Asus’s partnership with High Performance Computer manufacturer Strongbox has resulted in the creation of the world’s fastest PC workstation. With outstanding graphics rendering, this makes it perfect for VR development use. As they are keen to point out, their system has so far broken all records, taking over the OctaneBench top position with the highest score of 1620.82, all powered by less than eight ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 Tis in an eight-way SLI configuration.
As Strongboxes technical director, Brian Gannon, points out “Our computers are demonstrably faster than our competitors like HP. I would say Dell are now pretty much out of the running. HP are still making excellent systems and are very well built but the fact is they are going down the XEON route because that’s what the industry recommends, which isn’t necessarily correct. Because they are going down the XEON route and they are clocked so much lower it means that our machines especially our i7X machine absolutely pummels it in to the ground. Especially with video editing, VFX and grading.”
Strongbox vs new MacPro – Mac stuck on Open CL, uses graphic card extender boxes while Strongbox gets same performance out of less.
Strongbox have also been quick to compare their machine to the new Mac Pro, with the latter falling down badly. As they see it, the problem is that Mac have stuck with AMD FirePro graphics rather than opting for a NVIDIA solution. This has not worked well as the favoured programmes currently use Open GL or CUDA whilst the Mac is stuck on Open CL, dramatically limiting it. Whilst Mac have tried to resolve this by using a Graphic Card Extender, whilst it may sound like a good fix in theory, in practice they are costly and do not provide nearly as much power. With Strongbox providing powerful performance out of far less, they only see Mac being an option when the Thunderbolt 3 provides an increase in speed. But even with this in place, the MacPro is always going to be limited to 40 PCIe lanes with 32 of them already used by the Dual Firepro graphics cards; this will only leave 8 lanes free, sufficient for just one extra graphics card running at x8 speed before the PCIe bus becomes inundated.
So it looks like the Strongbox is going to be the overall winner and with so much going for it, it is going to be much in demand as an 8k machine able to handle any type of game and providing plenty of power for VR development use.
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