Futuremark Launches 3DMark Cross-Platform Benchmark

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Today we’re happy to announce a new Futuremark benchmark for everyone to torture their hardware with!

futuremark_logo_color_horiz_preferred

 

Presents….

3dmark_logo_color_preferred

If you’ve been waiting for this benchmark for a while, you’re not alone. There were a lot of previews sent out. We published the first one that said this was coming in 2012 (missed that one, didn’t they?). Then another trailer came out in early December. That was followed by a couple more, but there was never a definite release date. Folks ended up becoming just a little frustrated, especially on HWBot.

Now the wait is OVER!  Like the post title says, the new 3DMark is a cross-platform benchmark. It comes with three tests – Ice Storm, Cloud Gate & Fire Strike. There will be three tiers of 3DMark much like past benchmarks – Basic Edition (free on all platforms), Advanced Edition (a paid version, there are more options for enthusiasts) and a Professional Edition (for business users and costs a pretty penny).

System Requirements

The system requirements are actually reasonably light for such a new benchmark. Of course, the frames may be crawling by on your screen, choppy as they can be, but it’ll run!

Windows System Requirements

Windows System Requirements

The Fine Print

The Fine Print

Being the first cross-platform bench, they also have minimum requirements for mobile devices. This includes phones and tablets.

Mobile System Requirements

Mobile System Requirements

There’s also a handy dandy quick reference for test compatibility.

Test Compatibility

Test Compatibility

Now, on to the benchmarks!

Ice Storm

This is the first (and least intense) test in 3DMark, meant for mobile devices:

Ice Storm is a cross-platform benchmark for mobile devices. Use it to test the performance of your smartphone, tablet, ultra-portable notebook or entry-level PC. Ice Storm includes two graphics tests focusing on GPU performance and a physics test targeting CPU performance. On Windows, Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9, making it the ideal modern benchmark for all DirectX 9 compatible devices. 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.

  • Cross-platform benchmark for mobile devices.
  • Includes two graphics tests and a physics test.
  • Compare scores across Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS.

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm, Courtesy Futuremark

Ice Storm isn’t intense, but it’s still a good looking bench. It’s the only one of the three to support DirectX 9.

Cloud Gate

The next test is for older hardware, notebooks and “typical home PCs”:

Cloud Gate is a new test designed for Windows notebooks and typical home PCs. Cloud Gate includes two graphics tests and a physics test. The benchmark uses a DirectX 11 engine limited  to Direct3D feature level 10 making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware. Cloud Gate will be available only in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.
  • Designed for typical home PCs and notebooks.
  • DirectX 11 engine supporting DirectX 10 hardware.
  • Includes two graphics tests and a physics test.

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate - Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate – Courtesy Futuremark

Cloud Gate is….bright, very bright. It supports DirectX 10.

Fire Strike

This is where most overclockers will be focusing. Designed to torture the highest of high-end computers (and then some, if you run the Extreme preset), it is the most intense of the three tests:

Fire Strike is our new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark for high-performance gaming PCs. It is our most ambitious and technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in other benchmarks and games today.

Using a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine, Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test and a combined test designed to stress the CPU and GPU at the same time. 3DMark Advanced and Professional Editions include an additional Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike will be available only in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

  • Designed for high-performance gaming PCs.
  • Extreme preset for multi-GPU systems.
  • Stunning DirectX 11 showcase graphics.

Fire Strike - Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike – Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike - Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike – Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike - Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike – Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike - Courtesy Futuremark

Fire Strike – Courtesy Futuremark

Interesting side note – you can see how they used motion capture to make that tech demo here.

Fire Strike is where our team spent their time since receiving the benchmark last week. We were able to throw together a quick comparison for you with a few high-end GPUs. One thing we were struck by was the fact that threads don’t really matter to this benchmark. There is a large difference in Physics score, but relatively little in overall score. Here is a comparison between a 3770K @ 4.0 GHz and a 3960X @ 4.0 GHz, both with HD 7970s clocked at 1100 / 1500.

If you want to delve more deeply on what you’ll need to increase your 3DMark score, you can check out page 26 of the 3Dmark Technical Guide, which outlines how the scores are calculated.

3770K + HD 7970 - 7365

3770K + HD 7970 – 7365

3960X + HD 7970 - 7482

3960X + HD 7970 – 7482

Our comparison graph all ran on our standard GPU benchmarking platform with a 3770K at 4.0 GHz and RAM at DDR3-1866, 9-9-9-24. The only change was to the GPU.

3DMark - Fire Strike Comparison

3DMark – Fire Strike Comparison

So far, it looks like AMD is going to be the way to go in 3DMark for now. Either the bench favors AMD overall or AMD’s recent drivers just rock for rendering this bench. I did run Fire Strike with the 3960X at 3.9 GHz (ASUS “stock”) and the HD 7970 at its original stock clocks (925/1325), which scored 6626. Accounting for the 3960x-to-3770K difference, (call it 100 points), that’s still over 700 marks better than the GTX 680 with the HD 7970 at stock.

CrossfireX and SLI scaling aren’t doing so well with 3DMark yet. After speaking with Futuremark about it, this appears to be a driver problem only. The software is fine, but Fire Strike is a very complex scene and multi-GPU setups are currently struggling. MattNo5ss tried a GTX 680 & GTX 670 in hybrid SLI, but the score was no better than with a single GTX 670. As you can see, CrossfireX scales pretty well with two GPUs (though there are flickering issues inside the scenes, which Futuremark says is all driver). However, once you put a third HD 7970, the score drops right back down to where it was with only one HD 7970. So far, it looks like CrossfireX with two GPUs works, but that’s it. Tri-fire and Hybrid SLI both failed to do anything.

This wouldn’t be overclockers if we didn’t throw down the gauntlet of course, so here’s a challenge – beat the best score I came up with: 14313. This is with a 3770K @ 4.8 GHz, RAM at DDR3-2600 / 10-12-12-31 and 2 x HD 7970s at 1270 / 1750.

3770K @ 4.8 + ASUS ARES II - 14313

3770K @ 4.8 + ASUS ARES II – 14313

Now, go download the bench and let’s see what your systems are made of!

– Jeremy Vaughan (hokiealumnus)

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Discussion
  1. now they just need to make it work on xbox and ps to make them console junkies shut it about power lol, like ps3 and their "7 core" cpu that is so powerful :D
    that is what i was thinking when they said cross-platform lol.
    trekky
    HWbot should soon add this to make points hopefully
    As with all new benchmarks, it takes time. People are going to try to find ANYTHING to get the best score out of it so that stuff needs to be tested... so, I imagine it will be, just dont expect it soon if their history is anything to go off of. :thup:
    Id imagine so, it depends on their requirements for it (as far as GPUz, CPUz, details of the bench, etc) but why not just run it when it is actually a boint receiving benchmark.
    EDIT: I do wonder if the SLI scaling would be better with like cards as opposed to the Hybrid config tested though? Clearly its an issue from the AMD side, I just wonder if the Hybrid 'hack' has anything to do with it.
    In my brief conversation with Futuremark, NVIDIA needs as much work on their drivers as AMD does to get multiple-card scaling to work properly.
    One thing I think I forgot to mention in the article that's nifty - 3DMark has the ability to detect when you turn Tessellation off in Catalyst. If you do so, it will tell you your run was invalid. Thus, all runs listed here were run with Tessellation (and detail, for that matter) at default.
    The same cannot be said about LoD. I don't have a green card at the moment, so I can't test whether LoD makes any difference, but 3DMark can't detect that because of the way it's implemented.
    Futuremark's been able to tell about tessellation for a while now, 3d11 has that ability too. It just shows up on the Orb though, not in the main window.
    For myself, I'd rather they didn't add yet another benchmark you have to pay for to HWBot, especially when it's not testing any new features (3d11 for instance added DX11, Vantage added DX10).
    I doubt they'll be adding this to the bot very soon.
    Side note - we received an email with pricing info and (most importantly) announcing a 25% discount for the advanced edition if you already have a 3DMark 11 license. :)
    WINDOWS EDITIONS AND PRICING
    3DMark Basic Edition - FREE
    - Includes all three tests: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike.
    - Test everything from tablets to gaming PCs.
    - Easy to use, no technical know-how needed.
    - Free online account to manage your results.
    3DMark Advanced Edition - $24.99
    - Run each test individually for faster benchmarking.
    - Unlock the Fire Strike Extreme preset for extreme hardware.
    - Explore your PC's performance limits with custom settings.
    - Use benchmark looping for stability testing and burning in.
    - Get in-depth insights with interactive performance graphs.
    - Automatically save your results offline.
    3DMark Professional Edition -$995.00
    - Licensed for business and commercial use.
    - Command line automation.
    - Image Quality Tool.
    - Private offline results option.
    - Export results as XML.
    SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFERS
    Save 25% in the Futuremark store
    People who own 3DMark 11 Advanced Edition can get a 25% discount when they buy 3DMark Advanced Edition from the Futuremark store. http://www.futuremark.com/3dmark
    Save 25% with Steam
    3DMark is also available on Steam. For the first week only, you can save 25% when you buy 3DMark Advanced Edition from Steam.
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/223850/
    Get 3DMark free with MSI
    Look for specially marked MSI brand motherboards and video cards from MSI in stores and get 3DMark Advanced Edition free.
    http://www.futuremark.com/msi-offer
    Get 3DMark free with Galaxy
    Look for specially marked Galaxy brand components in stores and get 3DMark Advanced Edition free.
    http://www.futuremark.com/galaxy-offer
    Still have to do some RAM timing, GPU core, and GPU vRAM tests. Here are a couple graphs and a table...
    CPU speed from 4.0-4.8GHz increased the overall score by 0.83%
    RAM speed from 1066-2133MHz increased overall score by 0.5%
    From the table below combined with the CPU speed chart from above, we can tell that the Graphics Score doesn't care about the CPU, and that CPU cores/threads are more important than CPU speed for the Physics score. Also, it looks like the CPU doesn't start bottlenecking the GTX670 in the Combined Test until we get down to 1c/2t or 1c/1t.
    my scores:
    Operating system
    64-bit Windows 7 (6.1.7601)
    Motherboard
    BIOSTAR Group TA785GE 128M
    Memory
    8,192 MB 4x2 Module 1
    2,048 MB Corsair DDR2 @ 400 MHz
    Detailed scores
    3DMark Score
    4670 3DMarks
    Graphics Score
    5211
    Physics Score
    6178
    Combined Score
    2179
    Graphics Test 1
    24.34229278564453 FPS
    Graphics Test 2
    21.19338035583496 FPS
    Physics Test
    19.615468978881836 FPS
    Combined Test
    10.136276245117188 FPS
    Catalyst 13.2beta
    Phenom II X6 1065t
    Gigabyte 7950
    8GB RAM
    3DMark for Steam is not working for me, complaining about Steam not being on. It obviously is. I think it's something on Valve's side, as 3DM11 isn't working either.
    PS: I finally finished my yearly watercooling rebuild (Of all the things, I ran out of TIM. I usually buy 2x30g MX-2 syringes. I was not expecting this :rofl:). Feels great to use a mechanical keyboard and a 470 SLi again...
    Nice review Hokie, does anyone find the picture quality lacking in contrast?
    Seems a bit, Milk.
    My score.
    http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/44226
    Score 5605 with AMD Radeon HD 7870(1x) and AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
    CPU: 4.1Ghz | GPU: 1200 / 1500
    Graphics Score 6258
    Physics Score 8731
    Combined Score 2417
    In Cloud Gate, it absolutely lacks contrast. It's like you're in the clouds, which seems like their intent....but it's so cloudy & sunny, you can barely see anything.
    hokiealumnus
    In Cloud Gate, it absolutely lacks contrast. It's like you're in the clouds, which seems like their intent....but it's so cloudy & sunny, you can barely see anything.


    Yeah... There needs to be a higher definition between objects and the background, it almost all merges together.
    Man, the firestorm demo was almost unwatchable on my rig and during the benchmarks I was getting like 7fps... my 3mark score was 4769marks. It also used 1021mb of my vram :( I need newer cards for this.
    hokiealumnus
    In Cloud Gate, it absolutely lacks contrast. It's like you're in the clouds, which seems like their intent....but it's so cloudy & sunny, you can barely see anything.
    Ambient Occlusion overkill?
    txus.palacios
    3DMark for Steam is not working for me, complaining about Steam not being on. It obviously is. I think it's something on Valve's side, as 3DM11 isn't working either.
    PS: I finally finished my yearly watercooling rebuild (Of all the things, I ran out of TIM. I usually buy 2x30g MX-2 syringes. I was not expecting this :rofl:). Feels great to use a mechanical keyboard and a 470 SLi again...

    3D Mark can also be downloaded from Guru3d and Techpowerup without Steam:
    http://www.guru3d.com/files_details/3dmark_download.html (links at the way bottom)
    http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/2201/3DMark_v1.00.html
    You might need to login to get it activated, then try running it in Offline mode, unless it has to run online so it can upload the results to Futuremark. My drivers are beta, so I didn't bother.