has made available its 3DMark
benchmark for Windows RT a little over a week before Microsoft is scheduled to release Surface 2
on October 22, 2013, the company announced today. Surface 2 boasts several improvements
over its predecessor, both inside and out, but if you're wondering how its performance compares -- and in particular its gaming performance -- 3DMark will tell you the score, literally.
There's a lot to like about 3DMark. For one, it's available as a free app for Windows RT devices from the Windows Store. Secondly, it's a cross platform benchmark that uses the same tests as the Android and iOS editions. What this means is you can compare scores of two totally different devices, such as a Nexus 7 (Android) and Surface RT (Windows RT).
3DMark includes three tests. The first is Ice Storm, which is intended for Windows RT tablets and notebooks. It includes a pair of 720p graphics tests designed to stress GPU performance and a physics test to stress the CPU.
Ice Storm Extreme is the second test. It raises the rendering resolution to 1080p and uses higher quality textures and post-processing effects to give the latest mobile devices a more demanding load.
Finally, Ice Storm Unlimited is designed to test the raw performance of the underlying hardware. You would use this to compare different chipsets, CPUs and GPUs without vertical sync, display resolution scaling, and other OS factors that could affect the result.