3DMark Fire Strike Testing
3DMark Fire Strike has two benchmark modes: Normal mode runs at 1920x1080, while Extreme mode targets 2560x1440. GPU target frame buffer utilization for normal mode is 1GB and the benchmark uses tessellation, ambient occlusion, volume illumination, and a medium-quality depth of field filter. The more taxing Extreme mode targets 1.5GB of frame buffer memory and increases detail levels across the board. Extreme mode is explicitly designed for CrossFire / SLI systems. GT 1 focuses on geometry and illumination, with over 100 shadow casting spot lights, 140 non-shadow casting point lights, and 3.9 million vertices calculated for tessellation per frame. And 80 million pixels are processed per frame. GT2 emphasizes particles and GPU simulations. Tessellation volume is reduced to 2.6 million vertices and the number of pixels processed per frame rises to 170 million.
3DMark Fire Strike tells essentially the same story as Unigine Heaven from the previous page. The new GeForce GTX 960 (at least the two cards we tested) performs right about on par with the Radeon HD 285 and HD 280X. The Radeons held onto small leads in the overall score, but if you look at the individual results, you'll see the GeForces were ahead in Game Test 1 whereas the Radeons were out in front in Game Test 2.