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TL;DR: Intel Core i9 12900KS performance in Cinema 4D
Intel’s new Core i9 12900KS is roughly 5% faster than the existing i9 12900K for both multi-core and single-core workloads. This takes the already enticing 12900K, and squeezes just a bit more performance out of it. The trade-off is a higher price tag. It delivers roughly 5% more performance for 23% more money. That may be difficult for many users to justify. On the other hand, the only next step up for rendering performance is AMD’s Threadripper platform, which costs significantly more.
When Intel launched their 12th Gen Intel Core desktop processors (code-named "Alder Lake") in November of 2021, they showed a terrific performance improvement over previous generations. They also made some significant changes to how their CPUs fundamentally worked, primarily through their hybrid architecture which utilizes a mix of Performance and Efficient-cores.
Since then, the wider availability of DDR5 memory and improvements in thread scheduling has allowed them to expand their performance lead over AMD in a number of workflows. And today, Intel is launching yet another model to their 12th Intel Core lineup: the Intel Core i9 12900KS.
On paper, the 12900KS appears to simply be a higher binned version of the Core i9 12900K. It has the same number of cores and the same cache, but the frequency is slightly higher. The exact amount depends on which kind of core is being used as well as what type of Turbo, but at most we are looking at about a 6% increase in Turbo frequency.
To handle the higher frequency, the 12900KS has a slightly higher base power draw of 150W versus the 125W of the 12900K. Interestingly, the maximum Turbo power is the same at 241W, which means that it may not actually run much hotter under heavy load situations.
The last difference is, of course, the price. With an MSRP of $739, the 12900KS is $140 more expensive than the 12900K. This is still a bit below the $799 MSRP of the AMD Ryzen 5950X, but it certainly brings Intel and AMD closer in terms of pricing at the top of their consumer CPU lines.
|CPU Model||Core i9 12900K||Core i9 12900KS|
|Max Turbo Frequency||5.2 GHz||5.5 GHz|
|P-Core Max Turbo Frequency||5.1 GHz||5.2 GHz|
|E-Core Max Turbo Frequency||3.9 GHz||4.0 GHz|
|Cache||30 MB||30 MB|
|Processor Base Power||125 W||150 W|
|Maximum Turbo Power||241 W||241 W|
In this article, we will be examining the performance of the new Intel Core i9 12900KS compared to the 12900K, as well as the AMD Ryzen 5900X and 5950X. If you are interested in how these processors compare in other applications, you can check out the summary of all our testing results – and links to more detailed analysis – in our Intel Core i9 12900KS Review Roundup article.
Listed below are the specifications of the systems we will be using for our testing:
|12th Gen Intel Core Test Platform|
|CPU||Intel Core i9 12900KS 8+8 Core ($739)
Intel Core i9 12900K 8+8 Core ($589)
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-U12A|
|Motherboard||Asus ProArt Z690-Creator WiFi|
|RAM||2x DDR5-4800 32GB (64GB total)|
*Latest drivers, OS updates, BIOS, and firmware as of March 31st, 2022
In order to see how the new Intel Core i9 12900KS performs in Cinema 4D, we will be comparing it to the Core i9 12900K, AMD Ryzen 5900X, and AMD Ryzen 5950X. For the test itself, we will be using the Cinebench R23.
As for the test platforms, we want to point out that due to the wider availability of DDR5 RAM, all our testing is now using DDR5 on any platform that supports it (currently just Intel Z690). We try to stay within spec for memory speed whenever possible, which is why we are using 2x32GB of DDR5-4800 RAM on the Intel platform. While the move to DDR4 to DDR5 can improve performance by a decent margin, the speed of the RAM speed doesn't make a big difference in most content creation applications. If you want to read more about the impact of DDR5 RAM speed, we recommend checking out our Impact of DDR5 Speed on Content Creation Performance article.
Analysis & Conclusion
The most sure fire way to get faster CPU rendering performance is to get more CPU cores. Typically the speed of those cores does also help with performance, as it allows each core to finish its task faster. In this case, the 12900KS comes in 5% faster than the standard 12900K after multiple runs in both single-core and multi-core workloads.
One thing to note about Cinebench is that there are two main methods to get results. The most common is a single pass, which takes roughly 1 minute on these CPUs. Running a single pass resulted in a score of 28754 or a little more than 12% faster than the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X. This is relevant because Intel CPUs tend to boost higher at the beginning of a job and then taper off after about a minute. The other option is to run a loop for 10 minutes, which is a closer representation of how artists use rendering packages. Running a full 10-minute test returns a score of 26054, only 2% faster than the Ryzen 5950X. Either way, it is still faster, but it's good to be able to compare more real-world scenarios when possible.
Is the Intel Core i9 12900KS Processor Good for Cinema 4D?
Intel’s new Core i9 12900KS is roughly 5% faster than the existing i9 12900K for both multi-core and single-core workloads. The takes the already enticing 12900K, and squeezes just a bit more performance out of it. The trade-off is a higher price tag. It delivers roughly 5% more performance for 23% more money. That may be difficult for many users to justify. On the other hand, the only next step up for rendering performance is AMD’s Threadripper platform, which costs significantly more.
Going into our testing, we were a bit worried about the higher base power draw of the 12900KS, but throughout our testing, we didn't notice any issues. Our standard 120mm Noctua heatsink was still more than enough to keep this CPU cool, and there was no noticeable increase in fan noise.
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 (we have similar articles for a number of other applications that can be found in our Intel Core i9 12900KS Review Roundup article), 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.