The wait has been long, but Futuremark has finally taken the veil off of its latest 3DMark iteration. Unlike prior versions of the benchmark, this one doesn’t have a suffix in its title, and Futuremark has gone out of its way to encourage people to avoid calling it “3DMark Windows”, “3DMark Next”, “3DMark 13″ or what-have-you. As simple as “3DMark” is, its naming is sure to confuse people who’ve become accustomed to the company’s long-standing naming schemes.
Nonetheless, the latest 3DMark is going to be the first to be offered in cross-platform flavors. We’ll be able to compare our desktops and notebooks to mobile devices – including iOS and Android. The suite consists of three primary tests; “Fire Strike”, designed for high-end DX 11 PCs, “Cloud Gate”, designed for DX 10 systems and “Ice Storm”, designed for tablets and entry-level PCs.
Futuremark’s 3DMark Launch Trailer
The fact that each test targets a different segment of the market is worth noting, because up to this point, 3DMark was all about going all-out in the graphics department, punishing any PC to cross its path. With this change to the formula, the latest benchmark can be used just fine with aging hardware.
As before, Futuremark is offering three different “Editions” of 3DMark. The free version allows all tests to be run, though tweaking options are nonexistent. The Advanced edition targets enthusiasts who take their benchmarking seriously; it allows individual tests to be run, the “Extreme” setting to be used for Fire Strike and more. Finally, the Professional edition can be used for commercial purposes and has a couple of additional modes. The full break-down:
3DMark Basic Edition – FREE
3DMark Advanced Edition – $24.99
3DMark Professional Edition – $995.00
Thinking about picking the Advanced Edition up? You might want to consider going the Steam route, as it’s currently on sale for 25% off. Plus – you’ll also have the advantage of being kept up-to-date automatically.
We haven’t spent too much time with the latest 3DMark up to this point, but do have plans to add it to our test suite soon. If you give it a go, let us know your thoughts in the comments!