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The New 3DMark Benchmark - Testing Smartphones to Multi-GPU Gaming PCs

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: Futuremark

Cloud Gate and Fire Strike Benchmarks

Cloud Gate Benchmark

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Check out a recording of the Cloud Gate benchmark!

Cloud Gate is a new test designed for Windows notebooks and typical home PCs. It is a particularly good benchmark for systems with integrated graphics. Cloud Gate includes two graphics tests and a physics test. The benchmark uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10 making it suitable for testing DirectX 10 compatible hardware. Cloud Gate is only available in the Windows edition of 3DMark.

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Graphics test 1

Cloud Gate Graphics test 1 has an emphasis on geometry processing while having simple shaders.

On average, 3.0 million vertices are processed and 450,000 primitives generated through geometry shader resulting in 1.1 million triangles being rasterized in each frame either to shadow maps or to the screen.

Volumetric illumination is disabled, but the scene contains particle effects. FFT based bloom effects and a depth of field effect are added as post processing steps. On average, 18 million pixels are processed per frame.

Graphics test 2

Cloud Gate Graphics test 2 has shaders that are more mathematically complex than Graphics test 1, but has less geometry to process.

On average, 1.8 million vertices are processed and 340,000 primitives generated through geometry shaders resulting in 690,000 triangles being rasterized each frame.

Simple volumetric illumination is used, but the scene has no particle effects. Post processing steps are similar to Graphics test 1.

Physics test

The Cloud Gate Physics test benchmarks the hardware’s ability to run gameplay physics simulations on CPU. The GPU load is kept as low to ensure that only the CPU is stressed.

The test has 32 simulated worlds. Each world has 4 soft bodies, 4 joints and 20 rigid bodies colliding with each other. The rigid bodies are invisible and are there to cause the blast effect on the soft bodies.

The simulations run on one thread per available CPU core. All physics are computed on the CPU with soft body vertex data updated to the GPU each frame. Each world also has one CPU simulated particle system. The Physics test uses a forward renderer for minimum GPU load.

The test duration is 20 seconds but the score calculation begins after 8 seconds. The first 8 seconds skipped to allow all simulated objects to actively participate in simulation.

The Cloud Gate Physics test uses the Bullet Open Source Physics Library.

 

Fire Strike Benchmark

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Check out a recording of the Fire Strike benchmark!

Fire Strike is the new showcase DirectX 11 benchmark for high-performance gaming PCs. Using a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine, Fire Strike includes two graphics tests, a physics test and a combined test designed to stress the CPU and GPU at the same time.

3DMark Advanced and Professional Editions include an additional Extreme preset for high-end systems with multiple GPUs. Fire Strike is only available in the Windows editions of 3DMark initially.

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Graphics test 1

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics test 1 focuses on geometry and illumination. Particles are drawn at half resolution and dynamic particle illumination is disabled.

There are 100 shadow casting spot lights and 140 non-shadow casting point lights in the scene. On average, 3.9 million vertices containing 500,000 input patches for tessellation are processed per frame resulting in 5.1 million triangles being rasterized either to the screen or to the shadow maps.

Compute shaders are invoked 1.5 million times per frame for particle simulations and post processing. On average, 80 million pixels are processed per frame, which is lower than in Graphics test 2 as there is no depth of field effect.

Graphics test 2

3DMark Fire Strike Graphics test 2 focuses on particles and GPU simulations. Particles are drawn at full resolution and dynamic particle illumination is enabled.

There are two smoke fields simulated on GPU. Six shadow casting spot lights and 65 non-shadow casting point lights are present. On average, 2.6 million vertices containing 240,000 input patches for tessellation are processed and 1.4 million primitives are generated with geometry shaders. That results in 5.8 million triangles being rasterized per frame on average.

Compute shaders are invoked 8.1 million times per frame for particle and fluid simulations and for post processing steps. On average, 170 million pixels are processed per frame. Post processing includes a depth of field effect.

Physics test

3DMark Fire Strike Physics test benchmarks the hardware’s ability to run gameplay physics simulations on the CPU. The GPU load is kept as low as possible to ensure that only the CPU is stressed. The Bullet Open Source Physics Library is used as the physics library for the test.

The test has 32 simulated worlds. One thread per available CPU core is used to run simulations. All physics are computed on CPU with soft body vertex data updated to GPU each frame.

The 3DMark Fire Strike Physics test uses the Bullet Open Source Physics Library.

Combined test

3DMark Fire Strike Combined test stresses both the GPU and CPU simultaneously. The GPU load combines elements from Graphics test 1 and 2 using tessellation, volumetric illumination, fluid simulation, particle simulation, FFT based bloom and depth of field.

The CPU load comes from the rigid body physics of the breaking statues in the background. There are 32 simulation worlds running in separate threads each containing one statue decomposing into 113 parts. Additionally there are 16 invisible rigid bodies in each world except the one closest to camera to push the decomposed elements apart. The simulations run on one thread per available CPU core.

The 3DMark Fire Strike Combined test uses the Bullet Open Source Physics Library.

February 4, 2013 | 10:01 AM - Posted by Humanitarian

"Y'know?"

Yeah, I know.

February 4, 2013 | 12:53 PM - Posted by ezjohny

This sounds very interesting for a hardware bench mark that targets all platforms, I will be using fire strike for my desktop PC gentleman.

February 5, 2013 | 09:33 AM - Posted by xbeaTX (not verified)

Hi Ryan!...there are rumors that you have received a special package from Nvidia .... fits well with this benchmark? :P

February 5, 2013 | 03:54 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

No clue what you are talking about!  :)

February 6, 2013 | 08:45 AM - Posted by Raghunathan (not verified)

if a HD 7970(925 mhz) is faster than GTX 680 then the HD 7970 Ghz is pretty much the boss in this test. I have always felt that Nvidia got away this generation with the majority of sales and accolades as AMD did not get their launch and early drivers (first 6 months till June 2012) performance as good as it could have been. From 12.11 beta onwards AMD is showing how capable their hardware is.

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February 6, 2013 | 09:45 AM - Posted by YTech2 (not verified)

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Nice show! I enjoy these types of learning discussions.

February 8, 2013 | 05:40 AM - Posted by BiggieShady

Hey Ryan, correct me if I'm wrong, but It doesn't seem that 3Dmark graph shows frametime fluctuations consistent with inside-the-second analysis as Oliver suggested when you asked about it. It's more like the graph shows average fps in a coresponding time window which is one second or even larger.

February 9, 2013 | 09:20 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

You are correct. It doesn't go into the detail we'll want for our future testing but we can use our other tools for that a bit later.

February 13, 2013 | 03:45 AM - Posted by Brash (not verified)

Ryan, do you see your framerating benchmark as having relevance to this new 3dMark software? It would be interesting to merge the two.

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