3D Media Creation
This is not something I do personally, but I know a lot of people are into 3D rendering at home. To test 3D rendering performance, we make use of Maxon’s CineBench program.
Based on Maxon’s animation software, Cinema 4D, CineBench is a good real-world benchmark that makes comparing systems easier for those of us who aren’t really familiar with creating 3D art. Cinema 4D was used to make such movies as Spiderman and Star Wars. Good enough for me!
We have also added 3ds Max, which is probably the most popular rendering software around. Finally, to round things out, we have POV-Ray, a totally free ray tracing tool. POV-Ray has a built-in benchmark which measures in pixels processed per second.
i5 661 lags behind here again; I guess HyperThreading isn’t enough this time.
This time it falls into its usual place of roughly equivalent-or-slower performance of the Phenom II 925.
But again in POV-Ray, the dual-core 661 is held back again. Of course, it still kicks the Q8200’s ass as usual, but who is going to buy a Q8200 now?
WinRAR & 7Zip x64
We like to include an archiving benchmark, since after all, who doesn’t use archives on their machine? WinRar features an integrated benchmark utility, but note that the results themselves are not real-world in that it measures decompression/compression throughput directly. Other factors will make differences between systems less pronounced, but this does a good job of singling out CPU performance.
661 is looking a bit slow again (dual core). If anything, I am starting to notice what a great CPU the $99 Athlon II 620 is.
We also included 7Zip, since it’s another 64-bit program with a built-in benchmarking tool. Some people may prefer it to WinRAR, it being free and all.
Even more pronounced than above, the dual cores just fall way behind, and HyperThreading can’t pick them up quite enough.
I wanted to add a real-world utility that uses encryption, since it’s becoming more common recently. Programs like TrueCrypt allow you to encrypt a folder (or entire drive) keeping data completely secure.
It has a built-in benchmark tool that uses up to 3 algorithms on a single file. Here are the results from a 10MB file (the results are a mean of the encryption and decryption scores):
Unfortunately, TrueCrypt doesn’t make use of Intel’s AES instructions, so we don’t get to see a ridiculously high score from the 661 this time. In fact, the results here are similar to what we’ve been seeing with the more ‘pure calculation’ tests – Clarkdale being held back by dual core.
On the next page, we’ll look at how Clarkdale’s IGP performs in games and video playback.