POV-Ray : Download : Benchmarking with POV-Ray
  HOF Samples  
A few samples from our Hall of Fame. Most users strive to produce eye-catching scenes like these; however as attractive as they are, scenes such as these are not necessarily the best to use as a benchmark. On this page we introduce the POV-Ray Standard Benchmark file, which is designed for just this purpose.

  Benchmarking with POV-Ray  

Note: The instructions on this page refer to benchmarking with version 3.6 of POV-Ray. If you are not using version 3.6, please see the current benchmark page.

If you will be using POV-Ray to generate CPU benchmarks, please be aware that there is a standard scene, benchmark.pov, which is explicitly intended for benchmarking. It is included with all distributions of POV-Ray 3.5 and 3.6, in the scenes\advanced directory. In case the copy you have has been edited, or if you are unsure if it is the latest version, we have a clean copy of the file here, plus an ini file which sets the standard benchmarking options.

In case you are wondering what the benchmark image is supposed to look like (given that the standard means of rendering it is to have output turned off ...), just click on the below thumbnail for a PNG version of the scene rendered at the standard benchmark resolution.

We strongly recommend that you use benchmark.pov for benchmarking, as it uses many of POV-Ray's internal features and is a heavy test of CPU ability. If you use other scenes you run the risk of having a benchmark result that relies too heavily on one or another specific portion of our codebase. Note that you cannot compare POV-Ray 3.5 and 3.6 benchmark results due to improvements to anti-aliasing quality and photon performance in POV-Ray 3.6. The benchmark results can only be compared if you are using the exact same version of POV-Ray and the benchmark on all systems you are testing!

Please also note that due to internal changes this file is not suitable for benchmarking with the current version of POV-Ray. Please use the version provided with each release to benchmark that release.

If you are using the Windows version, please note that there is a built-in benchmark command to be found in the POV-Ray for Windows Render Menu. If you are using the 3.6 Macintosh version, you will also find a command to run the benchmark in the Render menu. Both run a built-in copy of our standard benchmark file using a specific set of switches (see below).

If you choose to quote your benchmark results publicly, it is essential that you include the benchmark version and the exact version of POV-Ray that you ran it on. Changes to the benchmark file itself, and optimizations to POV-Ray, may make comparisions between different versions of the benchmark or different versions of POV-Ray meaningless, especially if it is CPU performance that you are testing. The version of the benchmark file can be found at the top of benchmark.pov.


  Standard Benchmark Switches  

These following switches (which can be placed in an INI file - just tell POV-Ray to render the INI file and it will process them automatically) are those which we recommend be used when using POV-Ray to generate a CPU benchmark. By using these switches, you are more likely to be able to compare your benchmark results with those of other people who also use these switches.

All_Console=Off
Antialias_Depth=3
Antialias=On
Antialias_Threshold=0.3
Bits_Per_Color=8
Bounding=On
Bounding_Threshold=3
Buffer_Output=Off
Buffer_Size=0
Clock=0
Continue_Trace=Off
Create_Histogram=Off
Cyclic_Animation=Off
Debug_Console=On
Display=Off
Display_Gamma=1.0
Draw_Vistas=Off
End_Column=1
End_Row=1
Fatal_Console=On
Fatal_Error_Command=
Fatal_Error_Return=I
Field_Render=Off
Final_Clock=1
Final_Frame=1
Height=384
Histogram_Name=
Histogram_Grid_Size=0.0
Initial_Clock=0
Initial_Frame=1
Include_Header=
Input_File_Name=benchmark.pov
Jitter_Amount=1
Jitter=On
Light_Buffer=On
Odd_Field=Off
Output_Alpha=Off
Output_File_Name=
Output_File_Type=s
Output_To_File=Off
Palette=3
Pause_When_Done=Off
Post_Frame_Command=
Post_Frame_Return=I
Post_Scene_Command=
Post_Scene_Return=I
Preview_End_Size=1
Preview_Start_Size=1
Pre_Frame_Command=
Pre_Frame_Return=I
Pre_Scene_command=
Pre_Scene_Return=I
Quality=9
Remove_Bounds=On
Render_Console=On
Sampling_Method=1
Split_Unions=Off
Start_Column=0
Start_Row=0
Statistic_Console=On
Subset_End_Frame=1
Subset_Start_Frame=1
Test_Abort_Count=0
Test_Abort=Off
User_Abort_Command=
User_Abort_Return=I
Verbose=On
Version=3.5
Video_Mode=0
Vista_Buffer=On
Warning_Console=On
Width=384

The above switches can be downloaded in the form of a POV INI file from here.



Copyright 2003-2004 Persistence of Vision Raytracer Pty. Ltd.