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++

POV-Ray 3.7b3

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 MultiThreaded

Rendering: CineBench 15 SingleThreaded


Benchmarking Performance: CPU System Tests Benchmarking Performance: CPU Web Tests


View All Comments

  • Ian Cutress - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    Prime95 Reply
  • AnandTechReader2017 - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - link

    Are you sure the numbers are correct as the i7 6950X on your graph here states less than the 135W on your original review of it under an all-core load. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - link

    We're running a new test suite, different OSes, updated BIOSes, with different metrics/data gathering (might even be a different CPU, as each one is slightly different). There's going to be some differences, unfortunately. Reply
  • gerz1219 - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    Power draw isn't relevant in this space. High-end users who work from a home office can write off part of their electric bill as a business expense. Price/performance isn't even that much of an issue for many users in this space for the same reason -- if you're using the machine to earn a living, a faster machine pays for itself after a matter of weeks. The only thing that matters is performance. I don't understand why so many gamers read reviews for non-gamer parts and apply gamer complaints. Reply
  • demMind - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    This kind of response keeps popping up and is highly short sighted. Price for performance matters to high end especially if you use it for your livelihood.

    If you go large-scale movie rendering studios will definitely be going with what can soften the blow to a large scale project. This is a fud response.
  • Spunjji - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - link

    Power efficiency will matter again when Intel lead in it. Been watching the same see-saw on the graphics side with nVidia. They lead in it now, so now it's the most important factor.

    Marketing works, folks.
  • JKflipflop98 - Thursday, June 22, 2017 - link

    Ah, AMD fanbots. Always with the insane conspiracy theories. Reply
  • AnandTechReader2017 - Tuesday, June 20, 2017 - link

    Power draw is important as well as temps, it will allow you to push to higher clocks and cut costs.
    Say your work had to get 500 of these machines, if you can use a cheaper PSU, cheaper CPU and lower power use, the saving could be quite extreme. We're talking 95W vs 140W, a 50% increase versus the Ryzen. That's quite a bit in the long run.

    I run 4 high-end desktops in my household, the power draw saving would be quite advantageous form me. All depends on circumstances, information is king.

    Ian posted that everything is running at stock speeds, each version overclocked with power draw would also be interesting, also the difference different RAM clock speeds make (there was a huge fiasco with people claiming nice performance increases by using higher RAM clocks with the Ryzen CPU, how much is Intel's new line-up influenced? Can we cut costs and spend more on GPU/monitor/keyboard/pretty much anything else?)
  • psychok9 - Sunday, July 23, 2017 - link

    It's scandalous... no one graph about temperature!? I suspect that if it had been an AMD cpu we would have mass hysteria and daily news... >:(
    I'm looking for Iy 7820X and understand how can I manage with an AIO.
  • cknobman - Monday, June 19, 2017 - link

    Nope this CPU is a turd IMO.
    Intel cheaped out on thermal paste again and this chip heats up big time.
    Only 44PCIE lanes, shoddy performance, and a rushed launch.

    Only a sucker would buy now before seeing AMD Threadripper and that is exactly why, and who, Intel released these things so quickly for.

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