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Thursday, March 26, 2015
3DMark Adds API Overhead Feature-set

Futuremark introduced its new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance.

3DMark’s latest feature renders a scene with an insane amount of onscreen objects using DirectX 11 in single-threaded mode, followed by DirectX 11 multi-threaded mode. Then it runs the same scene in DirectX 12.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system, rather than the absolute performance of different systems. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors.

Graphics APIs that make better use of multi-core CPUs to streamline code execution and eliminate software bottlenecks, particularly for draw calls.

As the number of draw calls rises, graphics engines become limited by API overhead.

New APIs like DirectX 12 and Mantle reduce performance-limiting overhead for the CPU allowing more draw calls. A draw call happens when the CPU tells the GPU to draw an object on the screen. With more draw calls, a game engine can draw more objects, textures and effects to the screen.

The 3DMark API Overhead feature test measures API performance by making a steadily increasing number of draw calls. The result of the test is the maximum number of draw calls per second achieved by each API before the frame rate drops below 30 fps.

System requirements for the new 3DMark becnhmark are the following:

  • The DirectX 12 test requires a PC running an up-to-date version of Windows 10 Technical Preview (build 10041 or later), 4 GB of system memory, and DirectX feature level 11_0 compatible hardware with at least at least 1 GB of graphics memory.
  • The Mantle test requires 4 GB of system memory and AMD hardware that supports the Mantle API.
  • The DirectX 11 test requires DirectX feature level 11_0 compatible hardware with at least 1 GB of graphics memory and 4 GB of system memory.

Below you see the complete release notes for the latest 3DMark v1.5.884 for Windows:

  • Compare DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle with the new API Overhead Feature Test, available in 3DMark Advanced Edition and 3DMark Professional Edition.
  • Added Feature Test selection screen.
  • Improved formatting of larger scores to make them more readable.
  • Result screen automatically shows FPS after running a single test.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the Sky Diver demo to hang at the cave entrance scene.

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