3DMark ReviewGuest_Jim_* -
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Testing Setup & Results:
As I am not a hardware reviewer, I do not have multiple graphics cards on which I can run 3DMark. However, I did get a test result with the 313.96 Beta drivers before updating to the 314.07 WHQL drivers. Remember, the Ice Storm result is the Entry level equivalent for previous benchmarks, Cloud Gate is the Performance level equivalent, and Fire Strike is the Extreme level equivalent. (Fire Strike Extreme would be beyond the Extreme level equivalent, I guess.)
- Processor: AMD Phenom II 720 BE, 4-core, @3.40GHz (17.0x200)
- Cooling: Corsair H50 with Push-pull Akasa 120mm fans
- Motherboard: ASUS M4A785TD-V EVO 785G
- Memory: Corsair Dominator 2x2 GB and G.Skill Ripjaws 2x4 GB (12 GB total) @ 1600MHZ 9-10-9-28
- GPU: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB (797/1594/1950)
- Hard Drive: 1 x Western Digital Caviar Black 750 GB SATA
- Power Supply: Corsair 750TX
- OS: Windows 7- Home Premium 64-bit
- NVIDIA GeForce 313.96 Beta Driver (64-bit)
- NVIDIA GeForce 314.07 WHQL Driver (64-bit)
As you can see, the newer 314 drivers do show an increase in average performance in every test, though the increase narrows for the more intensive tests. There were single tests in which the beta drivers did better than one of the WHQL drivers' tests, but this is not terribly surprising. Just as important as increased performance though is the smaller standard deviation of the release drivers, which means their performance is more consistent.
Overall this 3DMark is definitely proving to be a powerful tool with its many options, though they are only available to those who purchase a license. Even with the Basic edition though, you have access to the default tests, which is all that matters for comparing results and showing off your graphical prowess. It will be very interesting to see what happens once the mobile device versions are released though; these will usher in a consistent benchmarking tool for the most popular non-console gaming platforms currently available.