|Diamond Viper ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Ronald Tibbetts|
|Tuesday, 11 March 2008|
Page 9 of 10
Test Results: Synthetic Benchmark
As a note here on synthetic testing: Though they are not represenative of any actual gameplay these artificial tests do offer an equal testing ground for apples-to-apples comparison of similar hardware set-ups. However, their results should always be taken with a measure of healthy skepticism.
3DMark03 is a collection of 3D tests. These include a set of four game tests; these are the only tests used to calculate the overall 3DMark03 score. The benchmark also includes a set of CPU, feature, image quality, and sound tests. Each of these tests measures specific 3D-related functionality, but their result is not included in the overall score. They do not fall into the target usage, but are included to allow the user to evaluate these features. The CPU test is a convenient way to measure the performance of the CPU for typical 3D usage. The feature tests isolate the performance of key 3D features primarily relating to shader technologies. The next set of tests is an exciting new addition to 3DMark: the 3D sound tests. These evaluate the impact of 3D sound sources on 3D graphics performance. The software also includes a set of much-improved image quality tools. These provide a powerful way to ensure integrity of the graphics hardware.
3DMark05 is concentrated on measuring the performance of the DirectX 9 generation of 3D hardware using the technology of next generation games. Earlier 3DMark versions have usually been launched with the introduction of a new Microsoft DirectX version and with the introduction of a new hardware generation. This has somewhat limited how much 3DMark has utilized the new hardware features. At the time of this writing, DirectX 9 was introduced some years ago, and there is now DX9 generation hardware available all the way from the very high end to value and mobile parts. 3DMark05 can thereby utilize the features of DirectX 9 to a 100%. In fact, DirectX 9 hardware is required for every game test of 3DMark05, resulting in the ultimate tool for DirectX 9 hardware performance comparison.
3DMark06 is the most recent addition to the 3DMark franchise. This version differs from 3Dmark05 in a number of ways, and includes not only Shader Model 2.0 tests, but Shader Model 3.0 and HDR tests as well. Some of the assets from 3DMark05 have been re-used, but the scenes are now rendered with much more geometric detail and the shader complexity is vastly increased as well. Max shader length in 3DMark05 was 96 instructions, while 3DMark06 ups that number to 512. 3DMark06 also employs much more lighting and there is extensive use of soft shadows. With 3DMark06, Futuremark has also updated how the final score is tabulated. In this latest version of the benchmark, SM 2.0 and HDR / SM3.0 tests are weighted and the CPU score is factored into the final tally as well.
Lightsmark v1.3 is a relatively new 3D benchmark focusing on lighting effects and performance, released for free by Czech software author Stepan Hrbek. This OpenGL 2.0 optimized test runs a flyby scene featuring real-time global illumination, color bleeding, penumbra shadows and displays the average FPS as an end result.
Cinebench 10 is a real-world test suite that assesses your computer's performance capabilities. MAXON CINEBENCH is based on MAXON's animation software CINEMA 4D, which is used extensively by studios and production houses worldwide for 3D content creation. MAXON CINEBENCH runs several tests on your computer to measure the performance of the main processor and the graphics card under real world circumstances. The benchmark application makes use of up to 16 CPUs or CPU cores and is available for Windows (32- and 64-Bit).