Home / Gaming / Meet the new, tougher Cinebench R20 benchmark: We test it on Xeon and Threadripper

Meet the new, tougher Cinebench R20 benchmark: We test it on Xeon and Threadripper

Maxon’s fashionable Cinebench CPU benchmarking program simply were given a long-overdue replace to deliver it as much as parity with fashionable PCs. We’ve already attempted it, on two of essentially the most tough CPUs you’ll purchase lately, and feature effects to proportion, in conjunction with some ancient context and guidelines for the usage of it with your personal CPU. 

A bit of Cinebench historical past

The loose Cinebench R20 app is meant to switch Cinebench R15, which first noticed provider in 2013. To provide you with an concept of the way a ways we’ve are available in hardware, the top-end desktop CPU in 2013 was once a quad-core, 4th-gen Haswell Core i7, whilst an enthusiast-level chip was once a six-core Third-gen Ivy Bridge-E Core i7.

These days, Intel’s top-cat shopper CPU is the Core i9-9980XE (to be had on Amazon) with 18 cores. And even if no longer actually supposed for customers with out the checking account of Invoice Gates, the corporate additionally simply driven a 28-core Xeon W-3175X.

AMD, in the meantime, is making Eight-core CPUs rain and provides a 32-core Threadripper 2990WX for high-end customers at a crazy-reasonable worth.

cinebenchr20running IDG

Maxon’s new Cinebench R20 operating thru its paces on a 28-core Xeon W-3175X.

To stay Cinebench R20 extra related, the corporate has larger the workload complexity, larger reminiscence use, and followed the newest rendering engine from the product it’s in line with: Cinema 4D R20. The engine itself options give a boost to for Intel’s Embree raytracing generation, which has additionally been followed by means of Valve, AutoDesk, UbiSoft, V-ray, Blender, and Corona, amongst others. Beneath the hood, the R20 engine helps AVX, AVX2, and AVX512 instruction units. As a result of we will by no means have sufficient, the benchmark now helps as much as 256 render threads.

Benchmark politics

Maxon’s Cinebench refresh arrives with some ancient luggage. At one level, earlier variations of Cinebench were tainted by means of accusations that it hobbled AMD efficiency by means of the usage of the Intel compiler, which appreciated Intel’s CPUs over AMD’s. Maxon, alternatively, denied this and informed PCWorld in 2017 that in spite of what the FTC maintained, it didn’t use the notorious “CPU ID” choices that appreciated Intel chips.

It’s all water below the bridge now, as AMD itself used Cinebench R15 to display simply how briskly its Ryzen CPUs have been. Maxon claims all is peace and unity. “Maxon additionally works very carefully with Intel and AMD to check Cinebench on no longer best the latest CPUs however the following era as neatly. This permits Maxon and Cinema 4D to stick at the innovative and ship the efficiency required to fulfill the tip manufacturing firms,” Maxon officers informed us.

cinebench r20 store IDG

Cinebench R20 will best be to be had within the retailer

Home windows Retailer best

Something that’s sure to boost some blood drive is how you’ll—and will’t—get Cinebench. Prior to now, any individual may just obtain Cinebench R15 and set up it as a standalone Win32 app. With Cinebench R20, the loose benchmark can best be downloaded without delay throughout the Home windows Retailer. (Cinebench R15 remained unchanged for years, with the one replace coming after Apple broke the installer on MacOS.)

You don’t need to log in or create a Home windows Retailer account to put in it. However you do want Web get admission to, and also you don’t have any keep an eye on over variations. If Cinebench R20.1 got here out in six months, it would invalidate your earlier assessments, as a result of you’ll’t run the older model.

We requested Maxon officers a few standalone installer, and the solution wasn’t encouraging. “It’s in doubt Maxon will likely be freeing a standalone Win32 installer model right now. Cineware is a by-product of Maxon’s flagship product Cinema 4D, used to create ‘high-end’ three-D animation,” Maxon officers informed PCWorld. “Cineware is supposed to check the hardware and OS artists will in reality be the usage of in manufacturing. Creatives are continuously pushing the limits of hardware and OS efficiency. Subsequently, Cinebench too will have to push the ones limitations as a way to supply correct comparisons.”

Whilst the consistent updates will annoy skilled reviewers, there’s every other factor that can rankle much more. Maxon forbids benchmarking websites from posting stand-alone versions of the test. It’s UWP or bust. 

Cinebench R20 on 28-core Xeon W-3175X and 32-core Threadripper 2990WX

Make no mistake, Cinebench R20 is a big change–a tougher test for today’s faster CPUs. To see how big a difference it makes, we fired up a 28-core Xeon W-3175X and a 32-core Threadripper 2990WX to test on both Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R20.

Like Cinebench R15, Cinebench R20 features a single static scene that is rendered out. In the chart below, you see the performance of the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX and the performance in red, and Intel’s Xeon W-3175X in blue. The shorter bars are Cinebench R15 (also freshly run on the machines), while the longer bars are Cinebench R20.

With Cinebench R15, the Xeon W-3175X clocks in just under 3.6 percent faster. We’d call that a tie mostly. With Cinebench R20, the margin increases to just under 10 percent in favor of the 28-core Xeon W-3175X. That’s a decent uptick in performance for the Xeon over Threadripper. When you remember that the Xeon has 28 cores vs. the Threadripper’s 32, it’s not a great look for Threadripper.

cinebench r20 nt IDG

The 32 cores of the Threadripper 2990WX make it damn near even with the higher-clocked 28-core Xeon W-3175X in the much older Cinebench R15. Move to Cinebench R20, and the gap opens considerably.

That’s just the default test, using all of the CPU cores available. We also ran the test’s optional single-threaded test. Cinebench R20 surprisingly puts the Threadripper 2990WX slightly ahead by about 2 percent—which again—is well within the margin of error, and what we’d consider a tie. Still, that’s a decent swing from Cinebench R15, which put the Xeon W-3175X ahead by just under 10 percent.

cinebench r20 1t IDG

Single-threaded performance of the Xeon W-3175X drops back a bit with Cinebench R20, but we’d probably call it a tie.

We’re actually surprised by the score here, as we thought the higher clock speeds of the Xeon W-3175X would easily put it ahead. It’s possible the Xeon’s performance actually loses some ground in single-threaded tests when AVX, AVX2 or AVX512 is used, as Intel allows the CPU to shift down for the more difficult AVX workloads.

Maxon said the test increases the computational workload eightfold. In casual observation, we noted about 5GB of RAM being used during runs on both machines. Power consumption didn’t seem to change much: Both systems hit similar peaks between Cinebench R15 and Cinebench R20.

Total time to run on the 28-core Xeon W-3175X was about 29 seconds, while the 32-core Threadripper 2990WX took about 32 seconds. For comparison, Cinebench R15 runs on the Xeon and Threadripper took about 9 seconds, respectively.

Goodbye, OpenGL

One last thing we should note is how the new version jettisons OpenGL performance testing. That’s a small loss, as OpenGL on consumer-level graphics cards in Windows has always been lackluster. For those who want to measure OpenGL GPU performance, other tests will do a better job.

cinebench options IDG

You can essentially loop Cinebench by selecting a minimum run time for the test and selecting a custom number of cores to test.

How to run Cinebench R20

If you’re ready to dip your toes into the testing waters, Cinebench R20 is a great start. To install it, simply go to the Windows Store and search for “Cinebench,” and install it.

Once installed, you should reboot your machine, and disconnect it from the network to prevent it from updating in the background. It’s also recommended that you disable or pause virus testing, and shut down other applications to prevent them from influencing the score.

When ready, fire up Cinebench from the Start menu and push the Run button. You should run the test at least three times and average all three if you’re looking for more reliable results. If you’re looking for pure performance runs, give the machine a minute or two between runs (consider even longer rest periods on a laptop.)

To measure single-core performance, select File > Advanced benchmark, which will reveal a button for CPU (Single Core).

To stress-test your system, go into File > Preferences and set a Minimum Test Duration. Set, say, 3,600 seconds, and Cinebench R20 will loop the workload on the given amount of threads for an hour.

Xeon W-3175X 28-core Intel CPU Gordon Mah Ung

Interpreting Cinebench R20 results

When talking about the results you get from a 3D rendering test, you should put it in the proper perspective. Cinebench R20 is a test to measure how a computer (Windows 10 or MacOS) renders 3D using the latest CPU instruction sets. It’s not a GPU test. It’s not an SSD test. It’s almost purely a CPU test that tells you how a PC will perform rendering 3D models.

That doesn’t necessarily tell you how a PC will operate in Microsoft Office or Google Chrome or even Photoshop, because very few consumer-level applications will actually scale to the number of cores available today.

Still, as a tool to measure approximate levels of performance under multi-threaded loads (and single-threaded loads) it’s a repeatable, reliable test and a welcome update from Cinebench R15.

cinebench thread scaling xeon w 3175x IDG

We like to use Cinebench R15 (and probably now R20) to give us an idea of performance across different amount of CPU cores.

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