Futuremark has launched a brand-new version of their popular benchmark today, 3DMark06. The new version of the benchmark is updates in a number of ways, and now includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the existing assets have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups the number of instructions to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting, and there is extensive use of soft shadows as well. The increased level of detail is immediately evident, take a look...
Futuremark Overhauls "The Gamers' Benchmark" With 3DMark06
Benchmark includes improved Shader Model 2 tests, new CPU tests and HDR Shader Model 3 tests for system-wide gaming performance measurement.
Saratoga, California USA – January 18, 2006 – Continuing forward in the development of advanced game performance benchmarks, Futuremark announced today the release and immediate availability of 3DMark06. A more comprehensive and unrestricted benchmark than previous versions, 3DMark06 includes an array of 3D graphics, CPU and 3D feature tests for overall performance measurement of current and future PC gaming systems. With this broader design approach, 3DMark06 will be the benchmark of choice for all PCs with top-of-the-line graphics hardware and CPUs. Futuremark predicts that 3DMark06 will emerge as the most complete 3D graphics benchmark for Windows XP, paving the way for new benchmarks targeted at future OS environments such as Windows Vista.
New Technical Heights
Building on 3DMark05 as a foundation, Futuremark improved the core 3D engine, adding more complex ShaderModel 2.0 tests, stunning High Dynamic Range (HDR) ShaderModel 3.0 tests, and overall enhanced the product with substantially higher polygonal counts expected to be found in games two years into the future. Even with the addition of HDR/ShaderModel 3.0 tests, 3DMark06 still enables ShaderModel 2.0 compliant graphics card owners to run most of the benchmark and get a fully comparable 3DMark score. With these demanding new DirectX 9 implementations, 3DMark06's four graphics tests measure performance of the most advanced hardware while showing visually the compelling advantages of these new shader types. Read More...
With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, the SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well. There is a new mini-game, a more complex CPU test, and even support for AGEIA's PhysX PPU. All in all, 3DMark06 is a major update to the benchmark. We'll be incorporating it into future articles immediately.