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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  • speely - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    "Where is the i5-8400 that has the same price as the 2400G?
    Oh, yeah, they totally left it out from the benchmarks since it would have proved an absolute supremacy of the Intel offering.
    Ops."

    In which benchmarks do you expect to see the i5-8400 prove its "absolute supremacy" where the i5-7400 didn't? Seriously, I'd like to know.

    Because what I see is either the i5-7400 beating the 2400G or going punch to punch with it, or being thoroughly decimated by it.

    If the i5-7400 beats or competes with the 2400G, the i5-8400 refresh chip will do the same. If the i5-7400 gets trounced by the 2400G, the i5-8400 refresh chip isn't suddenly and magically going to beat it.

    I fail to see anything in the article to indicate a pro-AMD bias on AT's part, either intentional or unintentional.

    What I do see is a fanboy who's upset to see his team losing some benchmarks.
    Reply
  • Kamgusta - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Ehm sir, 7400 is 4 core and 8400 is 6 core.
    Other reviews shows a 30% performance dominance of i5-8400 over the 2400G.
    Reply
  • speely - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Fair point, and my apologies. I keep forgetting that they upped the i5's to 6 cores after a decade of 4c4t i5's (including the 4690K I currently use).

    That being said, the i5-8400 itself is the same price as the 2400G, but getting the i5-8400 running is not the same price as getting the 2400G running. The 2400G was tested on an MSI B350I Pro AC (https://www.anandtech.com/show/12227/msi-releases-... which is new and doesn't yet have a publicly-known MSRP, but is built and featured like other $70-80 B350 motherboards. What motherboards are on the market today for $70-80 that support the i5-8400?

    So we've taken into account the additional 2 cores and the subsequent boost to the CPU-focused benchmarks, which the 7400 sometimes lost and sometimes won against the 2400G, and put a couple small notches into the 8400's belt. For another 50 bucks or so on the motherboard just to use the 8400, that's not too bad I suppose. It's what I would expect pitting a 6c6t CPU against a 4c8t CPU in CPU benchmarks. It's certainly not "absolute supremacy" but it's something, right?

    Were you expecting that "absolute supremacy" to show up in iGPU gaming? I'll just laugh about that and move on.

    Sure, the 8400 could probably step past the 2400G in gaming and graphics if you paired it with a $120-or-so graphics card (assuming you can find one at $120 or so), but then you're comparing a dGPU to an iGPU and you're still only barely stepping past.

    So the only real way to make the 8400 show "absolute supremacy" over the 2400G is to cherry-pick just the benchmarks you like, and bolster the 8400 with another $200 of additional hardware.

    "Absolute supremacy".
    Reply
  • Manch - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    No it's not.In regards to vs the 8400, its a mixed bag. For programs that favor Intel CPU's there is a clear advantage. For programs that favor AMD the advantage swings the other way. For everything else that's generally proc agnostic they tie, pull ahead slightly or gets beat relatively evenly in regards to CPU performance.

    Now GPU wise, it gets crushed. That's obvious that is gonna happen.

    If you plan on getting a DGPU with some beef, either is good, If you looking to game on the cheap, which is the target of the AMD proc in this review, its the hands down winner. Comparable perf, but with a beefier iGPU that can hang with a 1030. Also it gives you the option of adding a DGPU later when you need more grunt. It's clearly the better buy this go around. No other site that Ive seen has argued against this.
    Reply
  • dromoxen - Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - link

    Are these going to get a 12nm refresh , as all the other ryzen cpus? I am thinking of upgrade either i58400 or r5 1600/1700 or possibly 2400g.. decision decisions ... Reply
  • Manch - Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - link

    Originally it was labeled as 12nm, now referred to 14nm+.Probably will be updated. Reply
  • cheshirster - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    You need Z370 for the "supremacy" to work.
    Ops.
    Reply
  • bug77 - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    That will be fixed when lower tier 300-series chipsets launch. However, it's a significant problem for those wanting to build a cheap setup until then. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    I used the chips I have on hand for the tests, forgot to add already tested chips - we haven't tested the i5-8400 IGP, but the CPU results are on hand in Bench. I can add those results to the graphs when I get a chance. Reply
  • Manch - Monday, February 12, 2018 - link

    Ian, I dont know if fhis is just when browing from a phone but the bench when listing CPUs while alphabetic, bc of the chips names ~lake, etc. The listing jumps all over the place. 8 series before 4 seriez then 7 series. Can yall fix this? Thanks Reply

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