Cost of a benchmark today: 3DMarkVantage budget was five million dollars

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Cost of a benchmark today: 3DMarkVantage budget was five million dollars

Espoo (Finland) – Futuremark Corporation has released its 3DMark Vantage a benchmark that will surely be run by the major hardware sites thousands of times in the next few days.  The DirectX 10.0 benchmark (yes, it uses 10.0, not 10.1) has native support for 32- and 64-bit mode and a host of other interesting features.

But in order to develop a benchmark that works natively with 32 threads (you can go all the way to quad-socket Bloomfield) and knows the difference between 2 and 4 GB of system memory, Futuremark spent a small fortune – five million dollars, that is.

Budget-wise, it costs more and more to produce a benchmark. PCMarkVantage ate a cool million dollars, while 3DMark05 and 3DMark06 each came with a price tag “millions of dollars” (3DMark05 and 3DMark 06 had a price tag of $2 million each).

We spoke with Oliver Baltuch, President of Futuremark Corporation. Oliver stated that the costs of developing benchmarks were going through the roof, and that was the main reasons why the company changed the policy of charging for the basic multi-run version. The biggest issue Futuremark found was that companies were using the free version to advertise their systems, from AIB manufacturers to system integrators.  Escalating costs were also one of reasons why Futuremark Gaming Studios were incorporated.

According to Futuremark, PCMarkVantage was one of the rare benchmarks that broke even financially. If 3DMarkVantage achieves a profit, it will be a major milestone for Futuremark, who will then have more resources to dedicate in order to make a Windows 7 benchmark. Until that time, 3DMarkVantage is here to stay.

We’re currently running tests on majority of graphics cards, including FireGL and Quadro boards, and you can expect some results soon. We’re looking into CPU scaling as well.