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.

For our graphs, some of them have two values: a regular value in orange, and one in red called 'Intel Spec'. ASUS offers the option to 'open up' the power and current limits of the chip, so the CPU is still running at the same frequency but is not throttled. Despite Intel saying that they recommend 'Intel Spec', the system they sent to us to test was actually set up with the power limits opened up, and the results they provided for us to compare to internally also correlated with that setting. As a result, we're providing both sets results for our CPU tests.

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


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


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++


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

  • sgeocla - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    Computex 2018: Intel 28 core 5 Ghz out by end of year.
    February 2019: Intel 28 core 4.5 Ghz, costs 70% more than competing product.
    Intel is early on promises and late on delivery as always.
  • BigMamaInHouse - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    The CPU is 3000$ + 1500$ MB+ ECC + eXtreme case/PSU/AIO.
    Thanks Ian Cutress for the honest review!
    (unlike "JustBuyIt that gave this fail product(Total System) 4.5/5 rating vs 2990WX 3.5/5 because its expensive!")
  • Morawka - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    oh wow, i didn't realize the Dominus Extreme was so expensive. Reply
  • tamalero - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    We're getting a ton of "sponsored" BS articles lately that are cynical. Reply
  • eva02langley - Thursday, January 31, 2019 - link

    WCCFtech gave the MSI 2080 TI lightning 1600$ GPU a 10/10 for value... Reply
  • FMinus - Friday, February 1, 2019 - link

    RX 570 is 10/10 along with maybe the GTX 1060, everything else is going down the value ladder pretty fast from that point on. For any consumer/gaming oriented GPU that passes the $500 mark I'd give it -1/10 value score. Reply
  • DanNeely - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    The on stage demo was using a chilled water setup, that they managed to push that system higher than Ian could with room temperature water is only to be expected. Reply
  • jardows2 - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    This seems like a really good processor for a productivity station. I think, especially at the expected price, it would sell really well. That has me puzzled then as to why Intel would have such a limited run. The supposed figures is barely enough to send to review sites around the world, let alone have a profitable product line. If they produced 10X the amount of these, they'd probably sell them all. Why is Intel leaving easy money on the table? Something doesn't seem right about this picture. Reply
  • Yorgos - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    I don't know what's more delusional, Intel selling a 500Watt CPU
    or fanboys thinking that this product will sell well at $3000.

    Listen buddy, most sales from these systems come from Dell, HP and/or Lenovo workstations.
    Nobody is going to bother messing with a cpu that's a fire hazard, gives you the same PCI-e lanes as a $300 CPU and you are obliged, as Dell/HP/Lenovo, to buy special motherboards from asus or another manufacturer.
    Finally, the product placement here from Purch media targets Gamers, plus intel targets gamers.
    This is just a shelf product, just like 8700k and 9900k to fight for the first position in some benchmarks, against zen, due to the unfortunate circumstances of zen being that good.
    This product takes binned cpus away from much higher priced Xeons. They are not going to make great numbers available, by default, even if they could supply the market.
  • eddman - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - link

    "delusional", "fanboys", "Listen buddy", "fire hazard"

    You don't have to get so emotional to make a point.

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