Rendering: Blender 2.6.0

Blender is a very popular open source renderer with a large and active community. We tested the 64-bit Windows edition, using version 2.6.0a. If you like, you can perform this benchmark very easily too. We used the metallic robot, a scene with rather complex lighting (reflections) and raytracing. Furthermore to make the benchmark more repetitive, we changed the following parameters:

  1. The resolution was set to 2560x1600
  2. Antialiasing was set to 16
  3. We disabled compositing in post processing
  4. Tiles were set to 16x16 (X=16, Y=16)
  5. Threads was set to auto (one thread per CPU is set).

As we have explained, the current 24 and 32 core CPUs benefit from using a much larger number of tiles than we have previously used (64, 8x8). That is why we raised the number of tiles to 256 (16x16), though all CPUs perform better at this setting.

To make the results easier to read, we again converted the reported render time into images rendered per hour, so higher is better.

Blender 2.6.0

Blender is Xeon territory for sure, as Blender mostly runs in the L1 and L2 cache. Therefore a E5-2630 (2.3 GHz, 15 MB L3, $612) will probably perform about 4% faster than the six-core Xeon E5-2660 in this test. Our six-core Xeon E5-2660 is about 26% faster than the best Opteron. We estimate that the Xeon E5-2630 will offer more or less the same performance at an almost 30% lower pricepoint than the Opteron 6276. Whether you have a lot or little to spend, the Xeon E5 is your best bet for Blender.

Rendering Performance: 3DSMax 2012

As requested, we're reintroducing our 3DS Max benchmark. We used the "architecture" scene which is included in the SPEC APC 3DS Max test. As the Scanline renderer is limited to 16 threads, we're using the iray render engine, which is basically an self-configuring Mental Ray render engine.

We rendered at 720p (1280x720) resolution. We measured the time it takes to render 10 frames (from 20 to 29) with SSE enabled. We recorded the time and then calculated (3600 seconds * 10 frames / time recorded) how many frames a certain CPU configuration could render in one hour. All results are reported as rendered images per hour; higher is thus better. We used the 64-bit version of 3ds Max 2008 on 64-bit Windows 2008 R2 SP1.

3DSMax  2012 Architecture

Even with the advanced iray renderer, 3DS Max rendering reaches our scaling limits. The 32-thread Xeons do not come close to 100% CPU load (more like 90%) and in between the frames there are small periods of single threaded processing. Amdahl's law is most likely reason here. We suspect that highly clocked lower core count models can pass the 53 fps barrier we're seeing here.

Rendering Performance: Cinebench HPC: LSTC's LS Dyna
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  • dilidolo - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Link not working on first page - THE SPECS AND THE SKUS Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    For some reason I cannot go beyond the first page... Reply
  • yvizel - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Second page, in the Intel table, the 2630 is listed as an eight core CPU.
    But then: "...Based on the paper specs, AMD's 6276, 6274 and Intel's 2640 and 2630 are in a neck-and-neck race. AMD offers 16 smaller integer clusters, while Intel offers 6 heavy, slightly higher clocked cores with SMT..."
    Reply
  • JohanAnandtech - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Fixed, thanks for letting me know!

    -Johan
    Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Ah man, the 2630L error totally got my hopes up. 8 cores for $662 would be very reasonable. Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    ...just got bulldozed. And this isn't even on the 22nm 3D transistors they're launching next month, it's like they just got a dizzying punch and know the KO punch is coming. Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    It'll probably be awhile before the Ivy Bridge Xeons are out. Reply
  • Kjella - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    Of course, I'm guessing Q1 2013 before we'll see those but we already know from all the leaked SB -> IB details roughly what SB-Xeon to IB-Xeon will be like. All AMD has on their roadmap for 2013 is the "Abu Dhabi" with the "Piledriver" core promising 10-15% performance boost but still on 32nm. So you can see the punch coming a year away, but I don't think AMD has the capability to do anything about it. Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - link

    My question as well.

    What is the Intel roadmap for Ivy Bridge in this arena. Would be the same timeframe as IVB-E I would guess.

    Wondering if my Intel dividends will pile up enough for me to afford one! Haha
    Reply
  • fredisdead - Saturday, April 07, 2012 - link

    From the 'article' .....

    'The Opteron might also have a role in the low end, price sensitive HPC market, where it still performs very well. It won't have much of chance in the high end clustered one as Intel has the faster and more power efficient PCIe interface'

    Well, if that's the case, why exactly would AMD be scoring so many design wins with Interlagos. Including this one ...

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394515,00.as...

    http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Cray-Ti...

    U think those guys at Cray were going for low performance ? In fact, seems like AMD has being rather cleaning up in the HPC market since the arrival of Interlagos. And the markets have picked up on it, AMD stock is thru the roof since the start of the year. Or just see how many Intel processors occupy the the top 10 supercomputers on the planet. Nuff said ...
    Reply

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