Cinebench can now test GPU power

Cinebench, the classic benchmark test that PC enthusiasts (not to mention Verge laptop reviewers like myself) use to measure the CPU performance of their devices, has gotten a major update, developer Maxon announced. The main thing to know is that the new release, dubbed Cinebench 2024, will introduce GPU benchmarking. This is a feature that Cinebench hasn’t had since version 15, which came out a decade ago.

The way Cinebench has worked in the past, for those unfamiliar, is that it renders an image over and over for a set period of time and measures how quickly your hardware can do it. Interestingly, it looks like Cinebench will use the same image (Maxon calls it “a consistent scene file”) for both CPU and GPU testing. This means you’ll be able to directly see how much better your GPU is at image rendering than your CPU, which might be… satisfying, I guess.

Elsewhere, the press release notes that Cinebench 2024 will “extend its reach to Apple silicon,” which I assume means that it will run on Apple’s M2 chips since R23 already supported the M1. There’s also a new desktop interface, though I’ve downloaded the thing, and I can’t say it looks particularly different from the old one. I guess some of the colors are more fun. And Cinebench 2024 utilizes Redshift, Cinema 4D’s default rendering engine, while R23 used the standard renderer, in case you are someone for whom those words have meaning.

If you want to try the new Cinebench out yourself, you can download it on Maxon’s website. (It is already the default.) Of course, the usual caveats apply here. Cinebench 2024 scores should not be compared to R23 scores, and a GPU benchmark score can only tell you so much. The best way to evaluate a GPU for your needs is always to run it through the tasks you’ll actually need it to do.

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