August 13, 2018 // 11:07 a.m.
Open-source 3D computer graphics package Blender now comes with an official benchmark facility, designed to populate an open results database for ease of hardware performance comparison.
First launched in January 1998, Blender - these days under the control of the non-profit Blender Foundation - has become one of the most popular tools for 3D media creation and editing. Now, though, its creators have added a new feature to its toolset: Benchmarking, based on the rendering of production-quality files and optionally submitting the resulting data to an open platform for analysis and ease of comparison.
'With this benchmark we aim at an optimal comparison between system hardware and installations, and to assist developers to track performance during Blender development,' explains the Foundation's Francesco Siddi in the announcement from late last week. 'We've built the Blender Benchmark platform with maximum focus on transparency and privacy. We only use free and open source software (GNU GPL), the testing content is public domain (CC0), and the test results are being shared anonymised as public domain data – free for anyone to download and to process further. We believe this is the best way to invite the Blender community to contribute the results of their performance tests, and create a world-class Open Dataset for the entire CG industry.'
The new benchmark exists as a dedicated client application, rather than an option in the main Blender software, and includes two primary settings: Quick and Complete. In either test, the benchmark gathers information about the host system including the operating system version, CPU, graphics card, and RAM details, and the performance data generated by rendering supplied production-ready files.
While users have the option to keep their results completely private, those choosing to contribute to the open data portal will have anonymised performance and system statistics sent to a central and publicly-accessible database which, the Foundation promises, will always be available in complete form, as quickly as possible after submission, in a machine-readable format, without the need to sign up for a licence or agree to proprietary terms and conditions.
The benchmark client is available now in beta form from the Blender open data platform