How to use Cinebench R20 to benchmark your CPU

Cinebench R20 Benchmark

Cinebench R20 is a widely used and well-known CPU benchmarking tool. It tests your CPU on single core and multicore performance. Two aspects are worth mentioning that make the use of Cinebench worthwhile.

The benefits of using Cinebench R20

Your raw CPU-power for single-core and multi-core will be each shown in a single number (unlike Geekbench) and can be compared to other CPUs. Every CPU you can think of, the internet is full of Cinebench R20 benchmark results for it. Especially tech websites use it as one of several tools to quantify the performance of CPUs.
If you are into overclocking your CPU, you can see possible gains in performance when increasing voltage, multiplier and so forth. Do not confuse Cinebench R20 with a tool for checking the stability of your overclock as it lasts only a couple of minutes.

Where to get Cinebench R20

Since Cinebench R20 is not the latest release anymore (R23 is, more here) but still the most used release, it has been taken off the manufacturer’s Maxon official website, the Microsoft Store and the App Store. However, you can download it from trusted sources like guru3d.com (https://www.guru3d.com/files-get/download-maxon-cinebench,2.html). It’s a .zip file and only requires extraction to a folder of your choice.
If you’re a sneaky one, you can use an old direct link that still works: http://http.maxon.net/pub/cinebench/CinebenchR20.zip

How to use it Cinebench R20

You can simply launch the .exe file that says Cinebench. By default, you will see an overview on the left-hand side with a selection of CPUs for the multi-core performance. You can change that single-core performance, though.

For benchmarking your CPU you can choose between CPU and CPU (single core). The former stands for the multicore test. Simply click run and let it do its magic. For every CPU core being used a small square will be rendered. The more cores you have at your disposal, the more squares of the overall image can be rendered at the same time. Don’t worry, some squares take longer due to more details.
After you’re done, you will receive a score on the aforementioned scoreboard.

Things to consider before benchmarking with Cinebench R20

Shut down all active programs that might take away CPU cycles. You want the maximum of your CPU being able to render using Cinebench R20. Common programs lowering CPU performance are browsers and messengers. A more general but not exclusive rule of thumb: everything that moves on your screen is probably using your CPU. Check the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) to get an overview of tasks using CPU power.
Do not rely on one single benchmark run! There will be anomalies that might influence your results, more often for the worse. Do at least 3 runs. 5 runs are better, we recommend 10 runs to get a proper average result.
Don’t forget possible cooling issues, especially with laptops! A freshly started system in your cool basement will less likely thermal throttle for the first (few) run(s) than a system on a hot summer day. Desktops should barely be affected when they are running on stock, could be thermal throttling when they are overclocked, though. Laptops are most certainly affected the more runs they do.
Only your CPU will be benchmarked. Check our sections for GPU benchmarks and overall system benchmarks.

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