With 3DMark05, Futuremark continues the tradition in its benchmarking software by providing a state-of-the-art Microsoft ® DirectX ® 9 3D performance benchmark.
3DMark05 is an all new 3DMark version making the most of Microsoft's DirectX 9. The previous version 3DMark03, did a nice introduction into this level of technology. However 3DMark03 used DirectX 9 specific features in a limited manner, because fully supporting hardware was rare at the time of its launch. In contrast, 3DMark05 requires DirectX 9 hardware with full support for at least Shader Model 2, and takes shader usage to never before seen levels.
Just like its predecessors, 3DMark05's point system is set so that at the
moment of release, the high-end VGA cards available in stores can only score
around 5000 3DMarks, whereas the worst card that meets the programs requirements
yields a score of 1000.
Game Test 1 -Return to Proxycon
Being the sequel to the "Battle of Proxycon" from 3DMark03, in "Return to Proxycon" we're once again set in space and the battle continues as space pirates invade a cargo ship in order to take control of its valuable cargo.
This test, tries to simulate a future first-person shooter game with all the high details that entails. The dynamic shadows, high-detailed environment and advanced lighting techniques ensure that under normal circumstances, no recent card can run it with decent frame rates.
Game Test 2 - Firefly Forest
A forest gets filled with magic fireflies in the night. The moon is nearly full, illuminating the forest with a bluish faint light. The magic fireflies have flickering bright green lights that playfully move around the forest.
This scene is a nice example of a smaller scale outdoor scene with rich vegetation. Immediate visibility is not so far, and there is a skybox surrounding the whole scene.
A large number of trees with their branches swinging separately, and dense vegetation being dynamically distributed according to the camera movements, make this test the most demanding of the three.
Game Test 3 - Canyon Flight
A Jules Verne type airship flies through a canyon guarded by a dangerous sea monster. The airmen defend their ship using heavy cannons, but these seem to have no effect on the huge sea monster. Finally the crew manages a narrow escape using the "last resort" afterburners of the airship.
This scene is fairly complex with large areas of water reflecting the high canyon walls. The water actually is one of the key points of interest in this scene. The water not only does realistic looking reflections and refractions, it has a depth fog, making the sea monster swimming under the airship actually look deep down in the water. The air in this scene also uses a volumetric fog, making distant cliffs of the canyon really look far away.
Let's take a look at the test results for each "game" in this benchmark. Until now we knew that the X850 was the absolute card with the highest frame rates in this test, as a single card. Now we have a new winner, the 7800GTX, that has raised performance to new heights in all of the above games. At least 40% higher framerates in 3DMark05.
3DMarks on 3DMark05 are now calculated by the following formula:
(Game Test 1 * Game Test 2 * Game Test 3)^0.33 * 250
That's basically the geometric mean of the total frames in each game multiplied by 250. This means that all game tests are now equal.
As we expected, from the previous framerates, the total 3DMark05 score should be much higher. Indeed, the 8508 3DMarks is amazing for a single card while it confirmed the manufacturer's specifications for the 3DMark score. According to Asus, the score in 3DMark with this card should be 8697 3DMarks. Since we ran the tests with an AMD 3500+ we knew that we would get a slightly lower score, but we still believe that this kind of processor is more popular, than an FX-57 for example. Notice that the CPU is very important in order to achieve such a high score. Just for reference reasons, if you have a P4 530 3.0GHz you'll see something close to 6831.