I was passed this article and thought that I should respond on the record to Tweaktown and our loyal readers. We appreciate the work that Tweaktown and other hardware review sites provide for their readers and read many of them every day. This may printed in its entirety.
First, let me write that we are fully supportive of anyone in the PC industry who wants to create benchmarks that assist PC users (and gamers in particular), in learning about their PC Hardware that they already own as well as helping to inform them about a future purchasing decision. The more benchmarks and games with benchmarks built-in that are available for this purpose, the better educated the consumers will be when they make their decisions if they use a variety of these of these benchmarks. A new benchmark in the market only can add to this process, especially if it is well designed.
I also wanted to clear up a few things in the article that may not be known about Futuremark's benchmarks and processes or that have been forgotten:
- Although Futuremark's rendering and game engines used in 3DMark and PCMark have not been licensed for use in commercial games (it is not our current business model), they have been put to use in quite a few non-commercial games already such as Ice Storm Fighters, Ice Storm Fighters2 and Snow racers (Intel), Canyon Fodder for Ageia, as well as the game included with the advanced version of 3DMark06. 3DMark01 used the same engine that powered the very popular Max Payne from Remedy. Many of the scientists, engineers and artists who work on our benchmarks have worked on games and I know that they all love to play as well. This work is a passion for them just like it is for the thousands of other game producers, artists and engineers in the PC Gaming Industry.
- Part of the science of making a good benchmark is that it also is able to scale well over time and does not cause bottlenecks for different components in the system. By having different scenes with varying workloads we have been able to keep our benchmarks fresh over long periods of time and we work hard to improve each succesive benchmark.
- The new benchmarks are created in cooperation with a large number of companies that can be found here: www.futuremark.com/bdp . For the next 3DMark that is in development which is completely DX10, we have the largest group and variety of Silicon, OEM and ODM companies than ever before helping to make this the most advanced 3DMark ever and more are joining every month.
- Futuremark's 3DMark06 will scale with all available single and multi-core processors and do not have an upper limit on the number of threads available. (this is since last February '06)
- Both 3DMark06 and PCMark05 have been updated for Vista. (Nov. '06)
We also put a lot of time into approving all the major IHV's driver to ensure that they comply with Futuremark's driver optimization guidelines. That way, when a consumer or review site uses the benchmark, they know that they are comparing apples to apples. Once the benchmark has been run, we offer a host of services on our website www.futuremark.com/orb for our users to compare their results against a database of over 14 Million other results that have been uploaded.
I hope that this helps to clarify both Futuremark's position as well as a few of the technical points.
VP Sales and Marketing North America