This topic couldn't be more relevant to the discussion we're currently having on AMD's Tesselation slider and its impact on the Heaven DX11 benchmark. Check out the forums for more info: http://hwbot.org/forum/showthread.php?t=17844.
It looks more of a different idea on the importance of tesselation in games rather than shady tactics or trying to screw over your competitor. Any good review has multiple DX11 benchmarks anyways, so for anyone trying to find the best-buy option this should be no problem.Ever since 3DMark 11 came out, NVIDIA was not happy with the benchmark and the reaction ranged from sending notes to journalists (not to use the benchmark) and its own manufacturing partners. One of reasons for that was the fact that Futuremark's benchmark isn't riding on Tessellation such as Crysis 2 and Unigine Heaven benchmark, and the company switched from NVIDIA PhysX to a more open Bullet physics engine.
Coming back to Futuremark, we spoke with multiple graphics card manufacturers over the past couple of weeks and learned that there is quite an interesting scenario. According to graphics manufacturers that play on both sides, allegedly members of NVIDIA APAC Sales team are giving an exact directive that if a graphics card manufacturer chooses to use 3DMark to compare its products vs. the Red team, the company will not provide any marketing funds to promote the product (MDF i.e. Market Development Fund). One of the sources we spoke with compared this tactic to the antitrust antics that were infamously used by Intel to discredit AMD's products in the past, but such use is now forbidden by the terms of Intel's settlements with AMD and especially the FTC.
Graphics card makers are instructed to use Unigine Heaven to compare GeForce cards and competing Radeon products, as well as Crysis 2 DirectX 11. While some board vendors cried that as a foul, we don't see the big issue with that. After all, if you expect money from a company to promote your product, you have to dance that company's tune.
The fact that lower-end GeForce cards get soundly beaten by lower-end Radeons and even Fusion APUs in 3DMark 11 solely relies on the fact that NVIDIA's implementation of Tessellator had its cost in die space and there is nothing NVIDIA can do to make 3DMark scores faster. However, in applications such as Crysis 2, that die space will result in a significant win for the GeForce hardware.