LIGHTSMARK is a new benchmark/demo with real-time global illumination and penumbra shadows created by Stepan Hrbek. Lightsmark version 1.3 was used as it contains new rendering paths for ATI Radeon HD 2xxx and 38XX series graphics cards. Before version 1.3 was released, the ATI Radeon HD 38xx series video cards were unable to render objects in the benchmark.
It should be noted that ATI questioned our use of this benchmark as the developer is a private individual that never contacted developer relations at ATI. ATI also made it clear to us that although this benchmark uses global illumination, that it is not similar to the DX10.1 demo that ATI been showing. ATI isn’t sure how the benchmark is made as they have not had time to look into it, but if its rendering to cube maps then its likely that performance could be increased if the app used DX10.1’s indexed cube maps.
To be fair to both side we contacted the creator of Lightsmark 2007 and Stepan Hrbek had this to say.
“I developed it with 3 Radeon and 3 GeForce cards, randomly switching them, there are no special optimizations, IMHO it’s fair. I bought all 6 cards, no gifts.. Small unfairness is only in quality. The same shader on Nvidia card produces smoother shadows but I don’t give Nvidia any bonus points for quality, only fps is measured. It uses completely new technique where part of calculation runs on CPU, drivers were not optimized for it for years, so it’s possible that it hits some unoptimized driver code. But both companies are in the same situation.”
Since we ran the test, we will go ahead and include it, but what the results mean is up in the air.
Benchmark Results: Lightsmark 2007 v1.3 showed the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 in a virtual tie with the 3870 single card at both resolutions tested. It is very interesting to see the 3870 Crossfire setup come in third place here, even behind a single card. Obviously this benchmark and the drivers are both not configured to properly run a Crossfire setup. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 leads the test, but this is likely due to the higher core clock frequency that the card has.