With its latest 3DMark iteration, Futuremark released its most ambitious project to date. For the first time ever, 3DMark became cross-platform, giving users the ability to benchmark smartphones, tablets, notebooks and of course, regular desktop PCs, and then be able to compare the scores accurately between them. That’s impressive, to say the least, but as we can now see, the latest 3DMark isn’t the only major project the company has had in the works.
Today, Futuremark has unveiled PCMark 8, which proves to be a major evolution in the series. There are two key reasons for this; PCMark 8 introduces A) battery-life testing and B) native application tests. While I’m sure Futuremark won’t appreciate the comparison, I see this as PCMark becoming more like a couple of BAPCo’s products – PCMark 8 offers similar features to SYSmark and MobileMark. However, given my rough experience with BAPCo’s products as of late, I feel confident in saying that Futuremark’s solution is going to be a bit more elegant.
On the battery-life side of things, individual tests can monitor just how much of the total battery was drained through the duration, which should help provide some seriously interesting results – we’ll be able to see where a notebook’s strengths lay. Similar to the company’s own Powermark solution, you’ll also have the ability to run the program in a loop to drain the notebook’s battery from top to bottom to get an idea as to its average overall life.
For native applications, Futuremark will be implementing some real-world testing with the help of some Adobe and Microsoft products. Those are not mentioned by name, but I’d be willing to bet money on Photoshop, Word and Excel being involved.
Unlike 3DMark, PCMark 8 is not cross-platform; its strictly targeted at Windows. It remains in development at the moment, although its reached its final stages. Futuremark feels confident that the product will launch towards the end of Q2. I admit, I’m quite looking forward to this one.