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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..

Conclusions


Whenever a new version of 3D Mark comes out, it automatically becomes the new standard in graphics and system benchmarking. Without a doubt, this is the most intensive version to date, and stresses your system like never before. Every single test has been amped up, and the CPU test is incredibly intensive. Overall, it’s a massive test, and works well.

It’s good that they have added HDR support, because it’s a tech that’s quickly being featured in countless games. Even an MMO I play has been updated with HDR, so it’s only a matter of time before we see it everywhere. The addition for Dual Core support is also a welcomed feature, but wow, will that affect your overall score.

There will be three separate versions of the program available; Basic, Advanced and Professional. Since this article was written before the official launch, I am unable to report any differences, but this will be updated during the day when that info becomes available. If it works like PC Mark, then the Basic will be the generic package with only one test run, the default one. Advanced will be for people who overclock and benchmark often, as it will allow you to tweak all the options you could need. Professional are for businesses and commercial publications, but it acts like the Advanced edition.

The price for the Advanced is $19.95, and is definitely worth it if you overclock and benchmark often. It’s not only great to see what your computer is capable of, but is also an excellent stress tester. The CPU tests are so hardcore this time around, that you can easily use them in place of other CPU stressers out there.

Generally speaking, 3D Mark is still a synthetic benchmark, so it may not reflect true game performance, but it certainly gives you a fair idea of how your computer can handle games compared to others. It’s only a matter of time before the Orb is full with 3D Mark 06 scores, and I look forward to seeing how my systems compare with everyone elses. Who wants to race to 10K? ;)

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