December 4, 2019 | 12:00
We don't focus much on synthetics, but we find them useful for two reasons. The first is presenting a score that you can easily compare your own hardware to in order to roughly gauge the difference an upgrade might make, and the second is for gauging performance differences at a more granular level when looking at things like different clock speed settings or power modes.
3DMark is probably the most popular synthetic benchmark around today. It has a DirectX 11 benchmark, Fire Strike, and a DirectX 12 one, Time Spy, and these are divided into different versions (e.g. Fire Strike Ultra) that refer to resolution/quality settings. We've focused on three benchmarks from the suite: Fire Strike (DX11, 1080p), Time Spy (DX12, 1440p), and Time Spy Extreme (DX12, 4K). The scores presented can be used as comparison points for entry-level, mid-range, and high-end hardware respectively.
Anyone can download and run the Fire Strike and Time Spy benchmarks
for free, but you'll need to pay to unlock Time Spy Extreme. We use the default settings for all tests, so you should easily be able to compare your scores. Note that we are reporting the 'Graphics' score rather than the more obvious overall system score that also incorporates CPU performance. The scoring system is linear, so 5,000 points is 25 percent faster than 4,000 points, and so on.
VRMark is another synthetic GPU benchmark from Futuremark, this time specifically designed to assess a system's ability to handle VR gaming, although no VR headset is required - a massive bonus from our perspective. The Orange Room test is designed to assess whether a system is capable of meeting the current minimum requirements for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headset, which equates to a score of 5,000 or above. The Cyan Room benchmark, meanwhile, is a VR benchmark that uses the DirectX 12 API. We run both on all cards at the default settings for easy comparison, and the scoring system is again linear.
March 25 2020 | 14:00