Futuremark recently undertook a major revamp of its popular PC performance tool, and this time, it’s creating one benchmark to rule them all. The new 3DMark launched with support for Windows PCs and laptops, and – as of today – also supports Android devices, including tablets and smartphones. Apple iOS and Windows RT support is also planned, but Futuremark hasn’t given a timeline for those operating systems yet, beyond "Soon." If you have an Android device, you can pick up the new 3DMark Android Edition free from Google Play.
One of the cool things about Futuremark benchmarks is that they're fun to watch. Image credit: Futuremark
The new 3DMark (not to be confused with 3DMark 11), is a graphics performance benchmark that has separate tests for PCs, laptops, and mobile devices. The Fire Strike test pounds gaming desktop PCs with resource-intensive graphics. The Cloud Gate test puts laptops and ordinary computers through their paces. That brings us to the test for mobile devices, which is the one that’s getting all the attention today: Ice Storm. This new test puts your Android smartphone or tablet through a GPU test and a CPU test. As Ice Storm picks up support for more device operating system, it’ll be a great tool for cross-platform performance comparison.
Minimum specs for 3DMark Android Edition are pretty forgiving. You’ll need Android 3.1, 1GB of system memory, and OpenGL ES 2.0-compatible graphics. Perhaps the toughest requirement is nearly 300MB of storage space. As I mentioned, you can snag it at Google Play.