The new 3DMark is just as good as Futuremark’s earlier products. Fully-functional support of DirectX 11 and modern graphics technologies, flexible settings and the opportunity to publish your results online or export them into XML format upon completion make it a handy and even indispensable tool for benchmarking any graphics card. Moreover, considering the rising popularity of smartphones and other mobile devices, 3DMark is now capable of testing their graphics capabilities, too. The Ice Storm scene is clearly not meant for modern discrete graphics cards but may be used for CPU benchmarking. The Cloud Gate scene is better for GPU benchmarking, yet it is best suited for entry-level and mainstream products. The most resource-consuming and beautiful scene is Fire Strike, especially with the Extreme settings. It is the only 3DMark test we will be able to use to benchmark future generations of GPUs and graphics cards.
As for today’s hardware, we haven't seen anything surprising in the new 3DMark. The dual-processor GeForce GTX 690 is easily ahead in every test since we don’t have a GeForce GTX Titan or a dual-processor Radeon HD 7990 in this test session. The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is superior among single-GPU products, beating the GeForce GTX 680 in every graphics and combination subtest. This pair is followed by the GeForce GTX 670 and Radeon HD 7950 which are comparable to each other, never breaking apart by more than 1 or 2%. Identical performance can also be observed in the pairs of Radeon HD 7870 vs. GeForce GTX 660 Ti and Radeon HD 7850 vs. GeForce GTX 660, although the AMD products are preferable in terms of pricing. Unfortunately, junior AMD-based solutions are too weak for 3DMark and fail to compete against the GeForce GTX 650 Ti. We also didn’t include any slower graphics cards into the today’s gaming test session, which proved to be the right decision (judging by the results of the HD 7750).
We can also add that the physics effects tests do not depend much, if at all, on the graphics subsystem and are thus suitable for benchmarking CPUs and platforms in general.