Best CPU & GPU Render Benchmarks

Last updated on August 5th, 2018,

There are many GPU and CPU Benchmarks out there.

CPU Render Benchmarks, GPU Render Benchmarks, Benchmarks for Gaming, Storage or Bandwidth are just some of them and benching your System can be quite addicting.

Especially in the World of 3D, VFX and Animation, putting your CPU, GPU, and other components through a series of tests and comparing them to the performance of other Systems and configurations is so much fun, that sometimes you upgrade, tune or overclock your System, just to see those numbers rise.

Most importantly though, the benchmark should be able to simulate a real-world work environment, because this is what it’s all about: Figuring out what Hardware Components will get you the maximum speed for the type of work you do.

Depending on what you use your computer for, there are lots of different CPU and GPU Rendering Benchmarks, that will fit your needs in finding and comparing the optimum Hardware Components.

What are the CPU and GPU responsible for in 3D?

Before diving into what Benchmarks to use (I’ll get into that a bit later), let’s take a look at what components in your System are mainly responsible for what tasks. This way you will be able to identify what component is responsible for the type of work you do on a daily basis.

CPU, Important Component in (among others):

  • CPU-Rendering
  • Calculating Scene-States (Objects, Modifiers, Deformers and the like)
  • Simulation
  • Animation-Calculation (Rigs, Dynamics)

GPU, Important Component in (among others):

  • GPU-Rendering
  • Displaying Calculated Scene Contents (Viewport)
  • Displaying Polygons / Hi-Res sculpting (after they run through CPU-Calculations)

What makes a CPU and GPU strong in 3D specific task?

Now that we know, what the CPUs and GPUs main tasks are, lets take a look at what features these Hardware components must have to optimize these tasks.

CPU

  • CPU-Rendering: The more cores and higher the clocks, the better
  • Calculating Scene States: The Higher a single Core-Clock, the better (Think Turbo-Boost)
  • Simulation: The Higher a single Core-Clock, the better (Think Turbo-Boost) (unless you have lots of independent sims that can be calculated simultaneously)
  • Animation Calculations: The higher a single Core-Clock, the Better (again think Turbo-Boost)

GPU

  • GPU-Rendering: The more CUDA-Cores or OPENCL Cores, the better, the more VRAM the better, the higher GPU and VRAM clock speed the better
  • Displaying Scene Contents / Displaying Polygons / Hi-Res sculpting: Usually a variety of OpenGL features, the higher the VRAM the better, the higher the Triangles/s the better

A common misconception, for example, is, that you need a faster GPU, if the Viewport in your 3D-Application gets slow.

Even though the GPU is responsible for displaying Scene-Contents, most of the Time, the CPU, that first has to calculate deformers, modifiers, rigs and the like, before the GPU can display the resulting object/mesh, is responsible for slow viewport Speed.

Unless you display RAW Meshes without any type of Mesh-modifications, your CPU usually is the culprit in slow viewport speed.

Reasons for benchmarking your Hardware

For many of you it will be fairly obvious, why you benchmark your System and specifically the Processor and Graphics Card, since these are so important in a Digital Artist’s Day. But there are quite a few more reasons for benchmarking your hardware, that not everyone knows about:

Are your components running as fast as they should?

Probably the most obvious reason for benchmarking your CPU and GPU is, to compare your results with online Databases and see if your Hardware components reach the Speeds they are supposed to.

Possible problems when not reaching common speeds

If your hardware component does not reach the Speed other User’s are reaching, be sure you don’t have any background programs running while benchmarking, that will take away some performance. It is best to benchmark your System right after a clean install.
When benching your CPU and reaching scores that are too low, be sure your BIOS settings, such as Turbo-Boost, are correct and the CPU is not running too hot.

When benching your GPU and not reaching common scores, again be sure no other software is running in the background and your GPU driver is up-to-date. That said, though, sometimes reverting to an older Driver does the trick.

GPU Problems can also be: Too hot, not enough PCIE-Lanes (or wrongly configured, wrong slot), and not enough power from the PSU.

Also be aware, that GPU performance doesn’t always scale linearly, when using Multiple GPUs. Using 2 GPUs might give you 1.9 times the performance, 4 GPUs might only give you 3.5 times the performance, depending on the benchmark you are using. Check out this article about GPU-Hardware here for more in-depth information.

Octane does a fairly good job in scaling linearly, but redshift for example will give you less performance per card, the more cards you add.

GPU Benchmark Scaling in Octane

Planning on upgrading your PC? Bench it first!

Another great time to benchmark your Computer, is when you are planning on buying new components or an entirely new PC. You will only know, if spending all that money is worth it, if you know what performance improvement over your current Hardware you can expect.

CPU Render Benchmark Upgrade Performance

In most cases, the higher the price does not always mean a better Hardware component for your sepcific use case. Maybe you only need to upgrade a specific bottleneck that slows down your overall system performance and not get an entirely new PC.

If you have a certain amount of budget you are willing to spend, benchmarking your current system first, will give you the possibility to roughly calculate what you can expect, when getting new components within your budget.

Want to tune your System to have it run the best it can?

Overclocking and tuning/optimizing your System can greatly improve performance. There is no way around knowing if your optimizations have any effect, if you don’t have a benchmarking baseline of your System’s default performance.

Benchmarks are also great for testing your System’s stability after overclocking.

Utilizing online Renderfarms

With Internet Connections getting faster and faster, online Renderfarms are more popular than ever. Calculating the cost of a Scene you would like to render on a Farm usually requires knowing your own System’s speed to be able to extrapolate.

Here is a screenshot of the Cost estimator on the Ranch Computing Renderfarm. Notice how you have to know your Cinebench Score to be able to calculate the cost of rendering your scene on the Renderfarm:

CPU Render Benchmark Cost Calculator CPU

It is also great to know the scores of your own PCs, If you have many of them, to best distribute specific tasks that run optimally on the different systems. Benchmarking your PCs regularly also notifies you of any performance issues that might arise after some time, that otherwise might go unnoticed.

Best Benchmark for testing your CPU Performance

Ok, so here they are: The actual Benchmarks, that let you test your System and Hardware Components’ performance.

The most popular Benchmark for testing Multi-Core and Single-Core performance of your CPU, especially in the 3D-Rendering world, is Cinebench R15.

Best CPU Render Benchmark - Cinebench Overview

The Cinebench CPU Render Benchmark in itself is quite simple. It renders a pre-defined Scene on your CPU.

Since rendering Scenes on your CPU is something you (in the CG Industry) probably do quite often, this CPU benchmark comes very close to real-world applications and is based on the 3D-Software Cinema 4D.

Cinebench can both render the Scene on all Cores, for multi-Core performance, and on a single Core, to obtain single-Core performance results.

Be sure to check “Advanced Benchmark” in the Menu to be able to test your single-core CPU performance too.

CPU Render Benchmark Cinebench Advanced Settings

It also has an inbuilt GPU OpenGL performance benchmark, that is a fairly good indicator of your possible viewport performance. Note though, that this openGL benchmark can produce very inconsistent results in different CPU/GPU configurations. Cinebench runs on all major CPUs.

Just hit “Run” on any of the Benchmarking options, and the Benchmark will fire away!

Download the Cinebench R15 CPU Render Benchmark here.

Another great Benchmark for testing your CPU Render performance is the VRAY Benchmark. It is quite similar to Cinebench, as it renders a predefined Scene on your CPU (or GPU see below) and has an extensive online database to compare results in various configurations.

Download the Vray CPU Render Benchmark here.

Best Benchmark for benching your GPU

There are 3 very popular GPU render engines: Octane, Redshift and VRAY-RT. All of these have GPU Render Benchmarks based on their engines. Octane and Redshift though only run on Nvidia GPU with CUDA-Cores.

Octane and VRAY GPU Benchmarks are easy to download, the Redshift Benchmark is currently only available for Customers.

GPU Render benchmark for rendering in Octane

The procedure is the same as in the Cinebench Benchmark. Hit “Run” to get your results.

Download the GPU Render Benchmark OctaneBench here and VRAY Bench here.

Benchmark Results

Here are some CPU Benchmark results for Cinebench Single and Multi with performance / price ratio:

CPU Name# CoresGHzCinebench MultiPrice $Performance/Dollar
CPU Name# CoresGHzCinebench MultiPrice $Performance/Dollar
AMD Ryzen R5 260063.413071896.91
AMD Ryzen R5 2600X63.613732096.57
AMD Ryzen R5 160063.211471896.06
AMD Ryzen R5 1600X63.312502195.71
Intel i5 840062.89661795.39
AMD Ryzen R7 270083.215263005.08
AMD Ryzen R7 1700X83.415403094.98
AMD Ryzen R7 2700X83.717833694.83
AMD Ryzen R7 170083.014262994.76
AMD Ryzen R5 140043.27871694.65
AMD Ryzen R7 1800X83.616133494.62
AMD Ryzen R5 1500X43.58031744.61
AMD Threadripper 1900X83.817114503.80
Intel i7 8700K63.714283593.79
Intel i7 7800X63.513333893.42
Intel i7 8086K63.713864253.26
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.430629993.06
AMD Threadripper 1920X123.524317993.04
Intel i7 7740X44.39863292.99
Intel i5 7600K43.87012392.93
Intel i7 7820X83.617345992.89
Intel i7 7820X83.617345992.89
Intel i7 7700K44.29963492.85
Intel i7 6800K63.410964192.61
Intel XEON E5-2620 v482.110964202.60
Intel i9 7900X103.321699992.17
Intel i7 6850K63.612355702.16
Intel i9 7920X122.9243812002.03
Intel i9 7940X143.1284914501.96
Intel i9 7960X162.8316117001.89
Intel i9 7980XE182.6345519001.81
Intel i7 6900K83.2156210491.48
Intel XEON E5-2650 v4122.2158912001.32
Intel i7 5960X83.0132410691.23
Intel i7 6950X103.0178816491.08
Intel XEON E5-2687W v4123.0186024440.76
Intel XEON E5-2699 v4222.2246045000.54
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.4509917992.83
Intel i9 9900K ?83.62212600?3.68

Octanebench GPU results with performance / price ratio:

GPU NameVRAMOctaneBenchPrice $ MSRPPerformance/Dollar
GTX 107081204000,300
GTX 1070 TI81304500,288
GTX 10608843000,280
GTX 1080 TI111867000,265
GTX 108081375500,249
TITAN XP1219113000,146
GTX TITAN Z1214429990,048
Quadro P60002417638490,045
Quadro GP1001623270000,033
Tesla P1001623075000,032

Official extensive VRAY Benchmark List can be found here.

Need help benchmarking your CPU / GPU? What scores did you reach? Let us know in the comments!

Alex - post author

Hi, I am Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist / Motion Designer and Compositor.

I have built a multitude of Workstations and Renderfarms for all kinds of 3D related use cases and love to optimize them as much as possible.

After working in the 3D/VFX Industry on-staff for several years, I have recently gone freelance and am having a blast!

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I'll do my best to help out!

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Connor

Hi Alex!

My name is Connor, I’m building a machine to run Solidworks, Keyshot, and the Adobe suite with maybe some occasional gaming. This article was super helpful in comparing the value of different processors and graphics cards! My semi-loose budget is $1500. Here’s what I have so far, I don’t know a ton about how each of the parts relate to each other in terms of bottlenecking.

Case: Phanteks Eclipse P300 ATX Mini-Tower Gaming Case w/ USB 3.0, RGB 10 Color LED & Tempered Glass Window

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6GHz [4.25GHz Turbo] Six-Core 19MB Cache 95W Processor

CPU Fan: Corsair Hydro Series H60 120mm Liquid CPU Cooling System w/ Copper Cold Plate [+20] (Single Standard 120MM Fan)

SSD: 240GB WD Green Series SATA-III SSD

HDD: 1TB WD Blue SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 7200 RPM HDD

RAM: 16GB (8GBx2) DDR4/3000MHz Dual Channel Memory (ADATA XPG Z1)

Motherboard: ASRock X470 TAICHI AM4 ATX w/ 802.11ac WiFi, RGB, USB 3.1, Intel LAN, 3 PCIe x16, 2 PCIe x1, 6 SATA3, 2 M.2 SATA/PCIe

Power: 650 Watts – Corsair TX-M Series TX650M 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Semi-Modular Ultra Quiet Power Supply

GPU: EVGA GeForce® GTX 1070 Ti ACX Gaming Dual Fans 8GB GDDR5 (Pascal)

Wireless: Intel® Wireless-AC 3168 Wi-Fi 802.11ac Dual Band 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz up to 433Gbps + BT 4.2 w/ PCI-E Adapter & Dual Antennas

Let me know if anythings is missing or won’t work together. I’m building it on CyberpowerPC and it’s at $1,550 currently.

Thanks for the article!

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I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to book mark your website and keep checking for new information about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.