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

  • halfflat - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    For Brownian motion? That seems weird. Nonetheless, it can't alone explain the speed up.

    Most favourable scenario: code consists only of floating point mul and add pairs, together with 64-bit integer multiplication. The floating point operations could become 4x faster in AVX2 (twice as wide as SSE, and using FMAs); to see the observed 2x speed up, that means the floating point operations constituted 2/3 of the execution time in the SSE version.

    The AVX512 version, ignoring any consequent downclocking, could make those floating point operations 8x faster than the SSE case, and the 64-bit integer multiplies also 8x faster. That's still not 10x, it ignores the lower throughput of 8-wide i64 muls compared to scalar muls, and also discounts the slower clock speed.
  • halfflat - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Just an update: ran a simple test (square eight times all the 64-bit ints in a 1024-long array) wrapped in google benchmark on a Skylake Xeon with gcc-8.2 -O3. The kernel is almost entirely multiplications, and ultimately saw a roughly 2x speed up with AVX512 compared to AVX2, and a 2.5x speed up with AVX512 compared with a 'no architecture specified' compilation. Reply
  • w1p30ut3r - Friday, November 22, 2019 - link

    Its very, very simples. If you gaming lonly buy an intel... If you work and gaming buy a 3950x... If you only work buy a threadripper or a xeon... Reply
  • Parkab0y - Sunday, October 4, 2020 - link

    I really want to see something like this about zen3 5000 Reply
  • trusttechbd - Sunday, October 18, 2020 - link

    Intel 9th Gen Core i5-9400 Processor price in bangladesh trusttech
  • madymadme - Saturday, November 7, 2020 - link

    Going to buy
    AMD Ryzen 9 5900X,
    Gigabyte B550 AORUS PRO AC,
    Noctua NH-D15 Dual 140m Fans,
    G.skill Trident Z RGB Series 16GB (2x8GB) 4000 MHz DDR4 Memory F4-4000C18D-16GTZRB

    is corsair CV550 watt ok with the above spec ? & I have Quadro K2000D graphic card
    is this specification ok ? & which ram to get please help a little & thanks for reading & replying

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