3DMark06 Standard Test
Over the next few pages, we'll focus on a few gaming specific benchmarks, starting with the rest of 3DMark06's modules. For these tests, we compared the XPS 730 H2C to a single quad-core Intel-based system with a variety of high-end graphics configurations. We used both GeForce and Radeon based graphics configurations, both single-card and multi-card. Since the XPS 730 is a relatively expensive high-end gaming system, we didn't feel the need to compare it to mainstream graphics setups or mainstream system configurations since it would be very safe to assume that there would be no competition.
||3DMark06 is the most recent addition to the 3DMark franchise. This version differs from 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 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 that number to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.|
Since 3DMark06's overall score takes into account the result of the CPU test, the XPS 730 H2C was able to come in first by a significant margin since the other systems were powered by 3.0GHz quad-core processors, compared to the XPS' 3.8GHz. This also explains why the XPS was able to perform so much better than our own test system which was powered by the same quad-Crossfire graphics configuration.
Once again, the XPS' faster processor and memory gave it the edge, even in the SM 2.0 and SM 3.0 shader tests. While these tests specifically test graphics shader performance, they are indeed effected by the configuration of the rest of the system, as proven here. While 3DMark06 is a good indicator of the general, relative graphics and gaming capability of a system, next we'll look at some 'real-world' gaming tests to see how the XPS performs in a couple blockbuster retail titles.