3dsmax 9 - SPECapc 3dsmax CPU Rendering Test

Today's desktop processors are more than fast enough to do professional level 3D rendering at home. To look at performance under 3dsmax we ran the SPECapc 3dsmax 8 benchmark (only the CPU rendering tests) under 3dsmax 9 SP1. The results reported are the rendering composite scores.

3dsmax r9 - SPECapc 3dsmax 8 CPU Test

The 1075T comes close to its competitors in the 3dsmax test, while the Phenom II X4 970 definitely falls short.

The quad-core Athlon II X4 645 does much better than the dual-core i3 530 (and by extension the 540). The same holds true for the Athlon II X3 450 vs. the Pentium G6950.

Cinebench R10

Created by the Cinema 4D folks we have Cinebench, a popular 3D rendering benchmark that gives us both single and multi-threaded 3D rendering results.

Cinebench R10 - Single Threaded

Single threaded performance is AMD's weakest point. Even at 3.5GHz the Phenom II X4 970 can't keep up with a turboed Core i5 750. If you run a predominantly single threaded workload, Intel will typically offer you better performance than AMD.

Cinebench R10 - Multithreaded

Turn up the thread count however and the value proposition shifts to AMD. The Phenom II X6 1075T gives you more for your money in a heavily threaded app than the Core i7 860, and the Phenom II X4 970 is a smidge ahead of the i5 750. The Athlon II X4 645 and Athlon II X3 450 both do very well.

I've started running Cinebench 11.5 in preparation for an update to Bench, some of the initial results are below:

Cinebench 11.5 CPU Test

The default benchmark is heavily threaded. As a result the scores echo what we just saw.

SYSMark 2007 & Photoshop Performance Video Encoding & Data Archiving Performance
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  • IceDread - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Annoying to see that we still have no competition in the high end segment. It's still being dominated by intel which makes for higher prices for us, the consumers.
  • Dark_Archonis - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Annoying? Well it is what it is, AMD just can't compete at the high end and I don't think Bulldozer will help much going up against Sandy Bridge E.
  • Madmanden - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Well that's a surprise...
  • mino - Tuesday, September 21, 2010 - link

    Well, I think we are a bit spoiled actually.

    Just think about it for a minute - had not AMD acquired an almost complete DEC team around 1997, there would have been NO real competition and the prices would WAY above what Intel is charging now.
    Think VIA Nano on steroids as "competition".

    Let's be realistic, shall we?
    It is simply not feasible for 2 competitors in such a complex field to be BOTH on top concurrently for extended periods of time (as has happened during the Slot A heydays).
    These situations are bound to be more of an abnormality than a standard.

    Considering the HUGE gap in resources, we shall be very happy that AMD is still within 30% of Intel's TOP despite using an 12yrs old K7 architecture.
    A true testament to Alpha actually.

    And, for killing IA64 on desktop alone, they deserve a Nobel prize! No contest.
  • Dark_Archonis - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Speaking of Alpha, I wonder where many former Alpha employees have gone? Oh right, they're now working at Intel on future Itanium processors.

    Sure we were spoiled, if you will, years ago when AMD introduced the K7, Intel missed with the P4, and AMD introduced the K8.

    Thing is, historically Intel was almost always on top in the consumer CPU market.

    AMD did provide some real competition back then, but not so much anymore. Intel can price AMD out of existence right now if they wanted to, but Intel doesn't want to.

    Unless Bulldozer is a gigantic performance leap forward, AMD will continue to struggle to provide competition and will only be "good enough" or barely catching up to Intel's latest.

    Intel has real competition in non-consumer markets, and that is challenging Intel.
  • crucibelle - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

  • Dark_Archonis - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    I love such thorough and insightful answers such as these.

    People talk all the time about how competition is good. Real competition is good yes, mediocre or weak competition is almost pointless. Right now AMD is mediocre/weak competition from Intel.

    You can call people names, point fingers, and complain about it all day long, but it is what it is.

    I have nothing against seeing some STRONG competition for Intel, but AMD currently isn't providing strong competition.
  • bji - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Really? Then why did I decide to buy a 1075T instead of an Intel chip in the same price range? For my needs (all of my single threaded apps are quite fast enough with any modern processor, but as a software developer I need as many cores as I can get for parallel compiles) the 1075T is a great deal. Throw in the fact that AMD motherboards are better than Intel at the same price point and it was an easy decision. I am slightly miffed that Bulldozer won't be AM3 compatible becase I was banking on that a little but when deciding to go with an AMD platform, but whatever. The rest of the value proposition is still in AMD's favor.

    Now of course my experience is just anecdotal; I can say with certainty that in some segments, AMD is very competitive with Intel. I think the question of whether or not AMD provides "strong competition" with Intel is really just about how many segments AMD provides strong competition with Intel and how strong the competition is in those segments, and from that, you can decide whether or not the overall competition is "strong" or "weak".

    Given the success AMD is having in netbooks/notebooks lately (at least all of the Fry's/Best Buy/Office Depot/whatever ads I have seen in the past few months have been heavily featuring AMD, I assume because the platform is selling well), I think we can say that AMD is providing strong competition in that space.

    In the 'midrange' CPU market - which is the majority of the PC processor market - AMD clearly provides strong competition. See this Anandtech article, my purchasing decision above, countless similar articles and testimonies all over the internet.

    On the high end PC CPU market, AMD is not competitive. We all know that.

    On the server CPU front, AMD has not been competitive lately but is starting to gain a little ground back. At least, if my impressions given what I've read on Anandtech and other sites is anything to go by.

    So in the end, I'd say that in 3 out of 4 x86 CPU markets, AMD is providing strong competition with Intel. For this reason I think it's erroneous to call AMD's current competitiveness 'weak'. I think it's overall 'fairly strong', and I only hope it gets stronger, for everyone's benefit.
  • bji - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    Oh and I forgot to mention integrated graphics. Of course AMD is extremely competitive with Intel in that segment, and in fact is the dominating player (at least, performance-wise).
  • flyck - Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - link

    AMD is competing with Intel just fine.

    Yes they have problems when Conroe was launched in the high end. Most of this is due to the problems they encountered with Barcelona. Without those issues they would have been very competive with Core2. i7 lineup is now the strongest technology but AMD can compete ok using more cores. The biggest issue AMd is having is that most of their products had to be postponed. But with Ontario platform they will have their first real low power chip which is very promesing. llano will offer higher speed than x4 with very good GPU, which again is a pretty solid effort to gain the low and mainstream market due to embedded graphics that do not suck for desktop useage. Bulldozer, although to late, seems to be a chip on which AMD can build further upon. Performance is one area, the ability to price competitive is also an area and that is an area AMD is really competing with. Their future shows alot of promise (bit like in the K8 days where the XP couldn't cut it anymore). AMd is the only reason why Intel (lead x86 manufacturer) is actually making processor worth the money. This alone implies that AMD is competitive with Intel. Without the clausules and market abuse iItel did in teh years before, K7 and K8 could have damaged them alot more, they can't let that happen again.

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