Futuremark's collection of benchmarks are handy when it comes to evaluating hardware, comparing computer parts, and rooting out potential problems. For testing graphics cards and integrated graphics, 3DMark is the go-to benchmark, and it's about to get even better. At Computex next week, Futuremark will show off Sky Driver, a new 3DMark benchmark test for DirectX 11 gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.
The folks at Futuremark offer a ton of popular benchmarking applications for desktop PCs and mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, though noticeably missing is any kind of server benchmark. Futuremark is attempting to tie up that loose end by announcing Servermark, a new and comprehensive benchmarking tool for x86-based servers running Linux. According to Futuremark, it will be especially suitable for testing virtual machines.
With our lab coats donned, our test benches primed, and our benchmarks at the ready, we look for answers to nine of the most burning performance-related questions
If there’s one thing that defines the Maximum PC ethos, it’s an obsession with Lab-testing. What better way to discern a product’s performance capabilities, or judge the value of an upgrade, or simply settle a heated office debate? This month, we focus our obsession on several of the major questions on the minds of enthusiasts. Is liquid cooling always more effective than air? Should serious gamers demand PCIe 3.0? When it comes to RAM, are higher clocks better? On the surface, the answers might seem obvious. But, as far as we’re concerned, nothing is for certain until it’s put to the test. We’re talking tests that isolate a subsystem and measure results using real-world workloads. Indeed, we not only want to know if a particular technology or piece of hardware is truly superior, but also by how much. After all, we’re spending our hard-earned skrilla on this gear, so we want our purchases to make real-world sense. Over the next several pages, we put some of the most pressing PC-related questions to the test. If you’re ready for the answers, read on.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine
Are you an EVGA fan? Do you love the Catzilla benchmark? If so, get ready to have your mind explode, because EVGA has teamed up with ALLBenchmark, makers of the popular Catzilla benchmark, to release an official EVGA version. Pretty wicked, right? Just as with the regular Catzilla benchmark, you can download the EVGA Catzilla benchmark free, though testing is limited to 720p (HD).
Just stop what you're doing (that TPS report can wait) and go download Catzilla v1.0. What is Catzilla, you ask? Catzilla is only one of the coolest benchmarks you can run, provided you're a fan of cats. And Godzilla. And goofy destruction. An appreciation of techno music doesn't hurt either (don't worry, it's not overbearing, and it fits the theme of the benchmark). While it's entertaining, it's actually useful, too.
Serving as yet another sign that mobile platforms are here to stay, Futuremark announced that it plans to port its PCMark benchmark over to Android, iOS, and Windows RT. Like its Windows counterpart, the mobile version will feature benchmark tests based on real-world use scenarios, though they'll be geared toward activities that smartphone and tablet owners perform on a daily basis. It will also examine battery life.
Popular benchmarking tool receives a significant update.
Looking for something new to test your hardware with? Hang tight for about another month and you'll be able to stress your components using Futuremark's upcoming PCMark 8 software. Futuremark received help from members of its Benchmark Development Program, which include Acer, AMD, Condusiv Technologies, Dell, HGST, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Nvidia, Samsung, SanDisk, Seagate, and Western Digital.
Futuremark today announced that the Android version of 3DMark is now available to download, giving Android device owners another benchmark at their disposal. Several prominent technology firms provided input into the benchmark's design, including Imagination Technologies, Intel, Broadcom, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and others. One of the goals was to make it so that scores could be compared across platforms, and apparently Futuremark delivered.
Not quite the fastest single-card, but definitely the fastest Single GPU
On Tuesday we posted our preview of the GK110-based Geforce GTX Titan from Nvidia, and like all of yall we were eager to stuff the Titan into a test system to see what it could do in both single-card and dual-card configurations. Now that the dust has settled and our initial testing is complete, we have to say we think we misunderstood what Nvidia was said to us when we asked them how the Titan compares to the GTX 690. The Titan is one hellishly fast single GPU, but it's not the fastest single-card solution for gaming. That title still rests comfortably with the dual-GPU GTX 690.
A massive GPU that’ll be hard to find, and even harder to beat
Today Nvidia is pulling the wraps off the GK110-based GeForce GTX Titan, a single-GPU card that is expected to easily capture the title of Baddest Ass GPU in the world when benchmarks are released this Thursday, February 21st. The Titan is Nvidia’s “Big Kepler” GPU, and has double the transistors and almost double the CUDA cores of the mid-range GK104 chip found in its flagship GeForce GTX 680 GPU. Though it runs at a lower clock speed in stock trim, it should still offer a sizable performance improvement over the already capable GTX 680.