Futuremark's 'Vantage'

We’d been expecting it sooner (3DMark06 is more than two years old now and DirectX 10 and Vista have been out for over a year), but only now is Futuremark lifting the veil from its latest 3DMark - sporting the name "Vantage" instead of the expected "3DMark08." As with each edition, we’ll do a quick presentation, since the philosophy of this benchmarking program hasn’t really changed (any more than its inherent problems), and we don’t see any more need to use it than we did for previous versions. As we’ll see, drivers optimized specifically for 3DMark are already available (Nvidia is making its ForceWare 175.12 beta available today for the occasion), and the test scenes use a rendering engine that isn’t used by any game (even if that is the direction in which the company wants to move with its Futuremark Games Studio).

3DMark’s goal has always been to simulate the demands future games will make before the fact and to determine the resulting hierarchy of graphics cards. However, it has failed in that goal, as the results of 3DMark06 show - it favors AMD cards over Nvidia’s and does not offer reliable benchmarks for most current games. Not to mention 3DMark’s rendering, which hasn’t evolved and is still "cartoonish." But despite all that, it remains the tool both manufacturers and overclockers use. So let’s see what this new version is made of and what scores the current crop of cards can attain.

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  • honestjohn
    Why should I pay good money tobe shown that my close to state of the art overpriced hardware sucks.
  • clay12340
    Because chicks love it when you post the high numbers from your overclocked machine in forums.

    I think they might have underestimated how cheap a lot of the PC community is. $20 for a utility to get some arbitrary number seems a bit high to me.
  • bourgeoisdude
    What an incredibly stupid move. In the long run futuremark will make less money because, as Florian says, popular support for this product is indispensable. Now that Tom's is shooting it down, it has already lost a significant amount of share. This product has been all about hype, and there seems to be little hype for it this time around. I'm certainly not paying for what appears to be more of the same. With two years instead of just one, and DirectX 10 instead of DirectX 9, I would have expected something better.
  • bpogdowz
    When I tried to get my results I get this fatal error: http://img508.imageshack.us/img508/6963/captureir4.png
  • hannibal
    Well this is the first and only pure DX10 title you can test on. Every other (real games) use DX9 engine with DX10 makeup. (Ofcourse, because it would be economical suisade to make only DX10 game at this moment (too few Vistas out there))

    So is you want to know if you graphic card is any good in DX10 environment, this is the only test you can use. What it's good for... Well not much at this moment, because it will take years untill we will see pure DX10 game engines, because the DX9 support is too important to the game makers!
    But one day those DX10 games will come out, so until then this is the one and only test that you can use to test yours gpu's DX10 power...
  • caskachan
    duuuuuuuuuur huuuuuuuuur lets use sintetic benchamrks instead of real world game tests

    seriously i am happy tomshardware wont be using 3dmarks newest applet anymore =D
  • wingless
    Its amazing what some Hotfix drivers can do. 477% on a useless test is still pretty impressive. Imagine what ATI and Nvidia could do with their present day lineup if they took the time to optimize the drivers for each game. I mean REALLY optimize the drivers. Nvidia should be much better at this since they've had so long to optimize for the G80. ATI should probably spend more time optimizing than trying to get a new driver out each month. Their drivers sometimes degrade performance.

    As far as 3DMark Vantage goes, its useless in the real world. We should have Unreal 3 powered benchmarks since so many games actually use that game engine.
  • Anonymous
    If 3Dmark Vantage is anything like PCMark Vantage, stay away. It's the most aggravating, stupidest program I've ever used. I wasted $20 on this piece of crap. To view your results you are directed to a web site that has literaly hundreds of pop-up adds all mixed in with your results. Realy, realy stupid
  • arius
    I can run free TRIAL VERSION asm many as I want - just click UPGRADE LATER and RUN !
  • thomasxstewart
    with fire GL v. it won't work, although most OTHER test do work, not vantage.

  • randomizer
    My 9600GT beats a HD3870X2 in feature test 3! I point and laugh at those who paid all that money for two GPUs that lose to my one! :pt1cable:
  • randomizer
    "Since AGEIA has joined Futuremark’s paid participation program, this test is optimized for the PhysX PPU found in gaming PCs, which absolutely does not reflect the current situation - nor is it likely to change, unless some big surprises are in store."

    I don't really understand this. Are you saying that a PPU makes a difference or doesn't make a difference? I read it as "it doesn't make a difference".
  • soeddy
    i just think that TomsHardware is loosing the essence this vintage benchmark they did just sucks why mix overclocked cards with other wih standard clocks? why not to put all the DX10 cards? why not to use the same system to all the cards it just sucks... don´t get me wrong cause for me the tomshardware benchmark sucks...
  • pb4udie
    Imo ther's nothing to be concerned about. Futuremark didnt make good, realistic,3D Mark, sensitive of hardware in stores ever since 2001. They have a good insight in future hardware and game develompment wich is under NDA ofc. Every new bechmark is ment to choke our PC's to death and make us buy more and more "silicium" every year. Until normal desktop users with a deeper pocket start scoring over 20k, than they relese a new one. And so on, and so on. As for the prices, rest assured that every major, in IT significant tester/reviewer (e.g. tom's hardware) will get it's own Professional version for free so us mortals would buy lots and lots of "Advanced" versions just so we could compare our PC's with the ones tested and displayed on this website and all alike just a few months from now. And eventually Basic version will perish under the ground, coz tbh I wouldnt pay 7 bucks for a lounch if I knew I cant get seconds, and I think ther's not much people who would. Besides, a year from now every major graphics card manufacturer will be giving the Advanced version (Basic wont exist any more) in bundle with the top ATI/nVidia models to show you how proud they are of their products and how much u profited by choosing theirs over others. So the real conclusion: "We live in world of commerce" get used to it.
  • righteous
    You know, you people make me laugh.
    You forget that everything they did up to now had a free version for you cheapskates. Now they make something with a price (being a business like everyone else) and you complain?

    Futuremark is going to be a big player with games and many other things coming up. Why slam them? Do you want games to continue to be the same old unsatifying crap they have been for years, or would you like to see innovation and developers with knowledge actually make games and apps we enjoy?

    I treat these benchmarks as a game as a matter of fact.
    When I am bored I see what I can squeeze out of my machine performance wise and thanks to futuremark I can do that in an enjoyable fashion.

    What was there before 3dmark?

    If you don't like the idea, you are still dort of free, so don't buy it!
  • Anonymous
    Epic Fail, Futuremark...
  • thomasxstewart
    You could always buy Physics card if you don't want to wait for nvidia to incorporate it. Also Vantage is important as it will give engineers & developers chance to optimize their work for Vista. Vista comparrisons withIN Vista only enviorment. No XP scrubble to confuse.
  • Kutsraid
    This article left a sour taste in my mouth. The article started out biased by immediately discrediting Futuremark and making repeated negative references to the supposedly unchanged rendering engine since 3DMark05.

    Noticing some of the comments and the tone of the article, I can't help but get the feeling that nobody sees a point in this application. While it is true that the scores don't always translate easily into what you can expect to see performance wise in a game, they are valid indicators of the raw power of your system.

    This application does not apply to everyone. Much like a person working as an attorney would have little use with AutoCAD, so is it true that many people could care less for the latest Futuremark benchmark release. However, if you care just as much about your rigs ability to handle a game at the most grueling of settings, 3DMark is a tool to test your rigs capability and compare it to others around the world.

    Vantage is the only benchmarking program for DirectX10 that I know and the rendering engine has had features added to accomodate. Thus, stating the rendering engine is unchanged is making an ignorant assumption that just because the graphics look cartooney, nothing really has changed. Many changes have been introduced with the latest implementation of DirectX.

    As far as the 20 dollars is concerned: they are not supposed to be compensated for their time and effort? If you want a tool whose benchmarking results you'll never be able to compare with others and whose rendering capabilities were meant for DirectX 8, then by all means save your money and go download some freeware junk. You always get what you pay for.

    20 dollars is not much for a PC enthusiast who has been waiting for the benchmarking tool of choice to finally give a score based on DirectX 10. I personally purchased the Basic edition. I want to do more than just the trial run, although I must say I am a tad bit disappointed at the features in the basic edition. Other than being able to do multiple test runs, it is like the free versions were in previous releases with nothing customizable at all.

    A few tweakable settings would be nice, considering you were a paying customer. Also, version 1.0 of this program is stable, but buggy nonetheless. People are willing to spend hundreds on the latest processor and memory and graphics cards, but I can't help but think that P2P and torrents have spoiled the majority of people into thinking that software should be free.
  • thomasxstewart
    I agree with your disapointment at how basic test is, especially for Twenty$.
    If I where FutureMark i'd sell you twenty package, which is yours & let you use next level up for free for standard time limit. that way people buy 20 shot just to use better TEST & still have usefullness ongoing with basic FutureMark. Testing NEW Equipment with outdated tests is one way to start comparitive survey, yet Best Test Today for Vista is Vantage.

  • someguy69
    i was a bit dissapointed when i ran the demmo, every time i have run a new 3dmark over the years it has always striked me as having awesome graphics, but not this time. but in saying that i somehow like it and it a better test that 06 being dx10 and actually giving a quad core a challenge. i ran the test after reading this and expected my 8800gts 512 to score lower than theirs but i actually snaped their 88ultra score i scored 6587. im HAPPY!