Several weeks ago, Dell introduced new Dell Precision workstations based on Intel’s new Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) processors to much industry discussion here, here and here. We were recently at the Game Developers’ Conference in San Francisco and talked to one of the many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) that have certified the systems for their software.
Mark Schoennagel, Autodesk’s Senior 3D Evangelist, discussed how game developers can use Autodesk’s Softimage to speed the development of their games. Autodesk is a leader in 3D rendering and other fields with more than nine million professionals from 185 different countries using their products to save time and money, gain a competitive advantage and change the way ideas are brought to life. In the gaming space, their customers include Insomniac Games (creator of Resistance 2), Tecmo Games (creator of Ninja Gaiden 2), Konami Digital Entertainment (creator of Metal Gear Solid 4), and many others.
Mark got his hands on the new Dell Precision T5500 system a couple of months ago and quickly certified Autodesk Softimage for the system. Upon receipt of the new system, Mark says he was struck by Dell’s design to provide for improved thermals and the system ran their software "flawless out of the box."
In this video, he shows an example of a particle effect created entirely with Softimage software’s new multi-threaded node based programming environment — ICE. Each node represents a low-level function or a group of nodes can be collapsed into a single node called a compound. These compounds are similar to "functions" in programming and can be re-used at anytime, in any scene or project. In the video, Mark shows a "fire" that can be built once, but can be re-used many times.
Mark was impressed with the performance of the Dell Precision T5500 workstation, which delivers up to 90 percent better multi-threaded digital content creation application performance versus previous generation systems (see required legal for this claim below :)).
Enough from me. Take it away, Mark.
(Based on the SPEC apc 3D Studio Max 9 and Cinebench R10 benchmark tests performed by Dell Labs in January 2009 comparing the Dell Precision T7400 with Intel® Xeon® X5482 processor and 4GB memory with the Dell Precision T7500 with Intel® Xeon® W5580 processor and 6GB memory, which has the same architecture, processor and memory speed as the T5500.)