Insydium X-Particles Benchmark Results & CPU Performance compared

CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Published   /   8 comments
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Insydium X-Particles Benchmark Results & CPU Performance compared

X-Particles is becoming more popular by the day and we are seeing a lot of requests from readers looking to build a PC for X-Particle Workloads.

Insydium’s Plugin is a particle and VFX system for Cinema 4D that comes with a treasure trove of features. ParticleFX, Smoke & Fire Simulation, Fluid-Simulations, Dynamics, Cloth Simulation are just part of what X-Particles has to offer.

Before we can make hardware recommendations for X-Particles, we need to take a look at how X-Particles uses a workstation’s hardware.

How does X-Particles utilize your PC’s components?

Apart from Cinema 4D’s Viewport Performance which is responsible for displaying a preview of your particle setup, the main performance demand comes from caching your particle system.

X-Particles utilizes the CPU to cache each frame and stores the cache either in your RAM or on your permanent storage. Although caches can get quite big, it’s straightforward to just get a larger SSD to make room for them.

What’s not all that easy, though, is decreasing the time it takes to build an X-Particles cache.

The reason is as simple as it is complex:

X-Particle comes with many different features and solvers, and each of these makes use of your CPU in different ways. Some parts might be easily optimized to make use of high-core count CPUs, while others see no benefit at all.

On the contrary, as we’ll see in the benchmarks below, CPUs that are great for a specific X-Particle Feature (e.g. Fluid Sim) might be particularly bad for another feature (e.g. Granular Advection).

X-Particle Benchmarks

For our Benchmarking runs we used 5 Scenes from the Content Repository, opened them in Cinema 4D R21, and ran a cache build without changing anything else.

X-Particle Version Build 895 Trial.

Here are the results:

Trail Display Flowfield

Trail Display FlowField

CPU# of CoresBase ClockCache Build Time (seconds)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.418
Intel i9 11900K83.522
Intel i5 11600K63.925
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.929
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.539

The Trail Display Flowfield Scene is an allrounder Scene as it makes use of many different X-Particles Features. There’s a Smoke & Fire Sim present alongside a Fluid Simulation and Particle Trails.

Looking at the scores, there’s no question that this Scene heavily favors CPUs with high Core Clocks. Lower clocking CPUs such as the Threadripper 3990X rank at the bottom, even though they have a decent number of cores.

The scene does have some Fluid Simulation elements that make great use of high-core count CPUs, but in the end it’s the weakest link that counts. And the weakest link are X-Particles Features that can’t be parallelized – making the 64-Core Threadripper 3990X a bad performer in this scene.

X-Particles Simulation GIF Animation

ExplosiaFX Particle Curl

ExplosiaFX Particle Curl

CPU# of CoresBase ClockCache Build Time (seconds)
Intel i9 11900K83.5173
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.4195
Intel i5 11600K63.9196
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.9248
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5271

Both Scenes, the ExplosiaFX Particle Curl and the ExplosiaFX Granular Advection below are highly dependent on single-core performance. If these types of particle setups are your bread and butter, look for mainstream CPUs that clock high and have a moderate amount of cores.

X-Particles Smoke Fire Simulation GIF Animation

ExplosiaFX Granular Advection

ExplosiaFX Granular Advection

CPU# of CoresBase ClockCache Build Time (seconds)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.453
Intel i9 11900K83.553
Intel i5 11600K63.955
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.973
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.579

X-Particles Simulation GIF Animation

Fluidflip APIC Splash Tank

FluidFLIP APIC Splash Tank

CPU# of CoresBase ClockCache Build Time (seconds)
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.9129
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.4198
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5318
Intel i9 11900K83.5319
Intel i5 11600K63.9380

The Fluid Simulation Benchmark is the easiest to read from the 5 Scenes we tested. The 64-Core Count Threadripper 3990X easily pulls ahead as Fluid Simulation seems to be well optimized for parallel computing.

Interestingly the 16-Core Threadripper 2950X is slower than the 12-Core 5900X, but given that the 5900X is two generations newer, it makes sense. The generational leap and higher clocks let the 5900X outperform the 2950X in X-Particles Fluid Sim.

X-Particles Fluid Simulation GIF Animation

Dynamics Floating Objects

Dynamics Floating Objects

CPU# of CoresBase ClockCache Build Time (seconds)
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.423
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.925
Intel i9 11900K83.527
Intel i5 11600K63.929
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.541

The Dynamics Floating Objects Scene is somewhat of a mixed bag. It heavily favors CPUs with high single-core performance but does make some use of lots of cores. The Threadripper 3990X, albeit sporting the lowest core clocks, is able to rank in second place thanks to its many cores that tip the scale in its favor.

X-Particles Simulation GIF Animation

What’s the best CPU for X-Particles?

If you want to make use of the full range of X-Particles Features, you’ll need a CPU that has both as many cores as possible and clocks as high as possible.

In other words, you need a CPU that doesn’t exist.

The more cores a CPU has, the lower it usually clocks. That’s just how thermal and power limits work. Right now, great allrounder CPUs for X-Particles are the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X and 5950X with 12 to 16 Cores that have high single-core performance.

On the Intel side of things, the 10900K and 11900K CPUs are excellent for X-Particles, although both have “only” 8-10 Cores.

As can be deducted from the Benchmarks above, most of X-Particles Features benefit more from high clocks than from lots of cores. So unless you know you’ll use X-Particles only to create fluid sims, you should stick to high-clocking mainstream CPUs with a moderate Core-Count.

Fluid Simulations, though, are quite scalable and make decent use of the many cores in a CPU such as the AMD Threadripper 3960X.

The AMD Threadripper 3990X that we tested, though, can hardly make use of its full 64 Cores and is wasted on X-Particles.

Here’s a Screenshot of the 3990X’s CPU Utilization while building the Fluid Sim Cache (Fluidflip APIC Splash Tank Scene):

64 Core Fluid Sim Cache

Only 40% CPU Utilization give or take when building Fluid Sim caches in X-Particles on a 64 Core-Count CPU.

The above Scores and CPU Recommendations fall in line with our PC-Recommendations for Cinema 4D and 3D Modeling:

  • Get a mainstream high-clocking CPU (5900X, 5950X, 11900k, 10900k) for most cases
  • Get a high-end Threadripper with lots of Cores (3960X, 3970X) if you make use of the few features that scale nicely (CPU Rendering, Fluid Sim)

Here’s what our resident CPU expert says about these recommendations:

Although using Clock Speeds is an easy way to compare the performance of CPUs of a similar generation, it’s only an approximation. IPC (Instructions per cycle), and other hardware-level features are what counts and you’ll find that some CPUs are capable of easily outperforming the competition or older generations even though their clock speeds are lower. Always consult benchmarks before making a buying decision.

Over to you

You can download the 5 Scenes we used here and help us fill in the gaps. Let us know the following in the comments:

  • Scene
  • CPU (@Stock clocks or OC?)
  • Cache Build Time
  • Cinema 4D Version
  • X-Particles Version

Thanks! 🙂

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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!

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

Sebastian

Thoroughly understood all benchmark scores and various requirements of each scene file. Thank you.

5950x turbo clocks slightly higher than 5900x according to hardware specs. In this case do you think the 5950x would be the ultimate winner here? What would you personally go with out of all of these, including the 5950x?

Aaron

Hey, Alex,

Thank you truly for these test results. Extremely helpful! I’m definitely between 5900x and 11900x now! Just wanted to know, how did memory (RAM) factor into any of those? Was RAM ever maxed out in any of your tests?

Previously I was leaning towards a 10980xe to allow for 256gb of RAM, as in my research I had noticed a few x-particles projects have maxed out to 256g.

solar

Do you think Ryzen 9 5950X performs similar to 5900X?

Laurence Chase

Thank you for positing these results. I’m glad I went with the Ryzen 5900x. I use two 3090 cards but had to decide whether going Threadripper or Ryzen was best. (I was worried that the PCI-E bandwidth would bottleneck the dual 3090s but so far no noticeable difference.)

I wanted a machine that could pre-vis and render quickly for lookdev but also handle complex sims (I’m a freelancer so end up doing a bit of everything) and I think I’ve made the right decision. Your site was a great help in making this decision so thank you again!