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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
 3DMark 06 Finally Available
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Message Text: Futuremark announced today the immediate availability of 3DMark06. More comprehensive than previous versions, 3DMark06 includes an array of 3D graphics, CPU and 3D feature tests for overall performance measurement PC gaming systems.

Building on 3DMark05 as a foundation, Futuremark improved the core 3D engine, adding more complex ShaderModel 2.0 tests, High Dynamic Range (HDR) ShaderModel 3.0 tests, and overall enhanced the product with substantially higher polygonal counts expected to be found in games two years into the future. Even with the addition of HDR/ShaderModel 3.0 tests, 3DMark06 still enables ShaderModel 2.0 compliant graphics card owners to run most of the benchmark and get a fully comparable 3DMark score.

3DMark06 is the first product from Futuremark using the AGEIA(tm) PhysX software physics library in two very complex, game-like threaded CPU tests conceived to measure properly performances of single processor, multi-core and multiple processor systems in next generation of games. In addition to using real-time physics, both CPU tests also employ multi-threaded artificial intelligence algorithms. By combining the results of the two CPU tests and four graphics tests, 3DMark06 enables users to get a 3DMark score which reflects the overall gaming performance of their PC.

The new scoring system in 3DMark06 acknowledges the use of CPU related tasks in the latest and future games, and accordingly the CPU results affect the final 3DMark score. To further enable media professionals, end-users, IHV's and OEM's to compare pure graphics and CPU performance, 3DMark06 also provides three new sub scores - SM2.0 Score, HDR/SM3.0 Score and CPU Score, all of which are fully valid and comparable scores.

All editions of 3DMark 06 (basic, advanced and professional) include:

DirectX 9 3D game performance benchmarking,
Separate tests for graphics cards and CPUs,
Workloads that simulate next-generation gaming requirements,
Advanced 3D gaming engine that supports HDR rendering with SM2.0 and SM3.0 Shaders,
Two HDR/SM3.0 game tests and two SM2.0 game tests,
Threaded CPU performance testing based on AI and physics workloads applied to a variety of processor environments.

The advanced edition of 3DMark06 has these additional features:

3D graphics feature tests that include Fill Rate, Pixel Shader, Vertex Shader,
SM3.0 tests, and Batch Size tests,
Professional tools, including image quality analysis and graph creation of runtime statistics,
Importing of results from MS Excel for easier result management and report creation, and
Access to the Pro-Online ResultBrowser,
Playable mini-game based on CPU test, and Full demo.

The professional edition has these exclusive features:

Command line functionality for test automation,
Batch-run functionality for automated testing,
Licensed commercial use of 3DMark06, and Demo Loop option.

Futuremark's Basic, Advanced and Professional editions of 3DMark06 are available now. The Basic Edition is free and can be downloaded from Futuremark's Web site at http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark06. An Advanced Edition is available online for $19.95 per license, or $29.95 plus shipping and handling for software on CD. The Professional Edition costs $490 per license when downloaded electronically, or $500 plus shipping and handling for the software on CD. A trial version of the software can be downloaded here.
 
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