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New Cycles Benchmark


Help the Blender Institute benchmark Cycles on a variety of hardware setups with six new .blend files to test.

Ton writes:

Blender Institute prepared six Blender files for testing Cycles rendering with CPU/GPU, using various settings and design styles but based on actual production setups. On the links below you can inspect the spreadsheet with results, and load the .blend file collection.

The goal is to have an overview of systems that are used or tested by developers of Cycles. We aim at updating it regularly, also when new hardware comes in – and especially when render features improve in Cycles.

Most strikingly so-far is that the performance of CPUs is in a similar range as GPUs, especially when compared to costs of hardware. When shots get more complex, CPUs win the performance battle. That confirms our own experience that fast GPU is great for previewing and lighting work, and fast CPU is great for the production rendering. But… who knows what the future brings.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


      • Then I have to say I'm confused about the statement "Most strikingly so-far is that the performance of CPUs is in a similar range as GPUs, especially when compared to costs of hardware."

        Their Dual Xeon server has two processors that currently sell for £2,152 GBP *EACH* on Amazon, while the next fastest render time was done by an EVGA GTX980 GPU, which costs around £500 GBP on Amazon. So perhaps if they test an 8x GTX980 setup against their 2x Xeons we'd have a fair price/performance comparison?

  1. The spreadsheet is useless. I wonder who designed it like this. The manufacturer of hardware is irrelevant, I don't care what server it is or what manufacturer card it is. Making the table based on a whole system is a no no. Why is the relevant information in a comment and not sortable (filterable)? I am missing info about gpu clock speeds and sometimes vram.. Also a TDP rating would be helpful!

    The table should look like this:

    Core i7-5820K (12 threads) | 3.30GHz | 16GB DDR4 | Ubuntu 15.4 | 140 W | Results..
    GTX980 | 980MHz | 4GB | Ubuntu 15.4 | 165 W | Results..

    Then you could nicely filter it or sort it (based on OS, ram, TDP, etc.)

    As it is now it has information but lacks funtion..Not a lot of thought went into it.

    • Well, since it is a read-only spreadsheet with the machines of the Blender studio only, I'm sure it is sufficient for the developers to identify their workstations?

      • Sure, but then I don't get why to make the benchmarks 'official' and come public with it, why not just keep it internal for their purposes?. If they won't be adding user results and test than this has no sense and will die quickly. The test scenes are already public.

  2. Are you sure this is a call for participation? As I understood Ton's short article, he merely describes the new benchmark file set, offers a download link and gives a link to the spreadsheet. But the spreadsheet is read only for example, so I understood that we can download the files, but not hand in our own results anywhere.

    • If this is not a call for benching hardware for cycles then what purpose does it have? The scenes are already public, there is no added value - I don't care about some handful of servers I won't render on.

      • I don't know, I was going through the same thought process as you, I think. I saw Ton's announcement, thought "Oh, I might try that", rendered a cat and then was disappointed that I could not enter anything into the spreadsheet. I guess, he just wanted to gather all the scenes, so they can be downloaded as one combined pack?
        But yeah, it would be more beneficial, if people could participate.

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