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 MultiThreaded

Rendering: CineBench 15 SingleThreaded

Conclusions on Rendering: It is clear from these graphs that most rendering tools require full cores, rather than multiple threads, to get best performance. The exception is Cinebench.

Benchmarking Performance: CPU System Tests Benchmarking Performance: CPU Web Tests
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  • SaturnusDK - Friday, February 16, 2018 - link

    There will be no crossfire with dGPUs. It's no possible at all. Reply
  • SaturnusDK - Saturday, February 17, 2018 - link

    On the subject of allocated VRAM. It should be set as low as possible. The minimum is 64MB. You should never set it higher. Since VRAM is system RAM there is no speed gains to be had in GPU performance setting it higher than the minimum and just letting windows sort out the spill over but you are potentially limiting the CPU performance a lot as allocated VRAM eats available system RAM, so if you have 8GB but set VRAM to 2GB, the system only have 6GB remaining. This can seriously hurt performance in some cases. So, as little VRAM as possible is the correct setting. Reply
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  • IntoGraphics - Friday, March 09, 2018 - link

    For Ryzen 5 2400G + X370 mATX m/b.
    What 16GB (4x4GB) and 32GB (4x8GB) kits memory modules (brand + model) would easily overclock much higher than DDR4-2933 for the best GPU performance ?

    (I'm looking at some 4000MHz kits but if that is not compatible it will be a waste.)
    Reply
  • andrewbaggins - Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - link

    Anandtech reviews continue to show us what the graphics chips CAN'T do well instead of what they CAN do well. I've heard all the reasons before, and they don't help. Gaming benchmarks should be presented for PLAYABLE settings rather than can-just-barely-run-it settings, i.e. High/Ultra. No gamer will settle for jerky, stuttery gameplay, so why not show us what the items under review can do on, say, Medium settings with a few High setting benchmarks thrown in for good measure? Reply

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