Best CPU & GPU Render Benchmarks

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Updated   /   31 comments
CGDirector is Reader-supported. When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Best CPU & GPU Render Benchmarks

There are many kinds of 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 building a Workstation for 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.

Benchmarks offer performance comparison

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

There are many different CPU and GPU Rendering Benchmarks that will help you find and compare the best Hardware Components for your needs.

What are the CPU and GPU responsible for in 3D / 2D Workloads?

Before we dive into what Benchmarks to use, let’s look at what components in your System are mainly responsible for which tasks. This way, you’ll be able to identify what component is responsible for the type of work you do daily.

CPU, Important Component in (among others):

  • CPU-Rendering
  • Calculating 3D Scene-States (Objects, Modifiers, Deformers and the like)
  • Real-Time Previews
  • 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 CPUs and GPUs strong in Content-Creation workloads?

Now that we know what the CPU’s and GPU’s main tasks are let’s look at what features these Hardware components need for the highest performance.

CPU

  • CPU-Rendering: The more cores and higher the clocks, the better
  • Calculating Scene States: The higher the single-core clock and boost-clock, the better
  • Simulation: The higher the single-core clock and boost-clock, the better (unless you have lots of independent sims that can be calculated simultaneously)
  • Real-Time Previews, Animation Calculations: The higher the single-core clock and boost-clock, the better

GPU

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

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

Even though the GPU is responsible for displaying Scene-Contents, most of the time, the CPU, that first has to calculate deformers, modifiers or rigs, before the GPU can display the resulting object/mesh, is responsible for sluggish viewport performance.

How GPU Acceleration works

Unless you display RAW Meshes without any Mesh-modifications, your CPU ordinarily is the culprit in bad viewport performance.

Reasons for benchmarking your Hardware

There are many obvious reasons for benchmarking your system, but there are quite a few that not everyone knows about:

Are your components performing as they should?

The most obvious reason for benchmarking your CPU and GPU is to compare your results with online Databases and see if your Hardware components are performing as they should.

Possible problems when not reaching common speeds

If your system does not reach the performance and benchmarking scores other users are reaching, be sure you don’t have any background programs running while benchmarking.

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 and RAM XMP, are set correctly 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.

Here are some other typical GPU issues:

  • Is the GPU overheating and therefore throttling?
  • Does your Motherboard’s PCIe Slot have sufficient PCIe-Lanes for your GPU?
  • Are you using an incorrect PCIe-Slot?
  • Is your PSU providing ample power to the GPU?
  • Does your GPU have all the necessary Power-Cables attached?
  • Are your drivers up to date?

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 for more in-depth information on this topic.

Octane does a fairly good job at scaling performance linearly, but Redshift, for example, will usually give you less performance per GPU, the more GPUs you add.

GPU NameVRAM (GB)OctaneBench ScorePrice $Performance/Dollar
8x RTX 2080 Ti1127339592
4x RTX 2080 Ti1114334796
2x RTX 2080 Ti116932398
RTX 2080 Ti113551199
GPU NameVRAM (GB)Octanebench ScorePrice $Performance/Dollar

Planning on upgrading your PC? Bench it first!

Another great time to benchmark your Computer is when you are planning on upgrading your PC or buying an entirely new PC.

You’ll 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

Image-Source: Cinebench

A higher price doesn’t always mean higher performance for your specific workloads. Maybe you only need to upgrade a specific bottleneck that slows down your system’s overall performance and not get an entirely new PC.

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

Want to optimize your system so it runs 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.

Benchmarking and Overclocking

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 rendering a Scene on a Render 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:

Best Benchmarks for Rendering - Cost Estimator

Image-Source: ranchcomputing.com

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.

Best CPU Render Benchmark - Cinebench Overview

Image-Source: Cinebench

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

Image-Source: Cinebench

Just hit “Run” on any of the Benchmarking options, and the Benchmark will do its thing, presenting a score after completion.

Download the Cinebench 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 testing your GPU

There are 3 very popular GPU render engines: Octane, Redshift, and V-RAY. All of these have GPU Render Benchmarks based on their engines. All of these,  though only run on Nvidia GPUs 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

Image-Source: Octanebench

The procedure is the same as in Cinebench. 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 R23 Single and Multi with performance/price ratio:

CPU NameCoresGhzSingle ScoreMulti Score
AMD Ryzen 9 5950X163.4168428782
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.7167022046
AMD Ryzen 7 5800X83.8159614812
AMD Ryzen 5 5600X63.7159311201
Intel i9 10900K103.7141518034
AMD Ryzen 9 3950X163.5140626375
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X83.9134613848
Intel i7 10700K83.8134513302
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X83.6134512195
Intel i9 9900K83.6134312470
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X63.813239526
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X123.8131218682
AMD Threadripper 3970X323.7130846874
AMD Threadripper 3960X243.8130734932
AMD Ryzen 3 3300X43.812996787
Intel i7 9700K83.612859428
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.9126275671
AMD Ryzen 5 360063.612459073
Intel i5 9600K63.711876596
Intel i9 9900X103.5118213994
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5113518797
Intel i9 9980XE183.0111427093
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X83.7110210140
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X63.610947523
Intel i9 9960X163.1107517953
Intel i9 9920X123.5106714793
Intel i9 10980XE183.0106325490
AMD Threadripper 1920X123.5105415038
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.4102719635
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.0100529651
AMD Threadripper 1900X83.810058979
AMD Epyc 7702P642.099348959
AMD Ryzen 3 310043.611055423
AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT63.813309945
AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT84.2135512955
AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT124.1135418511
Intel i9 10850K103.6136716820
AMD Threadripper Pro 3995WX642.7123173220
Intel i9 11900K83.5167116211
Intel i7 11700K83.6159515011
Intel i5 11600K63.9156411277
AMD Ryzen 9 5980HS83.0153812844
AMD Ryzen 7 5700G83.8153514350
AMD Threadripper Pro 3975WX323.5124443450
CPU NameCoresGHzSingle ScoreMulti Score

Head over to this post for Octanebench GPU results with performance/price ratio.

An 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!


Find a new friend on the CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

Alex Glawion - post author

Hi, I’m Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I’ve built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

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

31
Comments
Also check out our Forum for feedback from our Expert Community.

Brian

Hey Alex,

Do you know why the clock speeds in Cinebench for multicore testing seem lower than real-usage? When I test my 5900x all cores run at 4.225ghz. However, when doing real life renders in 3ds max and Vray my cores run at 4.35-4.425.

It seems like Cinebench doesn’t really do a good job of reflecting chip capability?

Jan

Hey Alex , a friend needs a good Pc for rendering . I have two Systems in mind . 1 . i5 10600KF , 16GB Ram and a RTX Quadro 4000 and 2. i7 10700F , 16 GB Ram and a 3060ti. Wich System should i choose and why ?

Tess

This is so helpful! I feel a little lucky with the computer I got a bit back for Daz/Iray bang for buck in that it is a Ryzen 5 2600 with a 6GB RTX 2060.

I am thinking of trying to upgrade because I have some commercial viability with a visual novel Daz/Iray game but not sure how to upgrade best. I run out of VRAM with only 6GB for some renders, so then my CPU is very slow to render. I guess I would like a combo of a stronger GPU to handle most scenes but with a strong CPU just in case I go over say 11GB with a 2080ti. Maybe a Threadripper 1920 to save a little or AMD 39 series better?

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Tess,
If you won’t get more than 2 GPUs in total for your system, then the 3rd gen ryzen series is superior for your needs than the first gen threadripper. The only reason to get the 1920x are the higher number of pcielanes to be able to drive up to 4 gpus at good speeds. If that’s not your goal, go with a 3700x/3900X or even the 3950X 🙂

2080Ti is a great pick that will perform nicely!

Cheers,
Alex

Christian

So how can you translate the results? Example: If the Cinebench Scores of a 3970x are 6x compared to my i7 6700k I can expect 6 times faster compiling or render speed if I upgrade?

Alex Glawion
Alex GlawionCGDIRECTOR

Hey Christian,
Cinebench scores are linear, so yes the 3970x will render 6x as fast in _Cinema 4D_. If this translates the same to other tasks is not guaranteed though, as you will need to know how these other tasks, like compiling, uses the cpu and if all cores are being used.

Cheers,
Alex

Jazlynn

Hi Alex! Thank god I found this page. I’m an interior designer, I mostly use sketchup & vray, autocad and photoshop. I’m about to buy asus zenbook with ryzen 7. But I want to know that zenbook with ryzen 7 would be better than vivobook i7 with graphic 2gb or hp pavillion i7 with graphic 4gb. Which one would be a better choice or do you have any laptop under 1000$ to recommend.
I’ll be waiting for your reply. Thank you.

Hi Jazlynn,

Thanks for asking!

It’s difficult to compare laptops with incomplete specs. For me to make a better recommendation, could you let me know what the full specs of the Asus Zenbook, Asus Vivobook, and HP Pavilion are? If you can include their respective prices as well, that’s even better!

For a budget of $1,000, the best laptop you can get for your use case is the [2019] Dell G5 5587. Below are its specs:

CPU Intel Core i7-8750H 2.20GHz 6-Core Processor
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
Memory(RAM) 16GB DDR4-2666
SSD 256GB M.2 Solid State Drive
HDD 1TB Hard Disk Drive
Weight 2.4 kg (~5.28pounds)
Display 15.6″, 1920×1080

The [2019] Dell G5 5587 is priced a little above your budget because it’s currently available for $1,029.99 but for that price, you get a snappy i7-8750H CPU and 16GB of RAM working together to ensure that you get task responsiveness when you’re working actively inside the software. Also, the 6 cores of the i7-8750H CPU will be of help when you’re using VRAY since CPU rendering software love CPUs with high core counts.

For other options, you might also have to have a look at the site’s PC Builder Tool at https://www.cgdirector.com/pc-builder/. This tool gives you the best recommendations based on your budget and use case so if you haven’t done so, please take a look at it!

Cheers,
Alex