Benchmarking Performance: CPU Rendering Tests

Rendering tests are a long-time favorite of reviewers and benchmarkers, as the code used by rendering packages is usually highly optimized to squeeze every little bit of performance out. Sometimes rendering programs end up being heavily memory dependent as well - when you have that many threads flying about with a ton of data, having low latency memory can be key to everything. Here we take a few of the usual rendering packages under Windows 10, as well as a few new interesting benchmarks.

Corona 1.3

Corona is a standalone package designed to assist software like 3ds Max and Maya with photorealism via ray tracing. It's simple - shoot rays, get pixels. OK, it's more complicated than that, but the benchmark renders a fixed scene six times and offers results in terms of time and rays per second. The official benchmark tables list user submitted results in terms of time, however I feel rays per second is a better metric (in general, scores where higher is better seem to be easier to explain anyway). Corona likes to pile on the threads, so the results end up being very staggered based on thread count.

Rendering: Corona Photorealism

Blender 2.78

For a render that has been around for what seems like ages, Blender is still a highly popular tool. We managed to wrap up a standard workload into the February 5 nightly build of Blender and measure the time it takes to render the first frame of the scene. Being one of the bigger open source tools out there, it means both AMD and Intel work actively to help improve the codebase, for better or for worse on their own/each other's microarchitecture.

Rendering: Blender 2.78


As a synthetic, LuxMark might come across as somewhat arbitrary as a renderer, given that it's mainly used to test GPUs, but it does offer both an OpenCL and a standard C++ mode. In this instance, aside from seeing the comparison in each coding mode for cores and IPC, we also get to see the difference in performance moving from a C++ based code-stack to an OpenCL one with a CPU as the main host. 

Rendering: LuxMark CPU C++Rendering: LuxMark CPU OpenCL

POV-Ray 3.7

Another regular benchmark in most suites, POV-Ray is another ray-tracer but has been around for many years. It just so happens that during the run up to AMD's Ryzen launch, the code base started to get active again with developers making changes to the code and pushing out updates. Our version and benchmarking started just before that was happening, but given time we will see where the POV-Ray code ends up and adjust in due course.

Rendering: POV-Ray 3.7

Cinebench R15

The latest version of CineBench has also become one of those 'used everywhere' benchmarks, particularly as an indicator of single thread performance. High IPC and high frequency gives performance in ST, whereas having good scaling and many cores is where the MT test wins out. 

Rendering: CineBench 15 SingleThreaded

Rendering: CineBench 15 MultiThreaded


Benchmarking Performance: CPU System Tests Benchmarking Performance: CPU Web Tests
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  • nt300 - Saturday, March 11, 2017 - link

    The Ryzen 7 1700 is definitely the gaming choice IMO. The CPU that does well in gaming and amazing at everything else. Windows 10 hasn't been properly optimized for ZEN, so any Benchmarks and Gaming Benchmarks are not set in stone.
  • A2Ple98 - Monday, May 22, 2017 - link

    Actually Ryzen isn't for only gamers, is mostly for streamers and professionals. The cores that aren't used for gaming, they are used to encode the video you are stream. As for pro people, they get almost a i7-6900K for half the price.
  • Sweeprshill - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Does not seem to be proper English here ?
  • Sweeprshill - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    n/m can't edit comments I suppose
  • nt300 - Saturday, March 11, 2017 - link

    Wrong, ZEN is a new design and quite innovative. Just like the past, AMD has let this industry for many years. More so when they launched the Athlon 64 with the IMC which Intel claimed was useless and a waste of die space. That Athlon 64 at 1000 MHz less clock speed smoked any Intel chip you put it against.

    My point, ZEN is new, and both ZEN and Intel chips are unique in there own way, might share some similarities, but nevertheless they are different.
  • nos024 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Nope. Ryzen will need to drop in price. $500 1800x is still too expensive. According to this even a 7700k @ $300 -$350 is still a good choice for gamers.

    2011-v3 still offers a platform with more PCIe3 lanes and quad memory channel. I thought about an 1800x and 370 mobo combo, but that costs similar to a 6850k with x99.

    Sorry, ill stick to intel this time around. Good that ryzen caused a ripple in price war though.
  • Gothmoth - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    gamer... as if the world is only full with idiotic people who waste their lives playing shooter or RPG´s.
  • nos024 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Ikr? Whatever makes your world go round man.
  • brushrop03 - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link

    Well played
  • AndrewJacksonZA - Thursday, March 2, 2017 - link


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