Z97 Motherboard Round Up: EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte
Cinebench R11.5 and POV-Ray
Cinebench R11.5 is a 3D rendering performance test based on Cinema 4D from Maxon. Cinema 4D is a 3D rendering and animation suite used by animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. It's very demanding of processor resources and is an excellent gauge of pure computational throughput.
This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a photorealistic 3D scene (from the viral "No Keyframes" animation by AixSponza). This scene makes use of various algorithms to stress all available processor cores. The rate at which each test system was able to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below.
There was a bit of variation between the motherboards we tested in the multi-threaded version of this benchmark, but nothing large enough to get excited about. The delta separating the Z97s from the Z87 were also relatively small, but once again, all of the Z97s finished a touch ahead.
POV-Ray, or the Persistence of Vision Ray-Tracer, is an open source tool for creating realistically lit 3D graphics artwork. We tested with POV-Ray's standard 'one-CPU' and 'all-CPU' benchmarking tools on all of our test machines, and recorded the scores reported for each. Results are measured in pixels-per-second throughput; higher scores equate to better performance.
The POV-Ray benchmark pretty much mirrors what we saw in Cinebench. All of the Z97 / Z87 based, Haswell-powered systems performed within a couple of percentage points of one another.