Futuremark Preps DirectX 11 Exclusive Benchmark

Futuremark’s Shift in Approach Towards 3DMark Benchmark Points to Popularity of DirectX 11

by Anton Shilov
03/16/2010 | 01:07 PM

3DMark benchmarks from Futuremark have become very important tools for measuring performance of graphics processors and gaming PCs. For many, 3DMark score is the main factor when choosing hardware. Unfortunately, historically 3DMark did not use the latest technologies extensively. But the things are going to change with the next version of the benchmarking suite.


“Our 3DMark team is working on some seriously awesome DX11 stuff. It looks great, and that focus and investment in the latest graphics tech has benefits for the game studio too,” said Jukka Mäkinen, chief executive officer of Futuremark, in an interview with ComputerAndVideoGames web-site. Meanwhile, according to the BrightSideOfNews web-site, Futuremark has decided to make its next-generation 3DMark exclusive for DirectX 11 application programming interface (API), a move that clearly points to potentially very high popularity of the new API.

Traditionally, Futuremark did not implement too many new technologies into its 3DMark benchmarks. For example, 3DMark03 merely used DirectX 9.0, whereas 3DMark Vantage did not use a lot of DirectX 10 technologies. However, it looks like in case of DirectX 11 the approach will be changed and the new benchmark will only be aimed at DirectX 11 hardware.

“Over the last decade, graphics processors supporting each new version of DirectX have achieved high volume shipments earlier in their life cycles than their predecessors. Our forecast is that DirectX 11 capable GPUs will continue this trend with the fastest transition between technologies ever, resulting in shipments surpassing DirectX 10 GPUs in 2010,” said Dean McCarron, the principal of Mercury Research, late last year in a report.

By present ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, has already transitioned its lineup of graphics processing units (GPUs) to DirectX 11 chips. However, Nvidia Corp. yet has to start shipping its own DX11 graphics processors. Unless both companies ship DirectX 11 GPUs, the transition will only get slower.