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

A raw multithreaded test, the eight thread CPUs here score above the quad cores without SMT. The 2500X with four cores and eight threads is on par with a six-core Intel CPU here.

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

Bender is a variable threaded test, tackling lots of parts of the system. The move from a 4C/4T AMD chip to the 4C/8T AMD chip gets a good speedup, with the jump up in threads really helping. Our results are very clearly delineated on core count then thread count.

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

For POV-Ray, the better AVX2 performance of the Core i3 shows as it almost matches the 2500X.

CPU Performance: System Tests CPU Performance: Office Tests
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  • Le Québécois - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Ian, any reason why more often than not, you seem to "skip" 1440 in your benchmarks? It's only present for a few games.

    Considering the GTX 1080, your best card, is always the bottleneck at 4K, as your numbers show, wouldn't it make more sense to focus more on 1440 instead?

    Especially considering it's the "best" resolution on the market if you are looking for a high pixel density yet still want to run your games at a playable levels of fps.
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Some benchmarks are run at 1440p. Some go up to 8K. It's a mix. There's what, 10 games there? Not all of them have to conform to the same testing settings. Reply
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Sorry for the confusion. I can clearly see we've got very different settings in that mix. I guess a more direct question would be: why do it this way and not with a more standardized series of test?

    A followup question would also be, why 8K? You are already GPU limited at 4K so your 8K result are not going to give any relevant information about those CPUs.

    Sorry, I don't mean to criticized, I simply wish to understand your thought process.
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    What exactly do you want to see there that you can't see at 1080p? Differences between CPUs are going to be muddied due to approaching the GPU limit, and that's it. Reply
  • Le Québécois - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Well, at 1080, you can definitely see the difference between them, and exactly like you said, at 4K, it's all the same because of the GPU limitations. 1440 seems more relevant than 4K considering this. This is after all, a CPU review and most of the 4K results could be summed up by "they all perform within a few %". Reply
  • neblogai - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    End of page 19: R5 2600 is really 65W TDP, not 95W. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Doh, a typo in all my graphs too. Should be updated. Reply
  • imaheadcase - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Im on phone on AT and truly see how terrible ads are now. AT straight up letting scam ads now being served because desperate for revenue. 😂 Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, February 11, 2019 - link

    Is there a point in even mentioning that give how little control they now have over advertising? Just fire up the ad blocker or visit another site and let the new owners figure it out the hard way. Reply
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, February 12, 2019 - link

    Anandtech had Maleware/Viruses infect it's userbase years ago via crappy adverts.

    That was the moment I got Ad-Block. And that is the moment where I will never turn it off again.
    Reply

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