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Results: Rendering

Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2: More Cores, Cache, And Better Efficiency

Maxon’s Cinebench R15 release (based on the company's Cinema 4D product) is a bit different from past versions of the benchmark. It’s able to utilize up to 256 cores (physical or logical) to render a scene with around 2000 objects made up of more than 300,000 polygons. Maxon altered the scale significantly so that results from previous versions can’t be compared—that’s why the numbers are so much higher than Cinebench results we’ve presented in the past.

The single-core numbers reflect the difference between Intel’s Sandy and Ivy Bridge architectures. Meanwhile, the multi-core component illustrates the difference between six and 16 cores. Moreover, the Ivy Bridge-EP-based Xeon E5-2687W v2 enjoys an extra advantage due to its tuned architecture and higher operating frequency.

Our 3ds Max workload is real-world, so you don’t get the same sort of scaling that comes from a synthetic designed to extract maximum performance. With that said, we see a massive speed-up going from the single Core i7 to the dual-processor workstations. Ivy Bridge-EP is marginally faster than Sandy Bridge-EP, but that’s what we would have expected given a comparable core count and small clock rate increases. Where we’re really hoping for big gains is the efficiency measurement, where performance and power get factored together.

Or maybe it really is possible to maximize performance using a real-world workload. Our Blender test makes a clear distinction between the fastest desktop processor you can buy and Intel’s workstation-oriented Xeon E5s in dual-processor configs.

Again, comparing the Xeon E5-2687W and -2687W v2 reveals relatively minor performance differences, as expected. Power is where these two should stand apart.

e-on Software’s Vue 2014 gives us another stark comparison between the very best you can do on the desktop-oriented LGA 2011 platform and what becomes possible as you step into the realm of Xeon-powered workstations. Our custom landscape test takes more than 22 minutes to render on the Core i7. Stepping up to a pair of Xeon E5-2687Ws cuts that under 10 minutes. And the newer -2687W v2s fall under nine.

Our playblast animation in Maya 2014 confounds us. Our best theory is that the same GPU utilization issue that keeps OpenCL-accelerated titles like Vegas and Photoshop from favoring the dual-CPU workstations is in effect here as well, giving Intel’s Core i7 the lead.

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