3D modeling and rendering
The Cinebench benchmark is based on Maxon's Cinema 4D rendering engine. It's multithreaded and comes with a 64-bit executable. This test runs with just a single thread and then with as many threads as CPU cores (or threads, in CPUs with multiple hardware threads per core) are available.
The showing of the full-fat Core i7-2600K tells you much of what you need to know about the Sandy Bridge architecture. Not only are its multi-threaded results easily the fastest for a quad-core processor and, indeed, superior to the Phenom II X6 1100T's, but the single-threaded results show it to have easily the fastest single core around.
We're using the latest beta version of POV-Ray 3.7 that includes native multithreading and 64-bit support.
Valve VRAD map compilation
This next test processes a map from Half-Life 2 using Valve's VRAD lighting tool. Valve uses VRAD to pre-compute lighting that goes into games like Half-Life 2.
Our last few rendering tests don't produce any real surprises. The Phenom II X4 840 is able to outdo the Core i3-2100 in the two POV-Ray tests thanks to the presence of two additional CPU cores, but otherwise, it's the Sandy Bridge show.
|The SSD Endurance Experiment: Only two remain after 1.5PB||40|
|Friday night topic: Conspiracy theories||78|
|GeForce 344.11 WHQL drivers support new cards, new games, G-Sync||3|
|Deal of the week: A 23'' IPS monitor for $150, a 200-mm fan for free, and more||23|
|GeForce GTX 970, 980 cards already widely available||17|
|Curved VA panel powers 27'' Samsung monitor||16|
|Android L to encrypt devices by default||7|
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 and 970 graphics cards reviewed||307|
|Thursday Night Shortbread||17|