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Some like synthetic benchmarks, some do not, but it is undisputable fact that the 3DMark benchmark is an integral part of almost any article covering performance of modern graphics cards. Apparently, the 3DMark, the much disputed and much discussed 3D graphics card benchmark from Futuremark Corp., has just turned 10 years old.

“We’re very proud to celebrate 10 years of our flagship product by reaching this milestone of 30 million results. The long lasting popularity of the 3DMark series comes from providing a useful service to gamers who wish to optimize their hardware. Instant access to over 30 million benchmark scores in the ORB database gives them unprecedented power to search and compare their gaming system to others,” said Tero Sarkkinen, chief executive of Futuremark.

For ten years, 3DMark, starting with the 3DMark99, has been an important part of PC performance testing for consumers, press, OEMs and semiconductor companies allowing architects, designers, gamers and overclockers to explore the limits of hardware and software.

Futuremark benchmarks are used by millions of gamers and hardware enthusiasts from all around the world. The ORB, Futuremark’s online database of benchmark results, has been collecting scores since March 2001, and currently sees a new result added every 4 seconds on average. 3DMark and PCMark benchmark results has now topped 30 million records.

Here is the list of all 3DMark benchmarks as well as their leading-edge-features at the time of introduction:

  • 3DMark 99, designed for DirectX 6 and featuring 20 thousand triangles per scene was cutting edge game graphics at the time.
  • 3DMark2000 used DirectX 7 pushing up to 50 thousand triangles in view with 8 dynamic lights and environment bump mapping.
  • 3DMark2001 introduced DirectX 8 with vertex shaders, pixel shaders and cube maps and showcased unprecedented dynamic water and foliage rendering.
  • 3DMark03 – cutting edge real time effects included procedural textures, real- hair simulation and anisotropic lighting models as well as Havok physics and FMOD audio.
  • 3DMark05 – the first benchmark to fully support, and require, Shader Model 2 and which also used Shader Model 3 if available on the hardware.
  • 3DMark06 pioneered the large-scale application of DirectX 9 Shader Model 3, demonstrating true HDR rendering in game-like settings, advanced light post-processing effects, a million triangles on screen, and acclaimed cascaded smooth shadow map technology.
  • 3DMark Vantage, the most recent version of 3DMark introduced DirectX 10 and Windows Vista bringing with it a new generation of technology. With GPU-accelerated physics, procedural volumetric effects and a highly optimized native DirectX10 engine.

Tags: Futuremark, 3DMark

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