Conclusion

As far as we can see, 3DMark™2000 is about the best 3D graphics benchmark for D3D available.  Perhaps the only drawback is that you'll need a relatively powerful system to make use of it.  If we could send any input to MadOnion.com, it would be: 1) The benchmark should set a base reference mark so we can watch the levels at which technology in the 3D graphics arena advance, and 2) OpenGL tests.

The 3DMark™2000 Pro edition is exceptional in that the batch run feature allows you to set up the tests you'd like to run then with a single click you can leave the benchmark to run while you go on about other tasks.  The application runs and scores the tests without the need for user input..

The Batch Run Wizard allows you to select how many iterations the batch run will create in four simple steps. You can select from multiple resolutions, color depths, Z-buffer depths, Frame Buffer Depths and CPU optimizations. The number of benchmark runs that the current settings will create is displayed at the bottom of the dialog. The estimated time will tell you how long the whole batch run will last.  The results are saved as .3dp [3DMark Project] or .txt [3DMark project text export] files to a folder on your computer.  3DMark can create an automatic file name based on the 3D Accelerator name and the used test settings. If you prefer to use your own naming convention, you can do so as well.

The Image Quality feature alone is worth the cost of ordering the Pro edition as well.  You can compare the result rendered with your 3D accelerator to the reference images provided with 3DMark2000. The reference images have been rendered with Microsoft Direct3D Reference Rasterizer. If you have run the benchmark with several different 3D Accelerators, you are able to compare the images against each other in the Results Browser.

The standard edition of 3DMark™2000 is a 20MB download and the price is definitely right!  It's free!!!  And your copy is waiting for you at MadOnion.com .  Try it yourself and you'll no doubt be tweaking the graphics subsystem to increase your scores in no time.

About MadOnion.com

MadOnion.com is a "layered" Web services provider, powered by an Internet-based engine. Their world-famous 3DMark™ 99 - The Gamers' Benchmark - was first released in October 1998. In March 1999, 3DMark 99 MAX was introduced. It measures 3D gaming performance and compares the results online against thousands of other system configurations. With their results, PC users can make upgrading decisions. Now, with a distribution list exceeding 10 million, 3DMark is the global standard. MadOnion.com is based in San Jose, California, with offices in Toronto and Helsinki. For more information, please visit www.madonion.com.

MadOnion.com works in cooperation with virtually all of the major 3D hardware manufacturers. In addition to manufacturers, we're also working with software developers around the world to create and maintain a standard for testing game performance.  In order to guarantee 100% real environment for testing the game performance MadOnion.com has licensed MAX-FX™ Technology from Remedy Entertainment.

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