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

Intel's HEDT chips are quite good at Corona, but if we compare the 3900X to the 3950X, we still see some good scaling.

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

AMD is taking the lead in our blender test, with the 16-core chips easily going through Intel's latest 18-core hardware.

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.

In our test, we run the simple ‘Ball’ scene on both the C++ code path, 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++

Despite using Intel's Embree engine, again AMD's 16-cores easily win out against Intel's 18-core chips, at under half the cost.

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

POV-Ray ends up with AMD 16-core splitting the two Intel 18-core parts, which means we're likely to see the Intel Core i9-10980XE at the top here. It would have been interesting to see where an Intel 16-core Core-X on Cascade would end up for a direct comparison, but Intel has no new 16-core chip planned.

CPU Performance: System Tests CPU Performance: Encoding Tests


View All Comments

  • Netmsm - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    Also, in section "x264 HD 3.0: Older Transcode Test" the result of "3DPM v1 Multi-Threaded" is mistakenly placed instead of "x264 HD 3.0 Pass 2". Reply
  • The_Assimilator - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    "I’m sure some people will disagree about those 50 MHz"

    We call those people "whiny bitches who should STFU".
  • nathanddrews - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    In a world of such precision and technical pedants, you have to admit that it is false advertising to say 4.7GHz, when it is 50MHz shy. Rounded up, it's OK, but it's only 1% shady.

    For my use case, this sentence nails it perfectly: "the Core i9-9900KS is still running at 5.0 GHz for sustained single threaded work, which is still 7-15% higher than the Ryzen 3950X, and as a result it does pull out ahead in a number of ST tests as well as in low resolution (CPU-bound) gaming". Most of the games I play are not current-gen visual spectacles, but rather twitch and competitive games that are a few years old. My priority is the highest possible frame rates for high refresh gaming. I'm not sure that I do enough video editing to justify Ryzen, as tempting as the rest of the package is.
  • Cooe - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Most every other review I've seen has it hitting the full 4.7GHz, with many even going beyond into the 4.75GHz range when adequate cooling is used. The silicon binning quality of the 3950X seems to be absolutely freaking insane. Meethinks this -50MHz deficit is unique to something specific to Ian's setup here. Reply
  • RSAUser - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Gamersnexus also seems to have gotten a bit of a dud. LTT seems to have gotten a good one. Reply
  • Cooe - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Not just Linus, most people have gotten "good ones". I can count the number reviews with chips that didn't reach the advertised 4.7GHz on one hand & have fingers left over to spare (and if I include all those within 50ishMHz or so, like Ian's here, it drops to just one). Reply
  • zmatt - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Every cpu I have ever owned has always been a percent or so off the advertised frequency either above or below. The number on the box is really just an average and always has been. Reply
  • uefi - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    Don't forget, Intel has their share of the occasional performance shaving microcode patches every year or so. Reply
  • eek2121 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    I walked away with a very different picture. Right now Anandtech is clearly GPU bound in the benchmarks. They are benchmarking on a GTX 1080, and the results clearly reflect that. Having run some of these games on a 1080ti on my stock 1950X, I get a better result. They really need a 2080ti or 2080 super at this point. Reply
  • plonk420 - Thursday, November 14, 2019 - link

    they can't really use a 1080Ti or better with GTA5... check out GN's coverage: if you hit over ~180fps, you hit a cap that results in insane stuttering (same with RDR2 and 144hz or so) Reply

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