CPU Rendering

The Best Performing Processors for Rendering

While many renderers are now GPU accelerated, some popular renderers such as Solid Angle Arnold and Maxwell Render are not written to take advantage of GPUs acceleration. There are several reasons why not all renderers support GPU acceleration, one of the most important being that CPUs are faster than GPUs when rendering extremely large scenes with lots of instancing.

Render CPUs

CPU Rendering Performance

For a dedicated rendering system we recommended choosing a CPU from the Intel Xeon E5 2600 range of processors because they provide the ultimate in performance and reliability thanks to the use of ECC Registered memory. These processors can be paired up together in a single server or used inside a server comprising multiple nodes, each with two CPUs. These multi-node servers provide the ultimate in performance, cramming in far more performance than is possible with multiple separate servers.

Intel Xeon E5 2600 processors are highly scalable, being available in a large number of configurations from basic 6-core models all the way up to 22 cores, with the clock frequency ranging from 1.7 to 3.5GHz.

In the performance graphs below we have also included results for some of Intel's consumer grade CPUs as these more affordable processors are a popular choice in non-dedicated rendering systems.

Cinema 4D Rendering Performance

Cinema 4D is a popular cross platform animation package by MAXON that has been used in the production of many films such as Iron Man 3 and Prometheus. The graph below shows how quickly different CPUs take to render a photorealistic scene in Cinema 4D comprising over 300,000 polygons using sharp and blurred reflections, area lights, shadows, procedural shaders, antialiasing and other effects with a higher number indicating faster rendering.

Cinema 4D Performance

2x Intel Xeon E5 2699 v3

4330

2x Intel Xeon E5 2687W v3

3020

2x Intel Xeon E5 2687W v2

2490

Intel Core i7 Enthusiast (8-cores)

1400

Intel Core i7 Enthusiast (6-cores)

1080

Intel Core i7

880

Intel Core i5

600

KeyShot Rendering Performance

KeyShot by Luxion is a physically correct raytracing renderer used by designers, engineers, photographers and VFX artists. The graph below shows the render speed in fps (frames per second) of different CPUs in the standard benchmark scene built into KeyShot.

KeyShot Performance

2x Intel Xeon E5 2699 v3

355

2x Intel Xeon E5 2687W v4

340

2x Intel Xeon E5 2683 v3

240

2x Intel Xeon E5 2687W v3

240

Intel Xeon E5 2687W v4

194

Intel Core i7 Enthusiast (8-cores)

110

Intel Core i7 Enthusiast (6-cores)

96

Intel Core i7

86

Intel Core i5

45