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.

All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

Corona 1.3: link

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: link

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

LuxMark v3.1: Link

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 3.7.1b4: link

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: link

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 SingleThreadedRendering: CineBench 15 MultiThreaded

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


View All Comments

  • MajGenRelativity - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    You make a couple good points. Ryzen 3 is definitely on my watchlist Reply
  • iwod - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    What are the Power Load for each CPU and not whole system? Zen is more SoC like and harder to compare to Intel. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    System is variable. CPU numbers in a CPU review. Reply
  • ampmam - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Great review but biased conclusion. Any idiot can sense it. Reply
  • MrCommunistGen - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    For us idiots, can you possibly elaborate what bias you're seeing? Reply
  • vMax65 - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    ampmam, good to know you are an idiot...Great review Ian. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Biased in what way? I've been called an Intel shill and an AMD shill this week, will be glad to listen to what you think. Reply
  • Oxford Guy - Thursday, July 27, 2017 - link

    Then don't open yourself up for these accusations by doing things like kneecapping Zen with 2400 speed RAM.

    If you think 2400 speed RAM is more beneficial than not then, at least, show the best case results for 3200 speed RAM and say "See — it's not important"

    It's not good to see the same site that overclocking by telling people testing for serious stability isn't important and which pumps unwise levels of voltage in hobbling the RAM that's used to test Zen, a platform that most everyone knows benefits more from faster RAM than Intel does.
  • silverblue - Friday, July 28, 2017 - link

    Perhaps it does, but it's not massive. Also, Ian did say he would test at faster settings at a later date.

    RAM prices are quite high at the moment for the higher clocked parts, which brings about an interesting observation - the Ryzen 3 is the cheapest part of this entire setup.
  • Oxford Guy - Saturday, July 29, 2017 - link

    The RAM that he used was rated at 3000 and he chose to downclock it. Reply

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