Tuesday, February 5, 2013

3 New 3dMarks Arrive for Windows PCs; Brace for Impact

There's nothing quite like a new 3DMark build to crush the self-esteem of a hardcore gamer; even a year-old flagship PC can feel like a clunker as it struggles to get a decent frame rate in Futuremark's visually intensive tests.

Windows version of the 2013 3DMark release is at last available. The software's showcasebenchmark is Fire Strike, for brag-worthy rigs with high-end DirectX 11 graphics; there's also a Cloud Gate test for mere mortal DX 10/11 PCs, and Ice Storm for older DX 9 hardware. 3DMark is waiting both as a stand-alone download and through Steam today, while those who take their gaming on the road will have to wait for the still-in-progress Android, iOS and Windows RT releases to make their tablets cry for mercy.

Press Release for "Fire Strike"

The Future of DirectX 11 Gaming
A couple of weeks ago, we broke the news that for the first time, 3DMark would coming to new platforms including Android, iOS and Windows RT. The new 3DMark will be a true cross-platform benchmark able to compare scores from different devices running different operating systems.

Even with the latest advances, however, mobile hardware is still only capable of delivering a fraction of the power of a modern desktop PC. Creating a benchmark for smartphones and tablets necessarily means aiming at the low end of performance. That doesn't mean we have forgotten about the hardcore PC gamer, so in today's update we are focusing on high end performance.
For more than 14 years, 3DMark has lead the way in advanced real-time rendering, pushing your PC beyond what you thought was possible. The new 3DMark will continue that tradition with a new test called Fire Strike.

Fire Strike

Fire Strike, one of three tests in 3DMark, is our new showcase benchmark test for DirectX 11 compatible hardware.

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. There is also an extended demo with sound for your entertainment. Our new trailer shows just a short segment, the full Fire Strike demo is close to three minutes long!

Tech talk

3DMark is all about pushing technology as far as it will go to show you what the games of tomorrow might look like. Rendered in real-time, Fire Strike is our most technical benchmark ever, featuring real-time graphics rendered with detail and complexity far beyond what is found in games and other benchmarks today.

Fire Strike uses effects that are extremely demanding on today's hardware, but which are likely to be commonplace in games in two to three years time. Some of the techniques used in our new video include tessellation, dynamic particle illumination and shadowing, smoke simulation using grid-based fluid dynamics, volume ray casting with shadows and a wide variety of post processing effects including depth of field, blooms, distortions and various lens effects.

With all this tech talk, it should come as no surprise that Fire Strike will only be available in the Windows version of 3DMark initially.
3DMark - one benchmark for all your hardware and devices

The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark your hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from smartphones and tablets, to notebooks and home PCs, to the latest high-end, multi-GPU gaming desktops. And it's not just for Windows. With 3DMark you can compare your scores with Android and iOS devices too. 3DMark is the cross-platform benchmark for all your Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS devices.

-Daniel, Jedi Editor


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