We managed to get a couple of official statements from Futuremark representatives concerning the company’s joint statement from NVIDIA. In addition, Beyond3D has a number of official claims from a Futuremark’s Patric Ojala over here. I summed everything up and now can present you in a form of a Q&A.
Question: Which of the cheats now should be considered as optimisations?
Answer: As far as we are concerned, there are just application specific optimizations and none of those are allowed to be used when benchmarking with the 3DMark03 and previous versions.
Question: Will Futuremark allow any future driver optimisations for 3DMark03 or implement specific code-path for NVIDIA graphics hardware into the 3DMark03?
Answer: 3DMark03 is designed as an un-optimized DirectX and it does not and will not contain manufacturer specific optimized code paths. This is the reason why we published build 330: It eliminates the optimizations identified in different drivers.
Question: Does this mean that in the future you will not make patches for 3DMark03 (or 3DMark 2001) in order to reveal cheating?
Answer: We may release further patches to 3DMark03, if a need for preventing driver optimizations appear in the future.
To put the facts straight, nothing changed for testers with the latest audit and statement. Futuremark company still recommends to use the latest 3DMark03 build 330 in collaboration with NVIDIA Detonator 44.03 (or 43.51 WHQL), or the ATI CATALYST 3.4 drivers and guarantees adequate results.
At this point I unfortunately can tell you nothing about the next 3DMark except the fact that it is in development. At this points it seems like NVIDIA is still not in the Beta Program for the next 3DMark, however, Futuremark will test NVIDIA’s hardware and try to make the next-generation benchmark as valid as possible. Since benchmark development is Futuremark’s business, I fully believe that the next release will be an objective one, just like the 3DMark 2001 and the 3DMark03.
Anyway, we can only greet the fact that both companies ended their public dispute now.