1. #1
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    One benchmark for DirectX 9, 10 and 11

    We got asked about this on our Facebook page and it's a great question so we are sharing the answer here as well.

    Rhys asks,
    "You have written on your website '3DMark for Windows is the world's first unified graphics benchmark able to test all DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11', if i'm not mistaken Unigine's Heaven Benchmark as been had support for these since October 2009. they've also included OpenGL 4.0 as of recently. So how is 3DMark the first?"
    Windows 8 will run on a wide range of form factors, from super-light, low-power tablets to high-end, high-power gaming rigs. Microsoft is recommending that game developers use the DirectX 11 API if they intend to support both Windows 8 and Windows RT, especially if they are developing Metro style apps.

    Other benchmarks, including ours, typically use legacy APIs like DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 to support older hardware, but the next 3DMark will always use DirectX 11 regardless of the target hardware.

    The next 3DMark will render to DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 hardware by using a feature of the DirectX 11 API that Microsoft calls 'feature levels'. While this will allow the benchmark to run on older hardware, its main purpose is to enable the benchmark to test the new class of DirectX 9 and DirectX 10 hardware used in new devices such as lightweight tablets and ultrabooks.

    These feature levels are also good for gamers as many DirectX 9 functions are faster and more efficient when called through the DirectX 11 API compared to the legacy DirectX 9 API. Feature levels are an important part of how Windows 8 and Windows RT handle graphics, especially on Windows RT tablets and devices. There are more details about feature levels on the Microsoft developer page.

    So to answer the question, 3DMark for Windows is different from Heaven because it will be the first benchmark for testing DirectX 9, DirectX 10 and DirectX 11 hardware through the DirectX 11 API.

  2. #2
    Master Onion
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    Will this be supported by WP8? WP8 supports DX11.

  3. #3
    Emperor Apprentice
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    Would be nice one day to see an OpenGL 4 benchmark from FM, one of the good things about the Unigine Heaven benchmark is that it'll also run on Linux too.

  4. #4

    DX9 legacy support

    So, if I understand this correctly, the new benchmark will support DX9 however, it needs to be able to utilize DX11 API's. What if the drivers do not currently support DX11 API's such as VMware drivers for Windows 7 and 8. Will the benchmark not run or will it go back to DX9 legacy?

  5. #5
    Futuremark Staff
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    Quote Originally posted by jeffmwknight View Post
    So, if I understand this correctly, the new benchmark will support DX9 however, it needs to be able to utilize DX11 API's. What if the drivers do not currently support DX11 API's such as VMware drivers for Windows 7 and 8. Will the benchmark not run or will it go back to DX9 legacy?
    If 3Dmark 11 runs, 3DMark runs. Additionally 3DMark runs with DX9 and DX10 level hardware if OS supports DX11 API.

    So the question is "does VMWare support DX11 API at all?" if not, then 3DMark won't work.

    The technique used by 3DMark is Direct3D Feature Levels. See here; http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...=vs.85%29.aspx

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