Futuremark Announces 3DMark11: Gentlemen, Start your ORBgines!by Balraj Sandhu on May 25, 2010 2:10 PM EST
Futuremark Announces 3DMark11: Gentlemen, Start your ORBgines!
Futuremark confirmed that the next version of their popular graphics benchmark will be 3DMark11, due out later this year. Unlike previous releases, the "11" refers to DirectX 11, and the new suite will require DirectX 11 hardware. This follows on from 3DMark05/06 that benchmark DirectX 9 and 3DMark Vantage that benchmarks DirectX 10 hardware.
By utilizing an in-house, independent DirectX 11 engine, Futuremark states that 3DMark11 will be capable of rendering test scenes making the most of all the new features of DirectX 11 such as tessellation, depth of field effects, volumetric lighting, compute shaders, and multi-threading. Some of these features can be done in DX10, but the performance impact is much higher as it would require multiple rendering passes.
While synthetic benchmark scores are often difficult to relate to real world performance, a standardized objective benchmark score will certainly help in graphics card comparison tests and add another dimension to the current game frame rate tests used for the DirectX 11 hardware. It can also help accelerate the adoption of DirectX 11 hardware, as it becomes a checklist feature for new desktops and laptops. And for those that enjoy bragging rights, prepare for a whole new round of ORB competitions.
So far, we know little other than 3DMark11 will require Windows Vista or 7, which goes along with the DX11 requirement; it will be available in various different versions at different price points including a free edition. You can find a brief introduction, screenshots, and a tech demo (video) using the new DirextX 11 engine entitled "Deep Sea" on the 3DMark11 website. Like 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark11 will include advertising to help facilitate the release of the free version. In the Deep Sea video, all of the submarines have MSI logos (just like the Sapphire logos on the boat in Vantage).
Futuremark plans to showcase 3DMark11 at Computex in Taipei at the start of June with a Q3 2010 release date.