Insydium X-Particles Benchmark Results & CPU Performance compared

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CG Director Author Alex Glawionby Alex Glawion   /  Updated 

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 Ryzen 3900X123.825
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.929
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.539
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.440
Apple Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max103.241

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
Apple Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max103.2183
AMD Ryzen 9 5900X123.4195
Intel i5 11600K63.9196
AMD Ryzen 3900X123.8240
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.9248
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5271
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.4289

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 Ryzen 3900X123.867
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.973
Apple Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max103.276
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.579
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.485

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 Ryzen 3900X123.8265
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5318
Intel i9 11900K83.5319
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.4345
Intel i5 11600K63.9380
Apple Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max103.2440

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 Ryzen 3900X123.824
AMD Threadripper 3990X642.925
Intel i9 11900K83.527
Intel i5 11600K63.929
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.541
AMD Threadripper 1950X163.446
Apple Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max103.266

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!

27 Comments

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  • Alexis

    Here are the results for my Mac Studio 2022 – M1 Max 64GB
    Trail Display Flowfield – 41 seconds
    ExplosiaFX Particle Curl – 183 seconds
    ExplosiaFX Granular Advection – 76 seconds
    Fluidflip APIC Splash Tank – 440 seconds
    Dynamics Floating Objects – 66 seconds

    Don’t use a Mac if you need fluid simulations !

    • Alex Glawion

      Wow, that’s crazy! Thanks for sharing your results 🙂

      Cheers,
      Alex

  • Warren

    Anyone tested on a i9 12900?

  • Warren

    Here are my M1 Max Macbook 16″ Pro 2021 64GB results:
    Trail Display Flowfield – 49 seconds
    ExplosiaFX Particle Curl – 223 seconds
    ExplosiaFX Granular Advection – 77 seconds
    Fluidflip APIC Splash Tank – 332 seconds
    Dynamics Floating Objects – 54 seconds

    • Alex Glawion

      Thanks Warren,
      Great to have a Mac M1 comparison! As expected they are a bit on the lower end, but for a mobile processor, the results seem pretty decent.

      Cheers,
      Alex

      • Warren

        I see, it’s odd that M1 finishes top of the Cinema 4D’s Viewport Performance bench though. Mine has been getting 1600+. But as you say, it’s complicated.
        Cheers

  • Armand

    hi Alex, thanks for sharing this, I am going through pain as well when it comes to freezing in xparticles and in search of a way to improve it to be better.

    So I’ve got a new data from you, I’m running ryzen 9 3900x with 32gb in c4d r23 and xparticles 895

    dynamic 22.53s
    explosia granular 67,5s
    explosia particle curl 240s
    fluid flip 265s
    trail display 25s

    Seeing your result, I don’t think there’s not many significant upgrade into 5900 or 5950. What do you think?

    • Alex Glawion

      Hey Armand,
      The 3900X really doesn’t seem to be too far from a 5900X to warrant an upgrade. That’s the problem with single-core demanding workloads, even a generational upgrade will only get you 10-20% more performance. What we need, though, is double, triple the performance.

      You can only get this on a few areas in X-Particles, like straight up fluid sim. Going from a 8 core to a 64 core, yes will get you double, triple the performance. But it’s rare that you can confine a single pc to doing just that kind of workload.

      Alex

      • Armand

        I agree with you there.thanks Alex

  • Menno

    Hi, I’ve just run the benchmark on my (old) system for reference:
    Threadripper 1950x 64GB Ram:
    Trail Display Flowfield = 40 sec
    Explosia FX particlecurl = 289 sec
    Explosia Granulas Advection = 85 sec
    FlipFluid splash tank = 345 sec
    Dynamics Floating Objects = 46 sec

    • Alex Glawion

      Awesome, thanks! 🙂 What version of c4d and x-particles are you running?

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