Futuremark Announces 3DMark11: Gentlemen, Start your ORBgines!

Futuremark confirmed that the next version of their popular graphics benchmark will be 3DMark11, due out later this year. Unlike previous releases, the "11" refers to DirectX 11, and the new suite will require DirectX 11 hardware. This follows on from 3DMark05/06 that benchmark DirectX 9 and 3DMark Vantage that benchmarks DirectX 10 hardware.

By utilizing an in-house, independent DirectX 11 engine, Futuremark states that 3DMark11 will be capable of rendering test scenes making the most of all the new features of DirectX 11 such as tessellation, depth of field effects, volumetric lighting, compute shaders, and multi-threading. Some of these features can be done in DX10, but the performance impact is much higher as it would require multiple rendering passes.

While synthetic benchmark scores are often difficult to relate to real world performance, a standardized objective benchmark score will certainly help in graphics card comparison tests and add another dimension to the current game frame rate tests used for the DirectX 11 hardware. It can also help accelerate the adoption of DirectX 11 hardware, as it becomes a checklist feature for new desktops and laptops. And for those that enjoy bragging rights, prepare for a whole new round of ORB competitions.

So far, we know little other than 3DMark11 will require Windows Vista or 7, which goes along with the DX11 requirement; it will be available in various different versions at different price points including a free edition. You can find a brief introduction, screenshots, and a tech demo (video) using the new DirextX 11 engine entitled "Deep Sea" on the 3DMark11 website. Like 3DMark Vantage, 3DMark11 will include advertising to help facilitate the release of the free version. In the Deep Sea video, all of the submarines have MSI logos (just like the Sapphire logos on the boat in Vantage).

Futuremark plans to showcase 3DMark11 at Computex in Taipei at the start of June with a Q3 2010 release date.

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  • Deusfaux - Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - link

    They went the pay-only route and I stopped using their software. I can't be alone.
  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    You are not alone. From the moment I saw it, I thought "What sort of idiot would pay money for that?!"

    I can understand charging those who plan on using 3DMark for publishing benchmarks in product reviews.

    I cannot understand charging individual users to display a non-interactive technology demo and an arbitrary "performance" number afterwards.
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    I'm not going to pay just to run a benchmark run.

    I bought 3DMark05, for the record, so I'm not a freetard, but I'm not going to buy Vantage or 11 if they keep the same retarded ass pricing model.
  • 7Enigma - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    I've used every iteration of 3DMark since what 01? It's always been a fun way to see some cool tech and the demo's are always worth a couple views. But as for comparisons between cards (especially between brands) it's all but useless. It turns into a who can tune their drivers specifically for a high ORB score, having little to no impact on performance in general.

    It can be useful when overclocking (interesting to see a score go DOWN when theoretical performance should have gone up) but there are many more OC utilities that work just as good or better.

    So like all the previous releases I'll DL the free version, watch the demo a couple times and delete.

    NOTE: I have Vantage but only because it came free with my Sapphire 4870. Used it for about a week and then deleted it.
  • Strunf - Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - link

    What's the point of these kind of benchmarks for personal use, you try it once or twice and that's it. It's way more important the FPS you get on the games you play than on this, I've never bought a card based on their 3DMark scores, I just fast forward every time I see them and go straight to the game benchmarks.
  • Perisphetic - Thursday, May 27, 2010 - link

    Like a blinker it is more of an indicator. It's up to the driver and the car(d) to do the actual turning.

    Ever since both Nvidia and ATI were caught cheating in this benchmark
    it became less and less relevant. As mentioned above, real game testing is now more valuable then the synthetic numbers 3DMark puts out.
    Now it('s) just lies on the sidelines of computer history...
  • sanjeev - Thursday, May 27, 2010 - link

    Never knew that you had to pay. SORRY , we have to purchase Advertisement?
  • BenchZowner - Saturday, May 29, 2010 - link

    No guys, you don't have to pay.
    FutureMark told the press that there will be a free version of 3D Mark11 with unlimited runs functionality and possibly ( that's a 50-50 ) the ability to see the results without uploading them to the ORB first.
  • Bigroy - Monday, June 21, 2010 - link

    Those sitting on the fence will now have a reason to choose a card with DirextX 11.

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