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3DMark benchmark - 3DMark benchmark
Mon, February 24 2003 | 2:16AM | PermaLink Feedback?
RECENTLY, FUTUREMARK RELEASED the latest version of its 3DMark benchmark, and the PC enthusiast world took notice. Previous versions of 3DMark had developed quite a following, in part thanks to publications this like us using the tests in evaluating PC hardware. FutureMark claims over 1.5 million copies of the benchmark were downloaded within 72 hours of its release. Meanwhile, just as FutureMark was introducing its new benchmark, graphics heavyweight NVIDIA initiated a public relations campaign aimed at undermining 3DMark03's credibility as a benchmark and discouraging use of the test in the enthusiast press. NVIDIA's first move was to mail out a whitepaper outlining its criticisms of 3DMark03. NVIDIA asked members of the press not to redistribute this document, only to paraphrase or offer excerpts. The document registered some specific complaints about 3DMark03's methodology, but its primary thrust was an overall critique of FutureMark's approach to 3DMark03 and of synthetic benchmarks in general. During the past couple of weeks, I've talked with representatives of NVIDIA, FutureMark, and ATI about this controversy in an attempt to better understand the issues involved. Also, over the past few days, some intriguing new details about the architecture of NVIDIA's new GeForce FX chip have come to light, and those revelations may help explain why NVIDIA has objected so strenuously to 3DMark03's design. I'll try to cover what's happened and why it matters.
Original URL, circa 2003:

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