While most of us were sitting around watching football and ringing in the New Year over the holiday weekend, our friends over at VR-Zone were getting their geek on by modding and benchmarking AMD Radeon HD 7970 graphics cards. They started with a single HD 7970 board, of which they quickly modded with a special BIOS that allowed them to bump up the core voltage from 1.15V to 1.25V.
The brainy benchmarking nerds at Futuremark dropped us a note to let us know about a 3DMark 11 update now available for download. It's a relatively minor update with a handful of tweaks, and any results produced following the patch are compatible and comparable with results produced by earlier versions, the Finnish software maker claims.
Changes and tweaks listed in the short release notes include:
Futuremark's annual Lords of Overclocking competition drew more than 10,000 entries from over 80 countries, each one hoping they had the highest 3DMark 11 benchmark score. And 39 of them did, at one point or another, as that's how many times a high score was submitted to the MSI sponsored event during it's four-week run. Hit the jump to find out who won and the new score to beat.
Futuremark originally delayed the release of its much anticipated 3DMark 11 benchmark in order to "fix a couple of difficult bugs rather than patching the benchmark immediately after launch." Mission accomplished, as today's update to version 1.01 doesn't quite qualify as "immediately," though it does come just two weeks after the benchmark went live.
"Unfortunately such wide scale use has brought to light a few issues that weren't caught by our own testing," Futuremark told us in an email. "So today we are releasing an update to 3DMark 11 to fix those problems and add a couple of requested features. Note, until Nvidia release new drivers SLI will continue to be unavailable in 3DMark 11."
There are eight fixes and feature additions for all editions for 3DMark 11, three for the Advanced and Professional editions only, and three for the just the Professional edition.
If you're wondering which is the faster videocard, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 580 or AMD's Radeon HD 6970, don't take this as the end-all-be-all. But for what it's worth, Nvidia's crown jewel came out ahead of AMD's upcoming Cayman part in the newly released 3DMark 11 benchmark during Fudzilla's limited round of tests.
Fudzilla said the HD 6970 scored lower than 8,000 at entry settings while the GTX 580 posted 8700 in the same test. The GTX 570 scored just above 8,000.
At the performance level, AMD's Cayman card posted a score around 5,300, while the GTX 580 scored a little below 6,000 and the GTX 570 managed 5,250. Things leveled out a little bit at the Extreme settings, with the HD 6970 posting 1,800, while the GTX 580 scored 1,950.
Futuremark has some good news for all you benchmarking braggarts looking for new scores to boast in your favorite forum(s). Following what turned out to be a short delay, the much anticipated 3DMark 11 has gone gold.
3DMark 11 is the latest addition to Futuremark's GPU benchmarking suite and is designed for testing DirectX 11 hardware through six all new tests. There are three versions to choose from:
3DMark 11 Basic Edition: Free download offering an unlimited number of benchmark runs using the performance preset
3DMark 11 Advanced Edition: Offers all presets, custom settings, benchmark looping, unlimited online results storage, offline results management, and a few other goodies for $20.
3DMark 11 Professional Edition: The only edition licensed for commercial use. Includes all features, such as command automation, an image quality tool, logo-free demo looping, and priority support. This one runs $995.
New features added to 3DMark 11 include additional language support (including German, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, and Finnish), a native DirectX 11 engine, open source Bullet Physics library, and an improved online service.
We woke up to find an email from Futuremark this morning letting us know that they've decided to postpone the launch of 3DMark 11, perhaps by up to a week, or maybe just a few days.
"Our aim is that 3DMark 11 should provide accurate, reliable, and consistent results from the start," Futuremark President Oliver Baltuch wrote in an email. "With that goal in mind we are taking some extra time now to fix a couple of difficult bugs rather than patching the benchmark immediately after launch.
Baltuch went on to say that "it might take a day, it might take a week," but either way 3DMark 11 will be here soon. In the meantime, there are a handful of 3DMark 11 videos and pictures posted online, which you can view here.
Futuremark, makers of the popular 3DMark and PCMark benchmarks (as well as others) is offering up a glimpse of its upcoming 3DMark 11 software by releasing a new trailer called "High Temple."
The High Temple tech demo shows advanced tessellation and lighting effects rendered in real-time by 3DMark 11's native DirectX 11 engine, Futuremark says. It's a 1080p trailer set deep inside a jungle and using volumetric lighting to illuminate the area.
"The High Temple tech demo showcases the amazing real-time graphics that are possible today using readily available DirectX 11 hardware," said Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark CEO. "With 3DMark 11 releasing later this year and an ever increasing number of games using DirectX 11 there is a lot to look foward to for PC gamers."
Like previous 3DMark versions, Futuremark plans to release a free version allowing unlimited runs, while the full version will unlock advanced options.