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.

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

Blender can take advantage of more cores, and whule the frequency of the 9990XE helps compared to the 7940X, it isn't enough to overtake 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.


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++

We see a slight regression in performance here compared to the 7940X, which is interesting. I wonder if that 2.4 GHz fixed mesh is a limiting factor.

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

Core i9-9990XE: The Compilation Champion CPU Performance: Encoding Tests
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  • willis936 - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    >but also pay experts and specialists to tune those systems for high latency

    I believe this should read "low latency".
    Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Yup. And while correcting:
    > Against AMD counterparts, that 5.0 GHz frequency carves through anything like butter.

    That is rather optimistic... the Intel is frequently bested by the 3700x and especially the 3900x - I would expect a 3950X might even win the majority of tests run here.
    Reply
  • jospoortvliet - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    I went ahead and did a quick count:
    * 3900X has 13 wins (7 more than 10%)
    * 9990XE has 21 wins (10 more than 10%)

    Now obviously the 9990XE is faster, but it better be with 2 more cores and 5 ghz and 400 watt power use and a price - well... ;-)

    But it sure isn't the slam dunk it is described at - Ian writes like this monster wins in >90% of the tests, which it doesn't, not by a long shot. If it was readily available at $600 and had a TDP of 140W, I'd call it a winner, even if it doesn't *always* win. But if intel has to go THIS extreme and still loses in over 1/3rd of the graphs here at Anandtech, it is more a show of weakness if anything.

    And all that while we await the 3950X and new gen Threadripper - it is good for Intel that they weren't out yet and part of the benchmark, otherwise the halo would be even harder to make out...
    Reply
  • Netmsm - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Agree;
    I expected to read a completely impartial review, like always, but I feel some sort of inclination to bold strengths in a way that a true discussion of 9990xe's weaknesses is out of favor!
    Reply
  • jgraham11 - Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - link

    Agreed!

    Look at that amazing performance at 250W (which will probably run even hotter, just like the 9900k "stock (95W)" vs out of box settings(140W+)

    Compared to the AMD 3900X at half the power(105W), that thing is a heater!

    Same story as all the other recent articles about Intel chips:
    Intel runs old games better, runs hotter, consumes more power, higher clock speed!

    AMD runs new games better, runs cooler, consumes less power (in this case half at least), runs applications better
    Reply
  • ballsystemlord - Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - link

    I agree too. Ian was too excited when writing this review.

    I'm more concerned that we'll have to stare at this processor in the lineup from now on as each AMD TR3 processor is covered. That's totally unfair because this CPU is for auction only and in limited supply permanently.
    Thus it'll look like Intel wins everything all the time. And then there are the people who will call this site a shill site because of that...
    Reply
  • NikosD - Friday, November 1, 2019 - link

    The whole article is another desperate move from Intel, just a few weeks before AMD releases Ryzen 3950X 16C/32T and new Threadripper 3rd gen.
    Unfortunately they found Anandtech and Dr. Ian Cutress again, to support their pathetic effort with some credibility.
    And suddenly after publishing this kind of article, the problem moves from Intel's side to Anandtech's side.
    My condolences.
    Reply
  • peevee - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    "This ultra-rare thing isn’t sold to consumers – Intel only sells it to select partners, and even then it is only sold via an auction, once per quarter, with no warranty from Intel."

    Pathetic strategy for bragging rights only...
    Reply
  • fackamato - Monday, October 28, 2019 - link

    I think you're in the wrong forums?

    Of course people will buy this if it brings value to them versus the price they have to pay.
    Reply
  • bananaforscale - Thursday, October 31, 2019 - link

    Sure, if value == bragging rights. Or if they have more money than sense. Reply

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