The 3Dmark series of benchmarks applications – produced by Futuremark – are designed to test the DirectX performance of graphics cards. Each 3Dmark program corresponds to the year that the features it tests were available in commercial graphics cards. The final score is calculated by combining the results from tests of the PC’s graphics card and CPU, so processor speed needs to be taken into account when comparing scores. 3Dmark Vantage is the latest version and is a DX10 only benchmark, and therefore can only be run in Windows Vista
All settings were left at default using the “Performance” preset.
3Dmark06: Canyon Flight
Released in 2006, 3Dmark06 has been a staple for 3D benchmarking since it’s release, and it’s still quite capable of bringing an unprepared system to it’s knees if given half the chance. It features:
- HDR rendering.
- Complex HDR Video post-processing.
- Dynamic soft shadows for all objects.
- Water shader with HDR refraction, HDR reflection, depth fog and Gerstner wave functions.
- Heterogeneous fog.
- Atmospheric light scattering.
- Realistic sky model with cloud blending.
- Strauss lighting model for most materials.
- Subsurface scattering shader for some objects (not visible in the shot).
- Texture & normal map sizes: 1024 x 1024 to 2048 x 2048.
- Approximately 5.4 million triangles and 8.8 million vertices.
NB. List taken from Wikipedia
All settings were left at default and only the “free version” tests were run.
Lost Planet is a 3rd person shooter developed by Capcom and was originally an XboX 360 title until it was ported to the PC some time later. It uses the same engine as in other Capcom titles, such as “Dead Rising” and “Devil May Cry 4” known as MT Framework. It features the Havok physics engine and under Windows Vista and with a compatible video card, DirectX 10.
We not only use Lost Planet to determine the performance hit on Frames Per Second (FPS) when adding Anti Aliasing and Anistropic Filtering, but also the effects of changing the resolution from 1280*1024, to 1600*1200.
For all Vista tests, DX10 mode was used, and for XP DX9 was used.
High: 1600 x 1200, HDR High, 8QX AA, 16 x AF, all other settings at max.
Medium: 1280 x 1024, HDR High, 8QX AA, 16 x AF, all other settings at max.
Low: 1280 x 1024, HDR low, no AA, bilinear filtering, all other settings at max.
Interestingly, Vista seemed to show slightly better results than XP. However, this was only at the higher detail levels, at the lower ones, XP still carried the day.