Cinebench R23 is a popular benchmarking tool to measure a CPU's rendering performance. It provides users with data about a CPU's single and multi-thread performance, making it easier to compare laptops and make a buying decision. This article details how we perform the benchmark and how the results can help you shop for a new laptop.
Cinebench R23 is a productivity benchmark that we perform to evaluate a laptop's CPU rendering performance. Although it's designed to measure performance by simulating an average user's workflow within Maxon's Cinema 4D application (3D animation, modeling, simulation, and rendering software), this benchmarking tool still gives us a rough idea of how a CPU performs relative to others. The results can be helpful for narrowing your search when shopping for a laptop, especially for professionals in 3D animation.
Like other benchmarks in our laptop reviews, we perform the Cinebench R23 test in a temperature-controlled room at 22°C (71.6°F), with a tolerance of ±0.5°C. We ensure that the laptop is fully charged and plugged in with its included power adapter. We also ensure that there aren't any applications running in the background aside from those needed for the operating system, and we disable the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. There are two tests: a single-thread and a multi-thread. We perform the single-thread test twice and the multi-thread test three times, with a 3-minute cooldown period between each run.
Cinebench R23 supports Windows and macOS natively, including Macs with Apple silicon, but it doesn't support Chrome OS or Linux. As such, we can't perform this test on Chromebooks. That said, most Chromebooks have low-power CPUs that aren't designed for rendering tasks anyway.
The single-thread test measures the performance of a single core running a single thread (processing one command line at a time). Again, although this test is specific to 3D rendering and related tasks, we can still use the data to get a rough idea of the CPU's processing power. The single-thread test shows how well the CPU performs in applications that don't 'scale' well with more cores/threads, like programs with instructions that need to be processed sequentially or are dependent on user interaction; in short, workloads that are difficult to parallelize (splitting the workload into multiple threads). The score doesn't mean much on its own; it's only helpful when comparing performance between different CPUs. Note that the score isn't comparable with scores obtained in previous versions of Cinebench.
The multi-thread test shows how well the CPU can handle multiple commands simultaneously using all available cores. The score gives users an idea of the CPU's performance in multi-threaded applications or workloads. Most applications are multi-threaded, like 3D animation and video editing software, and even heavy multitasking like running a video in the background while working with a dozen browser tabs open is considered a multi-threaded workload. Like the single-thread score, the number is only used for comparison with other CPUs, and it isn't comparable with scores from previous versions of Cinebench.
Although Cinebench R23 refers to the two tests as 'single-core' and 'multi-core', we refer to them as 'single-thread' and 'multi-thread'. This is because many modern CPUs have a feature that allows you to use the CPU more efficiently and process two 'threads' simultaneously, called 'Hyper-Threading' (HTT) on Intel CPUs and 'Simultaneous Multithreading' (SMT) on AMD CPUs. The 'single-core' test only uses one thread at a time, even on CPUs with Hyper-Threading or SMT, while the 'multi-core' test uses all available cores and threads.
Generally speaking, a CPU that can handle multiple threads at once is better than one that can't. A CPU with more threads can complete tasks in multi-threaded applications faster, and it can also handle more tasks simultaneously without slowing down. That said, if you have to decide between a 2-core, 4-thread CPU (with HTT or SMT) and a 4-core CPU with no HTT or SMT, you're better off with the CPU that has more physical cores. This is because HTT or SMT performance depends heavily on individual software optimization, meaning some programs might run slower on a CPU with HTT or SMT than one with more physical cores but without the technology.
If you want to test your computer's CPU performance, you can download Cinebench R23 directly from Maxon's website, the Windows Store, or the Apple App Store. Maxon lists the following requirements to run the benchmark:
The Cinebench R23 benchmark is a quick way to compare CPU rendering performance between laptops. The results make it easier for those working in fields like 3D animation, rendering, or simulations to narrow their search for a new computer. You can also use this benchmark tool to monitor CPU performance over time, especially after a significant firmware update or hardware changes.