to ask if NVIDIA had tested the GeForce 256 with 3D ExeciZer.
While the response did not directly indicate if 3D ExeciZer would be able to take advantage of the GeForce's Transform and Lighting abilites, it may be a possibility - "We are focusing on running CAD apps as opposed to the Intergraph test (3D Exercizer). Benchmarks for Maya, AWADVS, and others look great!."
- Intel Pentium II-450MHz
- 128 MB Hitachi PC100 SDRAM
- Abit BH6 440BX Motherboard
- Diamond Viper V770 Ultra AGP - 175MHz/200MHz
- Hitachi Superscan Supreme 752 19-inch monitor
- Seagate Medalst Pro 6.4GB 7200RPM HDD
- Addtronics 6890A full tower case with 300w PSU
- Windows 98 with DirectX 6.1
- NVIDIA Detonator Drivers - version 4.11.01.0208
- Powerstrip - version 2.50.01
The following bar charts indicate the benchmark results. The resolution and color depth used are listed above the chart.
Texture Test - 1280x1024 @ 32-Bit Color
What's intersting in the texture test is the drop to 1 frame per second after more than 32MB of textures are used. It appears that the use of system memory via the AGP bus is not being handled properly via an undetermined system component.
Lighting Test - 1280x1024 @ 32-Bit Color
The light source test doesn't appear to cause a great deal of stress on the Viper V770 Ultra. The performance decreases as more light sources are added, but the changes are not too severe. It is quite possible that the benchmark is not complex enough to stress the geometry acceleration necessary to compute path of light waves.
Processor Test - 1280x1024 @ 32-Bit Color
There processor test, which relies heavily on the floating point capabilities of the CPU, causes a severe initial loss when moving from 1,000 to 1,400 particles. The subsequent decreases in performance after adding more particles are linear and do not result nearly as much of a loss as the initial test.  This observation was also mentioned in the readme.
Geometry Test - 1280x1024 @ 32-Bit Color
There is definitely a huge corresponding decrease in the the frames per second, from 79 to 42, when the number of polygons were doubled from 4396 to 8792. Additional increases in the number of polygons did not affect performance as nearly as much.
This is more than likely due to the processors inability to maintain the high rate of instructions required by the graphics card to render the polygons. The GeForce 256 should significantly improve benchmark results in the geometry stress test.
The following screenshots were taken at a full screen resolution of 1152x864 (except for the Introdcution which was taken in a window).
Hopefully, the 3D ExerciZer benchmark will make use of the GeForce's Transform and Lighting capabilites. In the chat, Nick made a comment in regards to the types of OpenGL applications that would need to be retrofitted with T&L code: "Most OpenGL apps *WILL* have xform and lighting acceleration, but some only use the rasterization part of OpenGL. Those games will need some work before they'll be T&L acceleration."
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