is a computer benchmark
by Futuremark Corporation
(formerly MadOnion, formerly Futuremark) to determine the DirectX performance
of graphics cards
The measurement unit 3DMark is intended to give a normalized mean for comparing different graphics processing units, which proponents assert is indicative of end-user performance capabilities. Critics counter by stating that it is a synthetic measure not relevant to real-world performance.
Before 3DMark, MadOnion created a simpler 3D benchmark, which played only a DirectX7 demo sequence at 640x480, with no extra tests. It was called XL-R8R.
The number in the title corresponds with the year that the features it was designed to benchmark would be available on graphics cards released publicly. Typically each version was made and released some months in advance of the start of its title year. Scores for each subsequent version will be lower, as each new version measures new and innovative developments in the graphics field, such as DirectX
enhancements like Shader Model 3.0
Released on October 26th 1998
, 3DMark 99 is the first generation 3DMark and the world's first 3D benchmark that is aimed directly at the 3D gaming community.
3DMark 99 MAX
Released on March 8th 1999
, 3DMark 99 MAX is a content update to 3DMark 99.
Released on December 6th 1999
, 3DMark2000 is the second generation 3DMark.
Released on March 13th 2001
, 3DMark2001 is the third generation 3DMark and the first 3D benchmark that supports DirectX 8.
Released on February 12th 2002
, 3DMark2001 Second Edition is a major enhancement to the third generation 3DMark2001.
Released on February 11
, 3DMark03 is the fourth generation 3DMark. It is the first version that supports Microsoft DirectX 9.0 and introduces several new features.
Released on September 29
, 3DMark05 is the fifth generation 3DMark.
Released on January 18
, 3DMark06 is the sixth generation 3DMark. It has the following features:
Futuremark released its latest product, 3DMark Vantage, on April 28
. It requires DirectX 10, and therefore will only run under Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. Unlike previous versions, not even the basic version of 3DMark Vantage is free. The user is however allowed one single benchmark run, after that it is required to pay any of the fees ranging from US$7 for the basic version, up to $20 for the fully fledged one.
Futuremark made a special website about 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark.com It currently contains four screenshots from work in progress and two Developer Diary parts. The second Developer Diary part shows 3DMark Vantage in motion.
3DMark and overclocking
3DMark is one of the programs used by gamers and overclocking
enthusiasts worldwide for assessing and comparing their system's performance.
Futuremark also produces 3D benchmark software for mobile devices. Current versions include:
- 3DMarkMobile ES 2.0
- 3DMarkMobile ES 1.1
- 3DMarkMobile JSR 239
- 3DMarkMobile JSR 184