3DMark Steel Nomad Benchmark Is Coming To Pummel Your PC And Other Devices

3DMark Steel Nomad news
Futuremark, the company behind 3DMark, is teasing its upcoming Steel Nomad benchmark, which is 3DMark's first non-ray tracing benchmark for high-end graphics since Time Spy in 2016. Although the Port Royal and Speed Way graphics tests are modern and can stress even the most powerful GPUs of today, they both use ray tracing which is not yet completely mainstream currently. That said, Steel Nomad does have broad support across different APIs and operating systems, making it perhaps one of the most versatile gaming graphics benchmarks when it launches.

Time Spy and Time Spy Extreme came out in 2016 to incorporate a DirectX 12 benchmark to the 3DMark suite. This was two years before the advent of ray tracing, which prompted 3DMark to introduce Port Royal in 2019. The Speed Way benchmark in 2022 used the DX12 Ultimate API, and although it wasn't as focused on ray tracing like Port Royal, it still employed it and thus wasn't ideal for cards that weren't strong at ray tracing but fine with everything else. Not to mention, these benchmarks couldn't run on non-ray tracing GPUs, which are still widely used by gamers today.

steel nomad screenshot

Steel Nomad is a return to traditional graphics benchmarks, but what may be more interesting is that it will be compatible with a huge swath of different software and hardware. Steel Nomad will of course run on Windows with DX12, but also macOS and iOS with Metal, and Android and Linux with Vulkan. Windows PCs, Linux PCs, Macs, iPhones, and Android devices will all be able to run Steel Nomad. That's a new record for 3DMark, and perhaps a new record for gaming benchmarks entirely.

In its press release, Futuremark also mentioned that Steel Nomad would be themed around 3DMark's 25th anniversary and would contain references to previous 3DMark graphics tests. Veteran PC enthusiasts who remember running 3DMark on PCs from over a decade ago might even enjoy Steel Nomad purely from the nostalgia.