Last year when 3DMark 05 was released (February I think) it became the standard for DirectX 9 benchmarking and it was well received by the consumer and industry. In the months following I however honestly felt the benchmark was good but not yet perfect as some very important features where left out. NVIDIA started their bragging right with Shader Model 3 last year already yet they also introduced something new and exciting called High Dynamic Range (HDR) which is one of the more beautiful technologies we saw over the past year. There's still very little games supporting it to the fullest yet mark my words here, 2006 is going to be an exciting year in game-development. New technology that is being introduced needs to go mainstream in hardware, accepted by the consumer and then game-developers will start using it. A process that usually takes one or to years. It of course doesn't stop there .. subsurface scattering, the introduction of dynamic soft shadows and much much more are all very exciting to see.
We have written a full eight page preview on the software including benchmarks. Go check that out.
Needless to say that 3DMark06 entails all the new features with a complete overhaul of features and exciting end-result.
3DMark06's Graphics Tests (used to be called Game Tests in previous 3DMark's) are optimized to be as GPU bound as possible, hence the change in naming. The CPU tests on the other hand are the other way around - heavily CPU bound. Both CPU tests are forward looking, since CPU technology is clearly moving towards either virtual or physical dual core technology. The CPU tests are mainly designed for dual systems, either with an on-chip solution or with two separate CPUs, but are an excellent CPU test for single core processors as well.
While 3DMark06 may look at a glance very much like 3DMark05, the two benchmarks are not comparable. In order to keep you (as well as the users) aware of what has changed.
3DMark06 will give you an accurate tool to assess the performance value of over-clocking, system tweaks and upgraded hardware. Measuring PC performance using a suite of advanced tests, 3DMark06 reliably compares the latest high-end gaming hardware, helping you to build the fastest gaming system that money can buy! Futuremark's exclusive Online Result Browser web service tracks 3DMark06 scores and can compare every user's PC to the fastest systems in the world (scores from 3DMark06 are not comparable with any previous version of 3DMark.)
3DMark06 is available as a free Basic Edition, a $19.95 Advanced Edition for home/private use offering expanded features, a playable mini-game and enhanced Online Result Browser features, and the $500.00 Professional Edition for commercial use.
New feature for the Basic Edition (Free)
The Advanced & Professional Editions will continue to show the results offline, but 3DMark06 Build 1.1.0 introduces a new feature for the Basic Edition (Free) users - the score is viewable online only. This new feature will enable new users to get an online analysis of their system, and to quickly & easily compare their results to others. The new online service called "Result Analyzer" is one of the key elements of the next generation of benchmarks from Futuremark.
Fixes & Updates
- Windows Vista enabled; (*
- Fixed splash screen on Windows Vista;
- Fixed some Export to Excel issues;
- Improved startup speed by optimizing the SystemInfo component;
- Updated SystemInfo component with support for the latest CPU and graphics hardware;
- Fixed all reported & reproduced issues.
(* = To run 3DMark06 Build 1.1.0 in Windows Vista 64bit, please run the application as administrator.