3DMark Vantage is one of the first gaming benchmarks that has been designed from the ground up for use on systems running Windows Vista SP1. 3DMark Vantage is composed of four full bore benchmarking tests (2 CPU tests and 2 GPU tests) and 6 feature tests. Four presets, a groundbreaking new feature, vastly augments the variety of PCs that can be tested with the product. Presets range from value through performance to high end cinematic rendering resolutions and features. By creating a new set of high end presets, 3DMark Vantage is future proofed for the new multi-core CPU and Graphics Processing Unit products as well as supporting the Physics Processing Unit to expand the range of technology, testing and prevent the benchmark from being bottlenecked for its users.
Pricing and Editions
For years 3DMark has been free for non-commercial and personal use, but that is not exactly the case with 3DMark Vantage. Due to the increased amount of work necessary to create a benchmark for Windows Vista OS which has required new software engines, tooling and artwork as well as an increased level of web services and analysis tools, offered to the benchmarking consumers, Futuremark has had to change thier pricing strategy for 3DMark Vantage. A no cost option is still available in the form of a one-time use Trial Version of the Basic edition. The Trial version will deliver a 3DMark Vantage score and allow for submission of a result into the Online Results Browser, but, will require upgrading to the Basic Version for benchmarkers who want to use it for an unlimited number of runs. This can be done by simply entering in the correct registration code for the basic version without requiring an additional download.
The 3DMark Vantage Basic Edition – $6.95
The 3DMark Vantage Advanced Edition – $19.95 (Download Price)
3DMark Vantage Professional – $495.00/seat (download or CD-ROM)
Today, we will be taking a closer look at 3DMark Vantage Professional on the XFX GeForce 9800 GX2 and ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics cards. Both of these multiple-GPU based graphics cards are flagship parts, so it will be interesting to see how they do on the latest DirectX 10 benchmark on the market. Last week NVIDIA sent over a Forceware driver that was built just for use with 3DMark Vantage. This is a Release 173 driver, build version 175.12 and was used for our testing. At the very last minute, ATI Technologies sent over ATI Catalyst driver hotfix (8.471.1) for testing. Both companies are still working on perfecting drivers, so it should only get better from here. Before we move on to testing let’s take a look at the new game tests.