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

Interestingly both 9900KS settings performed slightly worse than the 9900K here, which you wouldn't expect given the all-core turbo being higher. It would appear that there is something else the bottleneck in this test.

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

All the 9900 parts and settings perform roughly the same with one another, however the PL2 255W setting on the 9900KS does allow it to get a small ~5% advantage over the standard 9900K.

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++ 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++

Both 9900KS settings perform equally well here, and a sizeable jump over the standard 9900K.

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

One of the biggest differences between the two power settings is in POV-Ray, with a marked frequency difference. In fact, the 159W setting on the 9900KS puts it below our standard settings for the 9900K, which likely had an big default turbo budget on the board it was on at the time.

CPU Performance: System Tests CPU Performance: Encoding Tests
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  • Dudler - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    P4 cough cough.. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    *cough, cough* Emergency Edition *cough, cough*

    Man, whatever is going around is really catchy.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    It's vaguely amusing how they go for the same stock approaches every time. When a product becomes noncompetitive, either release a "special" bin that blows through acceptable power/stability limits, or ram a server CPU down the stack into "consumer" territory. The EE has a special place in my heart because they panicked so hard they did both of those things. Reply
  • Samus - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    And much like the P4 EE, the power consumption is through the roof. Ahh the days of Presshot warming my dorm seeding a Napster queue.

    You really have to appreciate (again) what AMD is able to pull off here at 65w. It's literally on the heals of a CPU burning 3x more power.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&... Reply
  • Death666Angel - Saturday, November 2, 2019 - link

    All true, but AMD does the same thing, as does Nvidia when it comes to GPUs. Remember the GTX 480? Or the FX-9590. :) If you mess up, that is mostly your only option to have something. Some people don't care much about efficiency and just want the fastest at a certain thing. They probably did the ROI numbers and it came out positive for them. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, November 4, 2019 - link

    But...there are still quite a few tests where there is an orange bar at the top :). One thing I'm a bit curious about on the AMD side though is that there are several cases where the 3700X beats the 3900X. 3900X is both more cores and higher clocked so shouldn't it win everywhere?

    Also for those of us where price is an obejct, that 3700X looks pretty darn good against most everything else. :)
    Reply
  • amnesia0287 - Friday, November 8, 2019 - link

    It’s possible it’s related to the quality of the cores. With the Ryzen chips not all cores have the same limits. So in theory you could have a chip with less total cores but more higher spec’d ones. Reply
  • MDD1963 - Thursday, November 7, 2019 - link

    Little need for any 'panic' as, gaming-wise at least, all AMD has managed is to tie the 8700K.....; everything 9700K and higher in the product stack remains virtually unopposed. Reply
  • WaltC - Monday, November 11, 2019 - link

    I'm still trying to figure out how a higher clocked Intel CPU which processes data slower than a lower-clocked AMD cpu is a "clear advantage" for Intel....;) Perhaps Dr. Cutress might enlighten me...?....;) Reply

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