Who's right among these contradictory headlines:
* The Register: "ATI reports record quarter."
* The Globe&Mail: "ATI ... profit plunges 40%."
Either way, it doesn't matter, because the FireGL X3 that ATI had promised a couple of weeks ago, arrived yesterday.And until last week, this was ATI's top-of-the-line graphics board, going for about CDN$1,500. ATI sent it after I noted how poorly my ATI 8500 works with AutoCAD 2007's new 3D imaging. The 3dConfig command makes this summary:
Geometry acceleration: Not recommended and off
Smooth line display: Not available
Gooch shader: Software emulation in use
Full-shadow display: Not available
Before installing the new graphics board, I re-ran the benchmark I created for testing the Alienware computer a year ago. I had written a script that tested the toughest AutoCAD 2005 sample drawing, OilModule.dwg. The script automates the layout switching (with layout regen turned on):
-layout s piping -layout s "back & left side" -layout s "front & right side" -layout s isometric -layout s model
Back then, it took my computer 1:26 Min:sec to run the benchmark. I re-ran it on my desktop computer, which has had no changes since a year ago. This time, however, I ran it on an FCS copy of AutoCAD 2007. I was shocked, because it appeared that AutoCAD 2007 was 3x faster.
I found that hard to beleive, and reran the benchmarks on earlier releases of AutoCAD:
2006 - 47.5 seconds
2004 - 36.4 seconds
I cannot figure out what i did different a year ago to create the 3x-longer timing.
The time to open the OilModule.dwg remains the same: 13 seconds.
(My desktop computer is a 2.4HGz Pentium IV with 1GB RAM, 0.5TB disk space, and the ATI 8500 graphics board.)
My son and I will do some more preliminary benchmarking before we install the FireGL X2.