by Rob Williams on April 13, 2017 in Processors
To call AMD’s Ryzen family of processors highly anticipated would be an understatement. The market has been craving innovation in the CPU space for some time. With a trio of competitively priced desktop chips configured with 8 cores that have experienced major IPC boosts over past chips, all of that waiting has paid off.
(All of our tests are explained in detail on page 2.)
Design and rendering is one of the greatest areas of computing to benchmark to highlight the benefits of faster hardware, whether it be a CPU, GPU, memory, and even storage. On a low-end system, a production render might take hours, for example, whereas on a high-end system, that render could be shaved down to the tens of minutes.
With these results, it’s up to you to gauge where the best value can be found. In some cases, it might be beneficial to go with more modest hardware if the time-to-render isn’t of a great concern; in other cases, spending more on faster hardware might actually save you money in the long-run.
For our rendering tests, we use Autodesk’s 3ds Max (2015, for SPECapc, and 2017, for our real-world model render), the popular open source design suite Blender, as well as Cinebench and POV-Ray for some quick-and-dirty results.
All of the tests here are hugely scalable, and will remain so for the forseeable future. If AMD or Intel want to bring 16-core chips to the desktop, then the results could wind up being downright jaw-dropping.
Autodesk 3ds Max 2015 & 2017
With these first results, we see AMD put on a fight worthy for the MGM Grand. AMD’s 1800X didn’t quite match Intel’s i7-6900K (also an eight-core), but requiring 17% more time to render (based on the Naomi real-world render) on a processor half of the cost is going to resonate just fine with a lot of people.
Ryzen continues to impress with Blender, with the 1800X requiring about 20% more time to render each one of our exhausting projects (even the 10-core i7-6950X took 25 minutes to render Blenderman!).
As I mentioned in the first page of this article, I consider the Ryzen 7 1700 to be the most alluring of the bunch, as an eight-core processor at a mere $329 is downright impressive. But also impressive is the performance, which manages to beat out Intel’s i7-7700K in both 3ds Max and Blender. AMD’s IPC might not be on par with Intel, but that extra brute force with a doubling of threads helps make up for it.
Synthetic Renderers: Cinebench, POV-Ray
I’ve mentioned IPC (instructions-per-clock) a couple of times already, and because it’s lower on Ryzen than on Intel’s recent Core processors, single-threaded performance is going to suffer. An example of this is easily seen in the POV-Ray result, where even the fastest Ryzen falls short of every Intel model here, even the 3.0GHz base i7-6950X.
However, that’s just single-threaded performance. When multi-threading is introduced, Ryzen delivers incredible performance. In the same POV-Ray test, the 1800X scores 62% higher than the 7700K – a chip that costs about $20 more.
Not a bad showing so far. Let’s see if this performance carries on over to some popular media and entertainment scenarios.