What just happened? 3D animation software maker Maxon has released a new version of its popular Cinebench test suite for PC and Mac. Cinebench is one of the most commonly used benchmarks to evaluate system performance and best yet, it's completely free to download and use.

Cinebench Release 20, or Cinebench R20 for short, uses a much larger and more complex test scene compared to its predecessor, Cinebench R15. According to Maxon, it requires roughly 8x the computational power and 4x the memory to render it. As such, benchmark results gathered using Cinebench R15 aren't directly comparable to Cinebench R20 results.

That said, because Cinebench R20 incorporates the latest rendering architectures such as Intel's Embree ray-tracing tech and other advanced features on AMD and Intel CPUs, it can render the same scene on the same hardware twice as fast as was previously possible.

Notably, Cinebench R20 does not test GPU performance.

Cinebench R20 is compatible with Windows PCs running Windows 7 SP1 or later with at least 4GB of RAM. On the Apple side, you'll need to have macOS 10.11.6 or higher as well as at least 4GB of memory.

You can grab Cinebench R20 from our download section for Windows and Mac, respectively. Maxon has also published a guide on how to use Cinebench that is located here (PDF).

Second image courtesy Hexus