Ryzen 9 3900X 3D Modeling Performance
Up first is the old standby of Maxon’s Cinebench R15. This benchmark is built on the same engine used in Maxon’s Cinema 4D modeling and animation application. Cinema 4D is also built into Adobe’s Premiere and After Effects applications.
In the no-surprise category, we see the 12-core Ryzen 9 3900X simply demolish the 8-core Core i9-9900K to the tune of 42 percent. With 40 percent more threads at its disposal, we kinda expected this. Still, this is impressive performance and to be lauded.
Perhaps more important is the single-threaded performance of the Ryzen 9 3900X. With a boost clock of 4.6GHz on the Ryzen 9 3900X vs. the boost clock of 5GHz on the Core i9-9900K that gives the Intel part about an 8 percent clock advantage in pure clock speed.
Not all megahertz are the same, though. With AMD’s much-improved instructions per clock—essentially how efficient the chip is—the Ryzen 9 is but 2 to 3 percent slower than the Core i9.
Cinebench R15, however, is fairly old, having come out in 2013, so we also measured all three CPUs using the new Cinebench R20. Intel generally is a bit faster in this updated test—against older Zen+ cores.
The situation changes for the Zen 2 cores in the Ryzen 9 3900X, resulting in a 3-percent bump in single-threaded performance. That’s a nice shift for AMD.
The tables turn for multi-threaded performance. The 12-core AMD part smashes the 8-core Intel part by 42 percent.
We also tested the chips using Chaos Group’s Corona Renderer benchmark. Corona is a “modern unbiased photorealistic renderer,” which refers to the precision in which it renders the scene—not unbiased based on the hardware it’s run on.
In this multi-threaded test, we see the Ryzen 9 outrun the Core i9 by about 32 percent. And yup, the body blows keep coming.
We run V-Ray Next, which is another renderer from the Chaos Group. The result? About 31 percent in favor of the Ryzen 9 over the Core i9.
What about the free and popular 3D modeler Blender 2.80, using the intensive Gooseberry test file? How about 43 percent in favor of the Ryzen 9 over the Core i9.
We’ll close off the 3D tasks with the oldie, but goodie POV-Ray 3.7 benchmark. The Persistence of Vision Raytracer is an open-source, free tool that has roots in the Amiga platform. Using the application’s built-in test, we saw the Ryzen 9 about 44 percent faster than the Core i9 in multi-threaded mode.
POV-Ray also has a single-threaded benchmark, in which the Core i9 and its 5GHz clock ekes out a 4-percent win over the 4.6GHz Ryzen 9. A win is a win, but most are likely to say big whoop.
Before we jump to the next section we did want to explore a protest we had heard from Intel fans. We’ll summarize it as, “we know the simple math of 12 > 8 is true, but for 3D artists, the time waiting for rendering is not as critical as the seat time when you actively need faster responsiveness.” That is, system “snappiness” when trying to do precise modelling is just as important if not more important. In that world, the math of 5GHz > 4.6GHz, so Intel wins in that department.
To test that theory we looked to CGDirector.com’s free Cinema4D Viewport Performance benchmark. CGDirector is an PC enthusiast site for 3D content creators, video editors, and other users who work in graphics-intensive applications.
For a better interface or “viewport” experience for 3D artists, CGDirector said the CPU is the chief bottleneck—and not the GPU. That means chips with higher frequency and higher IPC typically are more important.
“In this Cinema 4D Viewport Benchmark, we measure the FPS of a typical Scene that uses common 3D Objects from Cinema 4D Objects in a hierarchy,” the website said.
For this test, we ran the Cinema 4D Viewport benchmark with a demo version of Cinema 4D R20.
Some of the results the site has posted register a 7th-gen Kaby Lake Core i7-7700K with a boost clock of 4.5GHz at 1,049, and a 16-core Skylake X Core i9-9960X with a boost clock of 4.4GHz at 1,045. A Xeon X5450 with a relatively low boost clock of 3GHz scores 418 in the test.
Because this test is new to us, we’re not putting too much weight on it yet. Based on its results, however, the Core i9 does win. Assuming some truth to the theory that a 3D artists need UI responsiveness more than shorter rendering wait times, Intel has the edge.
It's worth noting that even in a loss, Ryzen 9 3000 is not that far behind. And frankly, if you’re looking for the best of both worlds, with slightly slower Viewport performance but much, much greater rendering performance, the Ryzen 9 comes out in front. It’s really up to the individual tastes of the artist.
Keep reading for content creation and other tests.