Processor Performance on Pov-Ray 3.7 Beta 13a:
The Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer was developed from DKBTrace 2.12 (written by David K. Buck and Aaron A. Collins) by a bunch of people (called the POV-Team) in their spare time. It is an high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The POV-Ray package includes detailed instructions on using the ray-tracer and creating scenes. Many stunning scenes are included with POV-Ray so you can start creating images immediately when you get the package. These scenes can be modified so you do not have to start from scratch. In addition to the pre-defined scenes, a large library of pre-defined shapes and materials is provided. You can include these shapes and materials in your own scenes by just including the library file name at the top of your scene file, and by using the shape or material name in your scene. Since this is free software feel free to download this version and try it out on your own.
The most significant change from the end-user point of view between versions 3.6 and 3.7 is the addition of SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) support, which in a nutshell allows the renderer to run on as many CPU’s as you have installed on your computer. This will be particularly useful for those users who intend purchasing a dual-core CPU or who already have a two (or more) processor machine. On a two-CPU system the rendering speed in some scenes almost doubles. For our benchmarking we used version 3.7 as all of the processors we are testing today are dual-core.
Once rendering on the object we selected was completed, we took the score from dialog box, which indicates the average PPS for the benchmark. A higher PPS indicates faster system performance.
The pixel rate counter (PPS) in POV-Ray is based off of the number of pixels rendered in the current frame divided by the total amount of time spent on the whole animation. This gives the effect of dividing the true pixels per second by the current frame number. With POV-Ray 3.7 Beta 13a we are able to look at a recent SMP benchmark to judge the differences between AMD and Intel dual-core processors. The benchmark shows that the Intel Core 2 Extreme Processor X6800 is over three times faster than the previous generation Intel Extreme Edition processor. The old Pressler core is no match for Conroe in this benchmark! In a benchmark that AMD used to own it is now getting beat. The QuadFX FX-70 system that we are looking at today comes in near the bottom with a score that isn’t too impressive.
Looking at the overall render score the winner is clear by a long shot. The Intel Core 2 Extreme processor QX6700 blows the other processors away and more than doubles the performance levels seen on the AMD FX-62 processor, but once again take note that the Quad FX system places second and third. When our system was overclocked from 2.6GHz to 3.1GHz we saw a nice increase in the score.