This isn't major news, but I find the periodic updates to the 3DMark suite at least interesting if only to see what Futuremark is up to. They have released a trailer showing a portion of the next 3DMark, dubbed Fire Strike. Designed to push the envelope in terms of rendering quality and techniques, Fire Strike makes use of a variety of DirectX 11 features including tessellation, dynamic particle illumination and shadowing, smoke simulation using grid-based fluid dynamics, volume ray casting with shadows, and a wide variety of post processing effects including depth of field, blooms, distortions and various lens effects.

Futuremark didn't indicate the name of the next 3DMark release, but they're promising a release before the end of 2012 so the clock is ticking. It is designed to provide a unified benchmark suite for testing everything from tablets to notebooks to desktops, including support for Windows RT, Android, and iOS.

The Fire Strike benchmark is targeting the high performance desktops rather than tablets, with other benchmarks for DX10 and DX9 level devices. Cloud Gate will handle the DX10 duties, with Ice Storm being the cross platform "DX9" level test. On Windows, it will use a DX11 engine limited to DX9 level features, whereas Android and iOS will use OpenGL ES 2.0. The scores will be comparable cross-platform.

You can see the full 3DMark Fire Strike trailer on YouTube, and if you have a high-res qHD or qWXGA display you can even view it at the original resolution of 2560x1440 (albeit with compression artifacts). We should have the final release for testing and evaluation some time in the next month, and it will be nice to have another graphics test outside of GLBenchmark to add to our suite, especially since we'll have comparison points between the three major mobile OSes.

Source: Futuremark

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  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    You can actually do tessellation with DX9 -- it was one of those features listed way back in the day. The hardware just wasn't really fast enough to make it practical. (And technically, displacement mapping isn't as "good" as the stuff you can do with DX11 -- or DX10 I suppose.) But really, no one is interested in benchmarking consoles I don't think, at least not Futuremark. They are what they are, and whether one console is faster or slower doesn't matter -- it's the games that dictate which console you should go with.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - link

    I know it wouldn't be worth it for a company to develop that, as you would only need to benchmark one of each console and no one would buy it. It's just a vague interest I have. The hardware seems antiquated, but it constantly surprises me with how far they can push it, although a large part of that must be how much they have to optimize around consoles to get things to run well on them. But there are some unique things about them, ie the 360 having a crazy amount of SIMD registers (4 floats x 128 registers x 6 registers banks = 12K of registers) and the eDRAM with incredibly low latency to the GPU (why don't GPU makers do that? Haswells integrated gpu may be the first to it).
  • Death666Angel - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    Wow, didn't know youtube had videos with that resolution. Not bad. :D
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    You can even do 4K videos on YouTube. Problem is, with their server-side re-encoding, it makes most such uploads look like crap compared to the original files. :'(
  • tipoo - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    They should focus on making 720p and 1080p higher bitrate. Bitrate > resolution at this point. But I guess a few showcase 4k videos take less bandwidth on their part than all the 1080p videos being higher bitrate.
  • Death666Angel - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 - link

    No argument against that from me. :D Watching 720p/1080p is still better than 240p - 480p on Youtube, but the quality isn't good enough that I would ever consider paying for anything. They will probably up the bitrate at some point.
  • IanCutress - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    Part of the OC community loves the fact that the new 3DMark should scale awesomely with GPU power. But some of us are also a bit miffed that there is no 'story' in the benchmark. 3DMark Vantage had a story, like Jane Nash, or the earlier 3DMarks with Deep Freeze and the other one with the monster jumping over the airship. Unigine Heaven and now the new 3DMark seems a little off in terms of 'story'.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    I just wish they could make an actual game using their tech -- and a good game, for that matter. Benchmarking stuff people don't actually use, other than for benchmarking, isn't as useful as real-world gaming tests in my book.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    They did make a game with their tech: Shattered Horizon. The concept was basically a zero-G "realistic" arena shooter. It was an interesting concept, but it didn't lend itself to much variety and never really caught on.

    Since then Rovio bought Futuremark's game studio. It's a shame, since I would have liked to see them take on a space game (given what they did with 3DMark 05 and Vantage)

    And I completely agree on the desire to see more story-like benchmarking. 3D Mark 05 was especially fun; they even had a Poets of the Fall song in the credits. I ran that in demo mode more than I ever ran it in benchmark mode.
  • JarredWalton - Monday, December 3, 2012 - link

    Which is why I say "a good game". LOL. I actually got a copy of Shattered Horizon from Futuremark; couldn't be bothered to play it for more than an hour.

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