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DirectX 12 Time Spy Benchmark Released for 3DMark

Category: Software
Posted: 12:04PM

Last week saw the release of the much anticipated Time Spy DirectX 12 benchmark for 3DMark, which had been teased in late June. This new benchmark leverages several features of the low-level API to push hardware to its limits with far, far larger workloads than the Fire Strike DirectX 11 test. For comparison, while the first Fire Strike graphics test contains 3,900,000 vertices and 5,100,000 triangles, the first Time Spy graphics test has 30,000,000 vertices and 13,500,000 triangles. The second tests again show an order of magnitude increase from 2,600,000 vertices and 5,800,000 triangles to 40,000,000 vertices and 14,000,000 triangles. You can check out the graph below, or the technical guide for more information on this.

While Time Spy does employ DirectX 12 to make this much rendering even possible, it only uses feature level 11_0. Feature levels are something introduced in DirectX 11 that FutureMark is already using in 3DMark with its older tests. Instead of having the other tests using DirectX 9 or 10 engines, all of the other tests in 3DMark use DirectX 11 but different feature levels to target the appropriately compatible hardware. By using feature level 11_0 for Time Spy, the performance gains of DirectX 12 can still be had while ensuring compatibility with DirectX 11 hardware, through DirectX 12 drivers. Time Spy does still use special DirectX 12 features, like explicit multi-adapter, improved multi-threading capabilities and resource handling, and the oft discussed asynchronous compute. (However, apparently NVIDIA drivers prevent Maxwell GPUs from using asynchronous compute currently, so the different queue types are run in sequence instead of parallel, as asynchronous compute allows. My GTX 980 uses Maxwell and it sees no difference between async being on and off.)

Anyway, that is probably enough technical stuff for now. Time Spy is going to be part of the free Basic Edition or Steam demo of 3DMark. The Advanced Edition will also receive Time Spy for free, but you will need to purchase the 3DMark Time Spy upgrade for $9.99 ($4.99 until July 23) to get additional features such as custom settings, the stress test, and the ability to skip the demo. Also the Advanced Edition will see a rise in price from $24.99 to $29.99 on July 23, but until then it is actually on sale at 60% off, or $9.99.



Source: FutureMark and the Technical Guide (PDF)

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