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Cinema 4D CPU Rendering Performance: Intel Core X-10000 vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen

Written on November 25, 2019 by William George
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Introduction

For years, choosing between Intel and AMD processors has been relatively straight forward. Intel held a strong lead in per-core performance, and combined with a moderate number of cores, that gave their processors an edge in lightly to moderately threaded applications. AMD excelled in pure core count, making them great for heavily threaded workloads, but with lower per-core performance and architectural design limitations that led to poor results in some situations. This changed quite a bit on the consumer side when AMD launched their 3rd gen Ryzen CPUs, but still held true when it came to the HEDT (High End Desktop) processors from both brands.

Now, both Intel and AMD are launching new HEDT processors that have the potential to shake things up dramatically!

On Intel's side, the new Core X-10000 series processors are only slightly faster than the previous generation - but Intel has cut their prices nearly in half. For example, while the MSRP of the Core i9 9980XE was $1,979 the new Core i9 10980XE is just $979.

On AMD's side, the new Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs are actually a little more expensive than earlier models (by $100-200) but their raw performance is expected to be quite a bit better. The gains are not in core count, though, but rather in clock speed, performance per core, and architectural improvements that eliminate some bottlenecks that the first and second-generation Threadripper CPUs had.

Intel Core X-1000 series vs AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen in Cinebench R20

For this article we are taking a look at how these new processors compare against each other, the previous generation they are replacing, and their mainstream desktop counterparts. The focus is on CPU-based rendering performance in Cinema 4D, so we are using Maxon's free Cinebench R20 benchmark. More info about this tool and how we used it are available in the Benchmark Details.

If you would prefer to skip over our test setup and benchmark sections, feel free to jump straight to the Conclusion.

We also took a look at rendering in V-Ray Next in another article, for those who use that plug-in instead of the native C4D renderer.

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Test Hardware

Here are the specifications of the different platforms we used for our testing:

AMD Ryzen Test Platform
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel 9th Gen Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9900K ($499)
Intel Core i7 9700K ($385)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12S
Motherboard Gigabyte Z390 Designare
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 2nd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 2990WX - DLM on ($1,799)
AMD TR 2970WX - DLM on ($1,299)
AMD TR 2950X ($899)
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
Motherboard Gigabyte X399 AORUS Xtreme
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-9000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 9980XE ($1,979)
Intel Core i9 9960X ($1,684)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9940X ($1,387)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9920X ($1,189)​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 9900X ($989)​​​​​​​
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2666 16GB (64GB total)
AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform
CPU AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro Series H80i v2
Motherboard Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS Xtreme
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Intel X-10000 Series Test Platform
CPU Intel Core i9 10980XE ($979)
Intel Core i9 10940X ($784)
Intel Core i9 10920X ($689)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Intel Core i9 10900X ($590)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Gigabyte X299 Designare EX
RAM 4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)
Shared Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB
Hard Drive Samsung 960 Pro 1TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (version 1903)
Cinebench R20

A quick note about memory specifications: the latest CPUs from AMD and Intel support varying speeds of RAM depending on how many modules are installed. In past articles we've sometimes tested at multiple speeds, but to help keep things more uniform going forward we are standardizing on the speed that each processor/platform supports when all memory slots are used (even if we aren't filling them completely for our testing). Along with using the same total RAM capacity, that should help to keep results fair and consistent.

Benchmark Details

As previously mentioned, we used Maxon's Cinebench R20 utility for this comparison. It renders a scene using Cinema 4D's built-in engine, fully utilizing all cores until the render is completed. Based on how long that takes, an artificial "CB score" is assigned - with higher scores being better, and representing shorter render times. There is also a single-core mode available, performing the same task with just one active thread, but that is not really indicative of real-world performance so we did not include it in our test runs.

Benchmark Results

There is a lot going on in the chart below, so before getting into it here is a reference key for the color scheme:

  • Light blue = Intel consumer CPUs (9th Gen Core series)
  • Dark blue = Intel HEDT CPUs (X-9000 series)
  • Dark blue with glow - NEW Intel HEDT CPUs (X-10000 series)
  • Light red = AMD consumer CPUs (Ryzen 3rd Gen)
  • Dark red = AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 2nd Gen)
  • Dark red with glow - NEW AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 3rd Gen)

AMD 3rd Gen Threadripper vs Intel Core X-10000 Series in Cinebench R20

Analysis

Intel's new Core X processors range from 5 to 10% faster than the previous generation, while also being half the price.

That alone would be great news for Cinema 4D users, but because of the dual product launch happening it is overshadowed by AMD's new Threadripper. The new Threadripper processors are around 50% faster than their predecessors, and the top-end 3970X is almost twice the speed of Intel's top-end Core i9 10980XE. Its price is also twice that of the Intel chip, but that is when looking at the CPU alone; a whole system with the Threadripper would still cost more, but nowhere near double.

Is Intel X Series or AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen CPUs better for Cinema 4D?

For pure rendering, AMD's new 3rd Gen Threadripper processors are by far the better choice. A lot of work in Cinema 4D is modeling and animation, though, which are more lightly-threaded. We are still working on developing benchmarks to better test that aspect of performance, but based on other tests it looks like the latest Intel and AMD CPUs should be pretty similar for that workload.

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Our Labs team is available to provide in-depth hardware recommendations based on your workflow.

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Tags: Intel 9th Gen, Intel X-series, Intel vs AMD, AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen, AMD Threadripper 2nd Gen, Intel X-10000, AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen, Threadripper, CPU, Rendering, Cinebench, Cinema4D
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