Blender CPU Benchmarks: Intel i7-7700K vs. 6700K, 4790K, 2600K
Aside from thermals, the blender benchmarks were some of the most exciting to conduct. Our resident video producer and 3D animator, Andrew Coleman, built a custom Blender scene for GN’s render benchmarks. It’s got a mix of motion blur, different materials and material properties, ray tracing, and isn’t an easy scene to render.
We’re ignoring the fact that OpenCL and CUDA exist for the purposes of this benchmark, and instead relying entirely upon the CPU for crunching of this scene. This includes production render benchmarks dating back to Sandy Bridge (skipping Ivy Bridge, as we didn’t get one in time), and includes the i7-7700K. The march of progress is shown from 2011 to 2017.
We see significant scaling compared to 2011’s i7-2600K CPU – big surprise – resulting in a render time difference of about 32 minutes. If it’s your job to render animations and you’re using an old CPU to do so, it’s probably time to upgrade to nearly anything else. That’s not news to anyone, granted.
Skipping Ivy Bridge, we see the Devil’s Canyon i7-4790K operating rendering the same scene in about 49 minutes. This is improved upon by the i7-6700K, which does the work in about 45-46 minutes. That’s an improvement of around 3 minutes per frame from Devil’s Canyon to Skylake. Moving to the i7-7700K at its stock clocks, that time is cut another 3 minutes to 42:23, or about 7% shorter. This scaling has been fairly linear for three generations now. Sandy Bridge shows its age in a significant way through these benchmarks, and will continue to do so as we look at gaming tests later.
Out of curiosity, we ran the same render benchmark with Hyperthreading disabled on the i7-7700K, resulting in a render completion time of 60 minutes – worse than the i7-4790K. Blender takes advantage of the additional threads, and is a real-world demonstration of what gamers often miss out on – job management engines that more properly task-out all the threads in the system.
Overclocking the i7-7700K to 5.0GHz, which is trivial work on this platform, speeds up our render times by an additional 3 minutes over the stock configuration. 5.1GHz, achievable on our MSI Pro Carbon board with minimal effort, provides a speed increase around ~4 minutes over stock.
Cinebench – i7-7700K & Overclocking
Cinebench is the next in our line of tests. This one is technically a synthetic benchmark, but is similar in its objective and execution to our custom-made Blender animation. Cinebench uses more universal scoring than our render pass, allowing for better comparison between hardware.
We’re seeing a performance output of 988 points using the full, stock configuration of the i7-7700K with hyperthreading. A single core receives a score of 196, for an MP ratio of 5.05.
Disabling hyperthreading drops us heavily, down to 767 cb marks. A trivial overclock to 5.1GHz with a 1.37 auto vCore on the MSI Gaming Pro Carbon (can reduce vCore a bit manually) results in an 1122 CPU score, with single core performance at 222. The MP ratio remains the same 5.05.
Last generation’s 6700K performs at 941 points, or 185 single core. The 4790K, two generations old, receives 898 points or 180 for single core performance.
Finally, the Sandy Bridge i7 receives a 622 score, with 130 points for a single core.
3DMark FireStrike Scores – i7-7700K & Overclocking, i7-6700K, 4790K, 2600K
We’re moving on to 3DMark next, then we’ll get into game benchmarks. Our 3DMark tests use the new Timespy synthetic benchmark and the 1080p version of FireStrike. Just a quick note: 3DMark results do have some variance to them. This is not a perfect benchmarking system. We see as much as 50 points of variance from one pass to the next.
The stack-up is about what you’d expect, based on the previous tests. The stock 7700K receives a score of 18685 points, with a physics score – entirely CPU-based – of 14478. Overclocking the 7700K to 5.1GHz results in a score of 19518, or 16431 points for the physics benchmark. Speaking strictly to this synthetic test, that’s a performance improvement of approximately 13% in the physics test, or 4.5% in the total score.
The 6700K posts a score of 13648 for physics, or about 5.7% slower than the 7700K at stock clocks.
In real-world terms, the physics performance of the 7700K posts an FPS of about 46, with the overclocked version at 52FPS, the 6700K at 43 FPS, and the 4790K at about 40FPS.
3DMark TimeSpy CPU Benchmark
Moving on to Timespy, our CPU score is 5852 on the stock 7700K, or 6370 when overclocked to 5.1GHz. The 6700K rests at 5509, the 4790K at 4858, and the 2600K at 3242.