3DMark as you know has been a fantastic software for Windows PC’s as far back as I can remember! We had mentioned a bit back that the newest version of 3DMark for Windows was coming, and today is finally the big day! As far as naming goes, it’s simply called 3DMark, but we insist on adding the Windows bit because Futuremark (the company that makes the software) is also planning on a Windows RT, Android, and iOS version soon.
So what’s new in 3DMark? The new 3DMark includes everything you need to benchmark Windows hardware. With three all new tests you can bench everything from tablets and notebooks to the latest high-end gaming desktops. It’s the most powerful and flexible 3DMark we’ve ever created.
We designed 3DMark for gamers, overclockers and system builders who want to get the most out of their hardware. 3DMark is a complete PC benchmarking tool kit for those who are serious about performance. And it’s no longer just for Windows. With 3DMark, you will be able to compare scores with Android, iOS and Windows RT devices too.
Today we are launching the Windows version of 3DMark. New versions for Android, iOS and Windows RT will follow soon, pending testing and app store approvals.
This is all great, but you must be a little confused about the different breakdown options. Luckily, Futuremark has us covered:
- Fire Strike – For high performance gaming PCs
Use Fire Strike to test the performance of dedicated gaming PCs, or use the Fire Strike Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike uses a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine to test DirectX 11 hardware. (Basically for those of you who have top of the line hardware and top of the line computer specs).
- Cloud Gate – For notebooks and home PCs
Use Cloud Gate to test the performance of notebooks and typical home PCs. Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10, making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware. (Those of you who have those average computers which aren’t aimed at gaming. Ultrabooks, and all).
- Ice Storm – For tablets and entry-level PCs
Use Ice Storm to test the performance of your Windows tablet, ultra-portable notebook or entry-level PC. Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9, making it the ideal benchmark for modern portable devices targeting that feature level. (You can compare Ice Storm scores from Windows, Windows RT, Android and iOS devices).
While this is all great, there is a pricing structure to these tests as one can expect.
- 3DMark Basic Edition – FREE
- - Includes all three tests: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Fire Strike.
- - Test everything from tablets to gaming PCs.
- - Easy to use, no technical know-how needed.
- - Free online account to manage your results.
- 3DMark Advanced Edition – $24.99
- - Run each test individually for faster benchmarking.
- - Unlock the Fire Strike Extreme preset for extreme hardware.
- - Explore your PC’s performance limits with custom settings.
- - Use benchmark looping for stability testing and burning in.
- - Get in-depth insights with interactive performance graphs.
- - Automatically save your results offline.
- 3DMark Professional Edition -$995.00
- - Licensed for business and commercial use.
- - Command line automation.
- - Image Quality Tool.
- - Private offline results option.
- - Export results as XML.
So there is a free version for those of you who don’t wish to purchase a copy, but there will be limited options. You get the full tests, but don’t expect to be able to tweak said benchmarks to the way you want. If that’s what you do want to do, we think you should certainly be looking at ponying up the $25, especially if you’re into the overclocking game. As for where to buy them from Futuremark are running a 25% of deal right now on both Futuremark’s website, as well as Steam! So if you’re planning on buying, now is the time!