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TL;DR: Intel Core 10th Gen vs AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen for Cinema 4D
For CPU-based rendering within Cinema 4D, AMD Ryzen chips outpace the new 10th Gen Intel Core processors thanks to having more cores and nearly the same per-core performance. The new Intel models, particularly the Core i9 10900K, are slightly faster in single-threaded workloads – so if rendering isn't a factor for you, they are great for modeling, animation, and simple physics.
If rendering speed is the most important to you, though, there are even faster options in the form of AMD's Threadripper series.
Intel has just launched its next generation of consumer desktop processor: the 10th Gen Intel Core family. Historically, this product line from Intel has offered fantastic clock speeds with moderate core counts, but recently Intel has been steadily increasing the number of cores included in these CPUs. There are quite a number of chips launching today, but to gauge what potential this series have we are going to look at the very top-end Core i9 10900K, Core i7 10700K, and Core i5 10600K models.
For this article, we are focusing on how the new Intel 10th Gen Core processors compare to other currently-available models and the preceding 9th-gen Core series. The focus is on CPU-based rendering performance in Cinema 4D, so we are using Maxon's free Cinebench R15 and R20 benchmarks. More info about these tools and how we use them are available in the Benchmark Details.
If you would prefer to skip over our test setup and various benchmark results, feel free to jump straight to the Conclusion.
We also took a look at rendering in V-Ray in another article, for those who use that plug-in instead of the native C4D renderer.
Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:
|AMD Ryzen Test Platform|
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 9 3950X ($749)
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X ($499)
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X ($399)
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X ($329)
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12S|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA|
|RAM||4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)|
|AMD Threadripper 3rd Gen Test Platform|
|CPU||AMD TR 3990X ($3,990)
AMD TR 3970X ($1,999)
AMD TR 3960X ($1,399)
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte TRX40 AORUS PRO WIFI|
|RAM||4x DDR4-2933 16GB (64GB total)|
A Note about Power Limits
One thing that our product development team found in their testing, prior to this round of benchmarks in our lab, was that the pre-launch motherboards we received from Gigabyte (and some other manufacturers) were not defaulting to Intel's specified power limits in the BIOS settings. This is something we've seen in past launches as well, but now that Intel is being more aggressive about adding cores and pushing clock speeds higher we are seeing much higher power draw (and therefore temperatures) than we expect from a processor rated at 125W. In this generation, it has gotten to the point that temps can spike quickly – often getting as high as 100C in a matter of seconds under heavy loads. Because of this, we decided to manually set the PL1 and PL2 power limits in the BIOS. Following Intel's specifications, we used a value of 125W for the PL1 (long term) setting on all three Intel 10th Gen Core CPUs we tested, along with the following PL2 (short term) limits:
Core i9 10900K: 250W
Core i7 10700K: 229W
Core i5 10600K: 182W
Setting these power limits ensures that our Noctua NH-U12S is more than enough to keep these CPUs properly cooled and lines up with our philosophy about prioritizing stability and reliability over raw performance in our workstations. Please note, however, that not all reviewers share this perspective – and some may not even be aware of the issues at all! If you see variances between our benchmark results and those on other websites, different BIOS settings and default behaviors may well be the reason.
The primary focus of Cinebench is on measuring system performance using the default CPU-based renderer in Cinema 4D. By default, all cores / threads a CPU has are utilized – but there is an option to run the test on a single core as well. To try and paint a more complete picture of performance, without taking too long for the tests to run, we use the only multi-threaded portion of Cinebench R20… but then run both multi- and single-core modes on Cinebench R15. That older version runs a lot faster, and the single-threaded test it does can still give a good indication of how CPUs will compare when running applications that only use one core at a time.
Each of these tests was run twice, to help detect abnormal results, and the faster of the two scores is used in the charts below.
There are a lot of processors in this round-up, so we are color coding the results to make them easier to sift through:
- Light blue with glow = New 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs
- Light blue = Previous-generation Intel consumer CPUs (9th Gen Core)
- Dark blue = Intel HEDT CPUs (Core X 10th Gen)
- Light red = AMD consumer CPUs (Ryzen 3rd Gen)
- Dark red = AMD HEDT CPUs (Threadripper 3rd Gen)
Analysis & Conclusion
Intel has measurably improved both single-threaded and multi-threaded performance compared to their previous generation, with the Core i9 10900K coming in about 5% faster when just one core is active in Cinebench R15 and 15-25% faster when all the cores are working. The high clock speeds on that particular model make it even faster than the Core X-series i9 10900X.
However, AMD's Ryzen processors pack as many or more cores at a similar price – along with far higher core counts in their Threadripper line. With how well threaded CPU-based rendering is, that leaves AMD in the lead at pretty much every price point.
Single-core performance still matters in Cinema 4D, though, as modeling, animation, and the basic physics simulations present within the application are all single-threaded. When it comes to that aspect of performance, the new 10th Gen Intel Core CPUs do lead the pack. All of the processors we tested are within a 15% spread in this regard, though, so you can't really go wrong with any of them.
Is the Intel Core 10th Gen or AMD Ryzen 3rd Gen better for C4D rendering?
When it comes to rendering within Cinema 4D, AMD still offers more cores — and thus more overall processing power — for your money. At similar price points, AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X beats the new Intel Core i9 10900K while the Ryzen 7 3800X beats the Core i7 10700K. If you have more money to spend then the 3950X is even better, and AMD's Threadripper CPUs have so many cores that they dwarf all other single-socket options.