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V-Ray - Intel Xeon W-3300 Processor Performance

Written on July 29, 2021 by Kelly Shipman
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TL;DR: Intel Xeon W-3300 Processor Performance in V-Ray

The new Intel Xeon W-3300 line offers more performance than previous generations but still falls short of AMD’s Threadripper Pro line. On a per-core basis, the Xeon is close but only offers up to 38 cores, while AMD offers up to 64 cores. Then there is the cost. Comparing the two 32-core options, Intel is $950 more expensive, but almost 10% slower.

Intel’s biggest selling point is Xeon’s long track record of reliability. Xeon has long been the most stable and reliable CPU in highly demanding workstation and server applications. That alone will be worth the cost to many people. AMD is attempting to compete in that same market with their Threadripper Pro line, but as a new product, it doesn’t have history. These performance numbers may be enough to question the long-term value.

Introduction

Intel has long been a staple in the world of workstation computing, but when AMD released their 3rd generation Threadripper line in late 2019 (and more recently Threadripper Pro), they took over the performance crown for a number of workflows. With the launch of the new Xeon W-3300 series, however, Intel is looking to retake its position as uncontested top dog in the workstation space.

The Intel Xeon W-3300 series of processors include a number of advantages over the previous W-3200 line, including an increase in max core count, 64 lanes of PCI-E Gen 4.0, 8 channel DDR4-3200 memory (up to 4TB max), and up to an 18% increase in IPC (instructions per clock). Threadripper Pro still has the advantage in terms of total core count (64 vs 38) and PCI-E Gen 4.0 lanes (128 vs 64), but these changes - plus a number of other improvements - should make the Xeon W-3300 series a significant upgrade over the previous generation.

If you want to read about what sets the Xeon W-3300 series apart in more detail, we recommend checking out our landing page for Intel Xeon W-3300 Processors.

Intel Xeon W-3300 Processors for V-Ray

In this article, we will be examining the performance of the new Intel Xeon W-3300 series CPUs in V-Ray compared to AMD’s Threadripper Pro line. If you are interested in how these processors compare in other applications, we also have other articles for several other applications on our article listing page.

One very important thing to note is that we will be performing our testing with both the default "Balanced" Windows power profile, as well as the "High Performance" profile. In the course of our testing, we discovered that the Xeon W-3300 processors can sometimes give significantly lower performance on the default Windows power profile, so we thought it was important to show results for both profiles.

We will be leading with the "Balanced" profile results as that is what most systems will likely be using by default, but since changing the power profile is extremely easy, we will look at the performance with both power profiles.

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

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Test Setup

Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:

Intel Xeon W-3300 Test Platform
CPU Intel Xeon W-3375 38 Core ($4,499)
Intel Xeon W-3365 32 Core ($3,699)
Intel Xeon W-3345 24 Core ($2,499)
Intel Xeon W-3335 16 Core ($1,299)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U12DX i4
Motherboard Supermicro X12SPA-TF
RAM 8x DDR4-3200 16GB Reg. ECC (128GB total)
AMD Threadripper PRO 3000 Test Platform
CPU AMD TR Pro 3995WX 64 Core ($5,489)
AMD TR Pro 3975WX 32 Core ($2,749)
AMD TR Pro 3955WX 16 Core ($1,149)
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3
Motherboard Asus Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI
RAM 8x DDR4-3200 16GB Reg. ECC (128GB total)
Shared PC Hardware/Software
Video Card NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 10GB
Hard Drive Samsung 980 Pro 2TB
Software Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (Ver. 2009)
V-Ray 5.00

*All the latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware applied as of July 20th, 2021

Benchmark Results

Overall V-Ray Analysis

The new Intel Xeon W-3300 series makes up decent ground from the previous generation. Unfortunately, it still does not quite match the performance seen on Threadripper Pro. The 16-Core W-3335 does edge out the equivalent 16-Core Threadripper, but the higher-end SKUs lag behind. Taking the price differences into consideration makes it even harder to suggest Intel for CPU rendering tasks.

Window’s power modes have mixed results with V-Ray. Some CPU’s see a slight increase, some see a slight decrease. It is not enough to make a compelling case one way or the other. Since it is a simple checkbox in Windows, it may be worth trying both settings on your computer and seeing which works better for you.

How well do the Intel Xeon W-3300 CPUs perform in V-Ray?

The new Intel Xeon W-3300 line offers more performance than previous generations but still falls short of AMD’s Threadripper Pro line. On a per-core basis, the Xeon is close but only offers up to 38 cores, while AMD offers up to 64 cores. Then there is the cost. Comparing the two 32-core options, Intel is $950 more expensive, but almost 10% slower.

Intel’s biggest selling point is Xeon’s long track record of reliability. Xeon has long been the most stable and reliable CPU in highly demanding workstation and server applications. That alone will be worth the cost to many people. AMD is attempting to compete in that same market with their Threadripper Pro line, but as a new product, it doesn’t have history. These performance numbers may be enough to question the long-term value.

Keep in mind that the benchmark results in this article are strictly for V-Ray and that performance will vary widely in different applications. If your workflow includes other software packages, you need to consider how the system will perform in those applications as well. Be sure to check our list of Hardware Articles to keep up to date on how all of these software packages - and more - perform with the latest CPUs.

Looking for a V-Ray Workstation?

Puget Systems offers a range of poweful and reliable systems that are tailor-made for your unique workflow.

Configure a System!

Labs Consultation Service

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

Find Out More!
Tags: AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 3000 Series, 3955WX, 3975WX, 3995WX, W-3375, W-3365, W-3345, W-3335, Intel Xeon W-3300, V-Ray, Rendering