Futuremark, a leading developer of PC benchmarking software, on Monday unleashed the Windows version of the world’s most popular PC benchmark. The company plans to unveil other versions of 3DMark 2013, for Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows RT (for ARM-based SoCs), in the coming weeks.
The new benchmark contains three completely different test for entry-level/ultra-mobile hardware, mainstream or mobile PCs and high-end PCs. The tests are different feature-wise, hence, many of the things will remain incomparable, at least from the hardware analyst's perspective. With three all new tests, 3DMark can be used with the full range of hardware from OpenGL ES 2.0 mobile devices to high-performance, multi-GPU DirectX 11 gaming PCs and everything in between.
3DMark uses a combination of in-app features and online web services to help understanding performance of hardware. Besides recording frames per second (FPS), GPU and CPU temperatures as well as CPU power and clock speed during the benchmark run.
Three New Tests
Even though Futuremark claims that the new 3DMark is a universal tool to measure performance of all devices and compare results from different platforms with each other, in reality, the new benchmark contains three completely different test for entry-level/ultra-mobile hardware, mainstream or mobile PCs and high-end PCs. The tests are different feature-wise, hence, many of the things will remain incomparable,at least from the hardware analyst's perspective.
Ice Storm is a new test designed specifically for mobile devices and entry-level hardware. It includes two graphics tests focusing on GPU performance and a physics test designed to measure CPU performance. On Windows, Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9 (shader model 2.0, no GPGPU/DirectCompute support, etc). On Android and iOS, Ice Storm uses OpenGL ES 2.0. The test content, settings and rendering resolution are the same on all platforms and scores can be compared across Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS.
Cloud Gate is a new test that is designed for Windows notebooks and typical home PCs. Cloud Gate includes two graphics tests and a physics test. Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10 (shader model 4, geometry shaders, optional GPGPU/DirectComputer) making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware. Cloud Gate will initially be available only in the Windows version of 3DMark.
The Fire Strike test is designed for high-performance gaming PCs. Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test and a combined test that stresses both the CPU and GPU at the same time. Fire Strike uses uses a DirectX 11 engine and is designed for testing DirectX 11 compatible hardware. Fire Strike will initially only be available in the Windows version of 3DMark.