Marking Time: 3DMark 11 Performance Explored

Introduction, Benchmark Design

Last week, Futuremark released the latest version of 3DMark.  We've taken the new benchmark for a spin using CPUs from Intel and AMD as well as GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. The new version, dubbed 3DMark 11 (in reference to its level of DirectX support, not the upcoming year) includes a fresh set of tests, a game demo sequence, and measures CPU performance rather differently than its predecessor, 3DMark Vantage.

3DMark 11: Now with additional oceanic encrustations.

We've run the benchmark through multiple tests, comparing it across AMD and Intel CPUs as well as AMD vs NVIDIA GPUs. According to Futuremark, 3DMK11 was designed meet four specific goals. These are:
  • Produce consistent results that are repeatable and verifiable.
  • Represent technology and workloads fairly and accurately
  • Remain relevant over a long period of time
  • Allow for result comparisons across a wide variety of systems
These are more-or-less the same goals of every version of 3DMark, but in this case Futuremark has made a number of technical and methodological changes. 3DMK11 shares Vantage's goals, but it pursues them in a different (and in our opinion, superior) manner.

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