Futuremark Develops “One Size Fits All” 3DMark Benchmark for Different Devices

Next-Gen 3DMark Will Compare Windows, Android and iOS Devices

by Anton Shilov
11/14/2012 | 12:18 PM

Futuremark on Wednesday said that its next 3DMark will be available on Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS devices and will measure performance of all of them using the same methodology. With the next 3DMark, users will be able to compare performance of Apple iPad 4 with a PC system running Intel Core i7 Extreme and Nvidia GeForce GTX 690.


The new benchmark will be known simply as 3DMark to reflect its all-round versatility. Not only is the new 3DMark the first to offer cross-platform comparisons, it is also the first to test different Direct3D feature levels within one application. 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. 

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.