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In-Depth Look: Futuremark 3D Mark 06
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by Rob Williams on January 18, 2006 in Windows

We take the latest version of the popular benchmark for a test-drive to see what’s new, what’s changed and what you need for a good score. To put it simply, 06 is like 05, but on steroids. Let’s take a look..

Introduction

The time has come for a new version of 3D Mark, and we have everything you need to know. To date, there have been 7 versions of the popular benchmarking tool, including this new one. With each new version, the tests got much tougher on your system, but anyone with a new high-end system have been able to run them without too much of a sweat. One nice thing about 3D Mark is that all the tests are ahead of the times, so we can use them for quite some time. Heck, there are still some who still use ’01 and ’03 religiously.

A new version may catch some by surprise, because some of us have yet to even touch the 10K mark in ’03, and it only get’s much more difficult in ’06. This is not some small update though, but a completely revamped product. The tests are all hardcore as we have come to expect, and if you run a GPU with less than 256MB of memory, then expect to weep after the test is over.

This article hopes to give you an in-depth look at the new version, with all the information you can want. We have put quite a bit of testing into ’06 on both Intel and AMD platforms, Single Core and Dual Core, to give a good idea of what you need for a great score. In addition to scores from ’06, we have re-tested the systems with all versions from 2001 – 2005 to see how the scores scale to the latest version.

From the screen shot above, you can see that the main screen hasn’t changed much at all, although it is slightly longer. One thing that may catch your eye is the fact that the default resolution is now 1280*1024, rather than 1024*768. This only makes sense, since if you have a high end computer, chances are you are running any game above that resolution. You may also notice that the score layout is a tad different, but we will get into that in our benchmarking page.

Let’s get more into what exactly is new..


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