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Sapphire Technologies, the world’s largest maker of ATI Radeon-based graphics cards, said Tuesday it had became a part of 3DMark benchmarking software development program. As a member of the program, Sapphire, which is currently the only add-in-card maker to participate, will be able to influence the development of 3DMark benchmark suites.

“We are pleased to welcome Sapphire to the 3DMark BDP (benchmark development program). Sapphire brings a substantial commitment to the program, expressing that they plan to be fully engaged in the benchmark development process, cooperating at each step in the BDP process” said Oliver Baltuch, Futuremark’s VP of Sales and Marketing, North America.

Futuremark BDP members are able to influence 3DMark roadmap and implementation, access specification documents and pre-release versions, receive briefings from Futuremark and some other benefits. Currently two computer makers – Dell and Velocity Micro, one software maker – Microsoft Corp., seven chip designers – AMD, ATI, Intel, Nvidia, S3 graphics, SiS and XGI, participate in the 3DMark development program.

Sapphire Technology is the only add-in-card manufacturer to participate in 3DMark BDP, which is currently working on tools to benchmark DirectX 10 hardware and is calling for new members.

“As we implement more capable graphics systems based on the latest technologies and architectures, we recognise the importance of utilising independent benchmarks that can be verified by our customers and users through their own tests. As a partner of this program we will ensure that the end user can have confidence that every aspect of the products’ feature set and performance are reflected in future tests,” said Adrian Thompson, vice president of marketing for Sapphire Technology.

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