With futuremark releasing 3DMark Vantage today, we finally have a successor to the popular 3Dmark 2006. It looks incredibly smooth and is sure to tax your quad core, three way SLI system, but it does have its downsides.
The free version only allows one single benchmark run, which comes down to being completely useless for an overclocker. The cheap but not free basic version allows you to run vantage unlimited with the “performance” settings. You’ll need the professional version to run vantage on all(*) settings. You’ll also need Vista, as this benchmark is DirectX10 only.
The definite DirectX10 benchmark will ship in four editions:
* Trial (free)
* Basic ($6.95)
* Advanced ($19.95)
* Professional ($495)
The Professional version is intended for business and commercial use, while Basic and Advanced are limited to private use. A Free Trial key allows you to test the benchmark with a single run.
Full details on the differences between the available versions will be available at launch, but to give a rough idea, Basic (6.95$) version allows you to benchmark as many times as you like with the “Performance” preset, and you get a score with all the ORB features available. Advanced ($19.95) unlocks all four presets, six additional feature tests and allows you to customize all the settings.
One of the requirements a benchmark has to comply with in order to be available in the hwbot suite, is being free of cost, Futuremark has put us in a awkward position. Do we make an exception to our own rules, or do we stick by them and will 3Dmark Vantage be as unpopular as PCMark Vantage? Should we only add the “performance” version, which is affordable in cost and can be run on any pc but does not make full use of your quad core / sli system, or should we also add the high or extreme ranking?
We believe that adding Vantage Performance + Extreme, but not rewarding any points, would be the best solution for now, as we don’t want to force people to buy Vista or a benchmark program.
What is your thought? Voice your opinion in the forum poll.
(*) All settings:
* Entry – 128MB DX10 Video Card and a monitor capable of displaying 1280×1024 resolution
* Performance – 256MB DX10 Video Card and a monitor capable of displaying 1280×1024 resolution
* High – 512MB DX10 Video Card and a monitor capable of displaying 1680×1050 resolution
* Extreme – 512MB DX10 Video Card and a monitor capable of displaying 1920×1200 resolution
Okay, after reading all your comments we will take these actions:
– we’ll add both 3DMark Vantage Performance and Extreme preset.
– both without hwboints initially
– we’ll contact fm to see whether they want to improve their product in order to make it more suitable for overclockers.
We’ll ask FM to make the 7$ version be able to:
a) show score without going online
b) save score
c) if possible, submit on win xp machine
The fact that it requires Vista is very annoying for many for us, but it should not be the deciding factor, as it’s (officially) the only OS that supports DX10. It would be great if they release it on win xp too, but that’s not something we can ask.
If either FM makes it more suitable for overclockers, or if it turns out 3Dmark vantage is well accepted in the community after a few months (unlike pcmark vantage), we’ll enable hwboints.