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Review: 3DMark Vantage
Written by ChrisBard   
Thursday, 08 May 2008 00:00
Article Index
Review: 3DMark Vantage
First GPU Test
Second GPU Test
CPU Tests and Final Thoughts
All Pages

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Hello again!

 

Back in 22 June 2007 I wrote:

 

3dMark07


Well seeing new GPU's and CPU's on the shelfs I am wondering when is Futuremark going to release a DX10 bench? What do you guys think? If anyone had jumped from their chair after reading the title I appologise!“

 

Almost a year later and finally 3dMark07 is here, it’s name however is:

3DMark Vantage!

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Who would be better at telling what 3DMark Vantage is than Futuremark, so from the “horse’s mouth”;

What’s New with 3DMark® Vantage

3DMark® Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware.

DirectX10

3DMark® Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.

Completely New Tests

There are four main tests in 3DMark® Vantage, all completely new. The two graphics tests sport significantly advanced visuals, enabled by the new technology and performance available in the DirectX10 generation of graphics hardware. The two CPU tests have been re-designed from scratch, and now feature a more complete spectrum of Physics and Artificial Intelligence-related computation. CPU Test 2 (the Physics Test) features support for physics acceleration hardware, and a workload to match future generation game physics.

Option Presets for a Wider Range of Official 3DMark® Scores

A key new feature in 3DMark® Vantage is the rendering option Presets. These pre-selected combinations of rendering option settings, like resolution, anti-aliasing and texture quality, represent different, successively more advanced levels of visual quality. When running 3DMark® Vantage with one of the presets selected, the benchmark produces an official score for that preset. Instead of the single default setting of previous 3DMarks, there are four Presets available for Entry, Performance, High and Extreme visual quality. This gives four times the scope for comparing official results, and significantly better scaling for the benchmark."

Installation was done in no time and after inserting the key (which grants access to all the features – PRO version), mouth wide open, I got the message “this key is invalid”, imagine my shock because I have used copy/paste and no error was possible. However I tried again and for my relief it worked.

 

Here is the main menu:

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Now I am sure you are wondering what kind of a PC beast I have on my desk. I have to tell you that is a regular PC for gaming nothing too fancy, nothing extreme. Last week I changed the CPU and got; one Intel E4600 (250x12) @ 3Ghz on air (thermalright 120 cooler) on a Gigabyte P31 DS3L motherboard, 2x1 GB Kingmax 1066, 2x160 Seagate sata on Adaptec 1220SA RAID PCI card, 1x37GB WD Raptor 10,000rpm used for caching, LG dvdwr sata, 8800 GTS 320MB Leadtek GFX card all this on a Delux 600W PSU inside Antec AMG 1080 case. LCD is Samsung 20” 205BW capable of 1680x1050. OS is Vista Ultimate SP1.

Lets see now what Futuremark has to say about requirements:

System Requirements to run 3DMark® Vantage

The minimum hardware and software requirements and recommendations are:

  • Processor
    • Requirement: SSE2 support
    • Recommendation: A dual-core processor with performance equivalent to Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, AMD Athlon X2 6000+, or higher
  • Graphics Card
    • Requirement: Fully DirectX10-compliant graphics hardware
  • Display Device
    • Requirement: Capable of 1280x1024 resolution
    • Recommendation: Capable of 1920x1200 resolution
  • Needed to run all the presets
    • System Memory
      • Requirement: Windows Vista minimum requirement
      • Recommendation: 2 GB or more
    • Hard Disk
      • Requirement: 1 GB of free hard disk space
    • Operating System
      • Requirement: Windows Vista with Service Pack 1

In case you are still on XP and you think of installing Windows Vista, Futuremark will give you a helping hand;

To confirm whether your system is capable of running 3DMark® Vantage, please visit the following page for a quick online system compatibility analysis: http://www.yougamers.com/gameometer/10171

Futuremark also has something to say about the way this benchmark is intended to be run to get accurate measuring of your PC power.

Recommended Testing Procedure

Set-up

In order to prepare a target system for testing, the following steps are recommended:

  1. Install the latest approved drivers for the target hardware. A list of approved drivers can be found on the product website, http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmarkvantage.
  2. Install and register 3DMark® Vantage
  3. Install all critical system updates to ensure your operating system is up to date.

 

Testing

  1. Restart the computer before running the benchmarks.
  2. Wait for 60 seconds.
  3. Exit all other programs.
  4. Wait for 15 minutes.
  5. Run the benchmark.
  6. Repeat from step 1 at least three times to verify that the results are reproducible.

 Additional Recommendations for Testing

We recommend testing only 'clean systems that have no 3rd party software installed, since 3rd party applications and services may affect the results.

You may think that this is a bit crazy but I assure you it's not. What Futuremark is trying to do with these advisories is to make sure your PC is not working on something at the time of testing.

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The differences between 3DMark Vantage Basic, Advanced and Professional editions are as follows:

  • The 3DMark(R) Vantage Basic Edition ($6.95) (Download Price)
    • Unlimited number of test runs using a single Preset setting
    • Network connection required to view results
    • Licensed for non-commercial and Personal Use only
  • The 3DMark(R) Vantage Advanced Edition ($19.95) (Download Price)
    • Unlimited testing, access to all Presets and custom settings
    • Licensed for non-commercial and Personal Use only
  • 3DMark Vantage Professional (this is the Edition tested here)
    • $495.00/seat (download or CD-ROM)
    • All Advanced version features
    • View results without network connection
    • Benchmark automation with command line scripting
    • Licensed for Full Commercial Use

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