Product: 3DMark06
Company: Futuremark
Authour: Ryan "MrB" Ku
Editor: Eric "Ichneumon" Amidon
Date: January 18th, 2006

3D graphics benchmarking continues to be the central component in the analysis of video graphics performance. Today’s video cards (GPUs) have become increasingly more complex and with it the software that utilizes it. This has also made the task of properly assessing the overall potential of GPUs more difficult. It is essential to use a wide variety of applications in order to obtain as much information about the GPU as possible. One of these applications of course is synthetic benchmarks.

3DMark has been the de facto tool in synthetic benchmarking for the past seven years and has been used by practically all on-line and paper publications. More importantly it has been used extensively by the entire graphics loving community. More than 30 million benchmark results have been submitted to Futuremark’s Online ResultBrowser database, which is a remarkable amount! ORB allows for a great deal of comparison between users and their many different and/or similar system configurations, providing a great deal of value on where you system performance may be.

It has been just a little over a year since 3DMark05 was released but a lot has changed since then. Video graphics processors capable of Shader Model 3.0 have been released by both parties allowing it to become widespread. SM 3.0 is the minimum standard in graphics capability moving forward. Pixel shaders and more pixel shaders is all we’ve been hearing and it is fast becoming a reality with games such as F.E.A.R. HDR continues to be preached as the next big breakthrough in graphics realism with next generation game adoption just around the corner.

With all these changes 3DMark05 has rapidly aged and its use to assess future graphics performance has diminished. Scores have almost reached 20,000! Futuremark looked to rectify this and has released 3DMark06 which incorporates many future trends mentioned. They have built upon the 3DMark05 platform for 3DMark06, and nearly nearly every aspect of it has been improved.



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