Additional tests: V-Ray, Blender and more
When we test a new CPU, we do extra benchmarking to get a more complete picture of performance. What you’ll see below are the additional tests we ran, and what they told us about the Ryzen 9 4900HS.
Ryzen 4000 Thread scaling performance
Modern CPUs all vary in performance depending on how many threads are active, how well they can be cooled, and just how hard they can be pushed. Because many applications don’t scale beyond a single core or four cores, it’s actually valuable to see just how a CPU responds to loads as we scale from one thread to eight threads.
We do just that with Cinebench R15. To understand what matters on these charts, if most of your work is lightly threaded—chose the laptop that’s faster on the left side. For those who always push all cores all the time—chose the laptop that’s faster on the right side.
For the first result, we compare Intel’s current six-core Core i7-9750H against the eight-core Ryzen 9 4900HS. While Intel fans may howl that this comparison is unfair, we actually think it’s valid because we frankly haven’t seen thin-and-light gaming laptops with eight-core Core i9’s inside. Sure, you get a 4.5-pound Dell XPS 15 with an 8-core Core i9, but its GPU is a GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q. The laptop is also quite thermally challenged and best focused on content creation, rather than pure gaming.
The truth is that most 4.5- to 5-pound gaming laptops with Intel chips feature the Core i7-9750H. Why? We aren’t 100-percent sure, but we believe vendors would rather save the thermal budget for the GPU, so they opt for the cooler-running Core i7.
As you’d expect, it’s pretty much a slaughter, with the Core i7-9750H (blue bar) vs. the Ryzen 9 4900HS (green bar).
As another way to understand just how much faster the Ryzen 9 4900HS is over a Core i7-9750H, we break out the difference by percentage. As you can see, it’s fairly close on the left side of the chart under light thread loads, but as the threads pile on, the Ryzen 9 smokes that Core i7-9750H.
Oh, you really want to see 8-core vs. 8-core? Luckily, we recorded scores for a Core i9-9880H in the MSI GE65 Raider before sending it back. The result is definitely an improvement for Intel, but still not pretty.
The higher boost scores of that Core i9-9880H actually give it the lead on single-threaded loads, but the Ryzen 9 4900HS still romps it by double-digits. And again, we’ll point out that GE65 Raider weighs a pound and a half more and features a smaller battery too.
While our database of results is the largest for Cinebench R15, we also have numbers for other CPU-intensive 3D rendering applications. Although the benchmarks are a little dated, the results are still valid.
In V-Ray 1.08, for example, more cores are better, and shorter results are better. We see the Ryzen 9 4900HS ties with the older desktop Ryzen 7 2700 that was jammed into a laptop. While we don’t have 8-core results for the Intel chip, we do have numbers from 4-core and 6-core laptops on hand. Will this change with Intel’s upcoming 10th-gen Comet Lake H CPUs? We don’t know, but stay tuned.
Next up are results from the open-source Blender that’s popular with the indie movie scene. For this test, we use an older version to remain comparable with laptops tested in the past.
Our test load is Mike Pan’s famous BMW benchmark file, and we use the default Cycles render engine in Blender. The Ryzen 9 4900HS edges out the 8-core Core i9-9880H in MSI’s GE65 Raider, to the tune of about 14 percent. The Ryzen 9’s cousin, the Ryzen 7 2700 desktop chip, doesn’t even come close in this test.
Up next is the Corona benchmark. Like all of the 3D rendering tests you’ve seen, it’s all about the CPU. Our results include only Intel’s tuned-up 8th-gen Core i9, which features only six cores. It pulls close, but the gold medal still goes to the Ryzen 9. The older 8-core Ryzen 7 also fares rather poorly in this test.
Our last couple of pure CPU rendering tests use POV-Ray’s internal benchmark. POV-Ray dates back to days of the Commodore Amiga, but it’s been loyally updated and generally scales with core count.
The score for the MSI GE65 Raider and its 8-core Core i9-9880H seems oddly low considering that it has two more cores than the Core i9-8950HK in the Predator Helios 500. Still, the winner is clearly the Ryzen 9 4900HS by a country mile.
Our last test uses POV-Ray 3.7 in a single-core mode to look at the performance of the CPUs. It’s basically a three-way tie between the 8th-gen Core i9, the 9th-gen Core i9, and the Ryzen 9 3900HS. As the Ryzen traditionally runs at lower speeds—this is still a good result for AMD.
We’ll have to delve into why the Ryzen 9 does far better than expected in single-core loads at a later point. It’s entirely possible the chip runs cooler and more efficiently, so its overall clock speed is more even, negating Intel’s usual rhythm of starting high and slowly trailing off.
Curse, what curse? AMD is leaving all its laptop woes behind, coming out of the gate full-speed with its first Ryzen 4000 mobile chip, the Ryzen 9 4900HS. There are more chips to come in this family, and 100 laptops featuring them due out this year. We’ll keep testing so we can tell you more about this groundbreaking new family of mobile chips.