Benchmark Descriptions

There are four tests that comprise the main 3DMark benchmark, all of which are brand-new. The first graphics test is called "Jane Nash" and shows a woman escaping a "mad scientist lair". Water effects abound, as do not-so-subtle advertisements for Sapphire. Jane also appears to be a hologram, since she glows in a completely unnatural way - but we would assume that the glowing serves as a good way to stress your GPU. The water effects also look nice, but the bad guys with their "orange camouflage" are even worse than Glow-bug Jane… and they subscribe to the Storm Trooper school of battle tactics, clearly incapable of hitting the broad side of a barn. They were probably too busy checking out Jane's assets….

The second graphics test is "New Calico" and it involves spaceships, asteroids, and an impressive looking planetary bombardment sequence. Perhaps it's intended as a follow-up to the "Proxycon" benchmarks from earlier 3DMark releases; that doesn't matter too much, though, as most users are simply interested in the final performance score. While it doesn't appear to be as stressful as the Jane Nash demo, we actually think the graphics and effects are better in this benchmark.

The two CPU benchmarks use similar looking scenes of differing complexity, showing a bunch of small stunt airplanes flying around a scene. One focuses on AI performance and the other looks at physics processing capabilities. PhysX hardware should improve performance on the latter, although without an appropriate system we were not yet able to verify this. Not that it matters much; improving a benchmark score is one thing, whereas improving gaming performance is a different matter. To date, only a few titles (including Unreal Tournament 3) support PhysX, and nothing we've played actually requires it. Besides the four major benchmarks, Futuremark includes six other "Feature Tests" that look at things like texturing performance, particle simulations, cloth rendering, and ray tracing among other things. These feature tests do not influence the final score, similar to what we've seen with previous 3DMark test suites.

Update #3: For those interested in viewing the first benchmark without going to the trouble of downloading and installing 3DMark Vantage, we've captured the content for a video. The frame rates are a bit choppy from the capturing process, but you can at least get some idea of what the benchmark looks like in action.

3DMark Vantage: Jane Nash from Rajinder Gill on Vimeo.
Everything Changes I can't drive 55


View All Comments

  • Juddog - Friday, May 09, 2008 - link

    All that happened was a page came up saying page not found? WTF kind of benchmark has to connect to the web and display their page first?

    I tried to make it run about 15 different ways, none worked. First time I have uninstalled an Onion benchmark. 3dmark01, 03, 05, 06 all run flawlessly on my system (vista x64), only Vantage has this issue.

    What a waste of a download, I am highly disappointed.
  • LoneWolf15 - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 - link

    I used 3DMark mainly as a basic test of system stability (looping for several hours) and because the graphics were pretty. After 3DMark01, the newer versions have almost nothing that reflects real-world game performance; the most you can say is that you can test whether a graphics card supports certain features of DirectX properly.

    Charging for pretty much every feature is silly. I can understand charging review sites, but gamers aren't going to pay this kind of money for essentially what is an e-manhood measuremeant (Mine's better than yours! Nyah! Nyah!), and if gamers stop using FutureMark tools, then review sites will stop using them to show results. Which, IMO is probably a good thing, as the results are meaningless in terms of whether you're capable of playing Game X, Y, or Z at good frame rates with your existing graphics card.

    I think Futuremark's move has finally put a bullet through their foot, but time will tell.
  • Clauzii - Monday, May 05, 2008 - link

    Thanks to Anandtech for the review - with a LOT of pics. (Should I stitch them togeth..... nahhh ;) So also thank You for the clip :) (Doesn't matter it is a bit choppy - it would have been on my machine anyway, if run in realtime!!)


    Goodbye 3DMark. Thank You for the nice Years (since 1999 on the RivaTNT). Even though You got nice colors and epic landscapes; so does nature. But now You want money from me to look at You? Even more, if You shall be usefull to me? And a LOT more if I'd wanted all of You? No thanks.
  • brian_riendeau - Wednesday, April 30, 2008 - link

    [quote]It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because Futuremark may have relegated 3DMark Vantage into irrelevance by this decision. Now, you can't test and retest your system to see how any tweaks may or may not affect your score[/quote]

    This sums up all of my thoughts on this. I have always had Futuremark software on my PC, and it gets run at various times to check new drivers, see if tweaks affected the system, and sometimes just out of boredom. At some point in time, I paid $20 for 3DMark05 as well since it was "only $20" and I was using it all the time. Now Futuremark puts out a new benchmark which is basically "pay to benchmark". Well why the heck am I going to pay for it, when most people won't? I can't just compare scores with anyone now, so I will keep my money, less people will buy it, and in a few months time, 3DMark might be just a memory.

    Also it certainly does not help that the first GPU benchmark looks like total crap, and the whole scene for the CPU benchmark looks like crap as well. Is this 2001 and we are supposed to be dazzled by water effest from in GPU #1 test? Does anyone realize that, umm, hardly any games take place on the surface of the water?!?! Why does almost all of GPU #1 test look worse than Half Life 2?

    I gotta say I was a Mad Onion/Futuremark fanboy right up until today. It was not perfect, but it was readily available and a pretty decent tool for comparing that I have defended on various forums. Anytime I buily a system for someone, I would install 3DMark and leave the icon right on their desktop and show them how to run it for the eye candy. This whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    For $20 I figure what the hell, honestly I really enjoy looking at the pretty pictures in 3DMark's benchmarks. I'm also really curios to see how my new system stacks up compared to the others I'm sure are out there already. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    So I installed this and ran it durring lunch today.... First of all, holy system killer, this really brought my system to it's keens which was interesting to see.

    As far as the app it's self, first and formost it's fairly buggy still. I like the web integration idea they have going on but it breaks all over the place. The benchmarks them selves are fairly interesting to watch, what I really found interesting is they managed to murder your GPU and CPU resources very effectivly all the while not generating all that compelling of graphics. Doom3 / quake 4 look better than the first benchmark, and they run faster too. The second benchmark, the space one which actually ran faster than the first did manage to look fairly nice.

    And, all in all... My current all AMD system is dwarfed by their fastest system lol. I'm not sure what all hardware they had in that system but wow... Still, not very dissapointed with my results. I'm running 100% stock speeds (thought just last night I finally installed a better cpu hsf) and I still lack any sort of cross fire.
  • ViRGE - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    I know I'm not the only one here who has never given a damn about 3DMark for benchmarking purposes, I've always used it for the graphics. The previous versions have been a couple years ahead of mainstream games and had offered a good look in to where games were going. In other words, it was really damn pretty.

    Vantage has largely missed the boat on that. GPU test 1 is really unimpressive, it seems to spend too much resources on overexaggerated water and cloth simulations, and not much on anything else. GPU test 2 is better with a whole test devoted to a space scene, but then again nothing interesting happens, it's mostly camera panning and a bunch of damn asteroids.

    Worst of all, Demo mode is gone, which is a real disappointment. Futuremark hails from the greatest demoscene group of all time, The Future Crew; past benchmarks (3dMark '05 in particular) included some rather impressive demo modes. The lack of a demo mode just highlights the fact that they missed a chance to do something jawdropping, GPU Test 2 in particular is just begging for a real space battle (boy do I miss space sims).*

    While I realize it's a benchmarking product and sold as such, I really do think the greater utility of the product was offering a good look at what modern hardware could do and what future games would look like. Futuremark shot themselves in the foot here making something so visually unimpressive and artistically uninspired.

    * Please may the Futuremark game be this
  • acejj26 - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    why does the first thumbnail of Jane Nash look like someone is peeing? am i the only one who sees that? Reply
  • Matt Campbell - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    Plus her jetski looks like the model from 1977 in The Spy Who Loved Me.


  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, April 29, 2008 - link

    Ugh, multiple benchmark types? Surely the attraction of 3DMark is there was one, single comparable score, run at defaults that everyone could run.. Vista only requirement? I'm still running XP so I won't be touching this. Reply

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