CPU Performance: Rendering Tests

Rendering is often a key target for processor workloads, lending itself to a professional environment. It comes in different formats as well, from 3D rendering through rasterization, such as games, or by ray tracing, and invokes the ability of the software to manage meshes, textures, collisions, aliasing, physics (in animations), and discarding unnecessary work. Most renderers offer CPU code paths, while a few use GPUs and select environments use FPGAs or dedicated ASICs. For big studios however, CPUs are still the hardware of choice.

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

Corona 1.3: Performance Render

An advanced performance based renderer for software such as 3ds Max and Cinema 4D, the Corona benchmark renders a generated scene as a standard under its 1.3 software version. Normally the GUI implementation of the benchmark shows the scene being built, and allows the user to upload the result as a ‘time to complete’.

We got in contact with the developer who gave us a command line version of the benchmark that does a direct output of results. Rather than reporting time, we report the average number of rays per second across six runs, as the performance scaling of a result per unit time is typically visually easier to understand.

The Corona benchmark website can be found at https://corona-renderer.com/benchmark

Corona 1.3 Benchmark

Corona is a fully multithreaded test, so the non-HT parts get a little behind here. The Core i9-9900K blasts through the AMD 8-core parts with a 25% margin, and taps on the door of the 12-core Threadripper.

Blender 2.79b: 3D Creation Suite

A high profile rendering tool, Blender is open-source allowing for massive amounts of configurability, and is used by a number of high-profile animation studios worldwide. The organization recently released a Blender benchmark package, a couple of weeks after we had narrowed our Blender test for our new suite, however their test can take over an hour. For our results, we run one of the sub-tests in that suite through the command line - a standard ‘bmw27’ scene in CPU only mode, and measure the time to complete the render.

Blender can be downloaded at https://www.blender.org/download/

Blender 2.79b bmw27_cpu Benchmark

Blender has an eclectic mix of requirements, from memory bandwidth to raw performance, but like Corona the processors without HT get a bit behind here. The high frequency of the 9900K pushes it above the 10C Skylake-X part, and AMD's 2700X, but behind the 1920X.

LuxMark v3.1: LuxRender via Different Code Paths

As stated at the top, there are many different ways to process rendering data: CPU, GPU, Accelerator, and others. On top of that, there are many frameworks and APIs in which to program, depending on how the software will be used. LuxMark, a benchmark developed using the LuxRender engine, offers several different scenes and APIs.

Taken from the Linux Version of LuxMark

In our test, we run the simple ‘Ball’ scene on both the C++ and OpenCL code paths, but in CPU mode. This scene starts with a rough render and slowly improves the quality over two minutes, giving a final result in what is essentially an average ‘kilorays per second’.

LuxMark v3.1 C++LuxMark v3.1 OpenCL

POV-Ray 3.7.1: Ray Tracing

The Persistence of Vision ray tracing engine is another well-known benchmarking tool, which was in a state of relative hibernation until AMD released its Zen processors, to which suddenly both Intel and AMD were submitting code to the main branch of the open source project. For our test, we use the built-in benchmark for all-cores, called from the command line.

POV-Ray can be downloaded from http://www.povray.org/

POV-Ray 3.7.1 Benchmark

CPU Performance: System Tests CPU Performance: Office Tests


View All Comments

  • deil - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Very nice. All I wanted to know. 220 W on 95 TDP LOL. Reply
  • AutomaticTaco - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Note the revised table. The need for the revision was due to the first motherboard they tested with being severely over-voltage. Not only is it lower the better news, to me at least, is the Overclock at 4.7GHz and 4.8GHz actual reduce the power consumption and operating temperature. Reply
  • Spunjji - Monday, October 22, 2018 - link

    Good to see it's "only" 166W on a 95W TDP instead :D Reply
  • Cellar Door - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Ryan what is your opinion on the 9700k vs 8700k? Reply
  • Icehawk - Saturday, October 20, 2018 - link

    I was “worried” I would be bummed that I bought an 8700 but the price:perf and delta between them ileaves me feeling just fine.

    I too would like to see the 9900 run w/o HT - it *should* perform like a 9700 but would be interesting to see if there are any oddities.
  • SaturnusDK - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Good review. Too bad the subject is pretty lackluster.

    To sum up the 9900K in one word: Meh!
  • eva02langley - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    The CPU is going for 540$+ and the motherboard Toms used is a 600$ motherboard.

    Performance are awesome, handown, but this is not a 2700x competitor. The only these thing are having in common are the number of cores/threads and their platform.

    At this price, I would get a 2950x, hand downs.
  • eva02langley - Friday, October 19, 2018 - link

    Performance are awesome, hand down, but this is not a 2700x competitor. The only things these two are having in common, are the number of cores/threads and their mainstream platform... however the Z390 is more expensive than the X499 which offer way better specs. Reply
  • mapesdhs - Sunday, October 21, 2018 - link

    In the UK is 9900K is closer to the equivalent of $800. Outside the US the absolute cost levels are often a lot worse. Where I am, the 2700X is half the price of a 9900K, the saving being more than enough to afford a much better GPU. Reply
  • Total Meltdowner - Sunday, October 21, 2018 - link

    Good, F U foreigners wanted out superior tech. Reply

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