Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!

The demo

3DMark has primarily served the purpose to benchmark and otherwise gauge system 3D performance, nonetheless for many enthusiasts its accompanying 3D demo remains of equal interest. What has Futuremark done this time round? To answer this isn't as straightforward since the demo in 3DMark06 converges new and old to create new. Confused? The demo is an evolution of that found in 3DMark05 and for this reason much of the latter is used here albeit in a somewhat expanded and otherwise more spectacular presence. The Return to ProxyCon, Firefly Forest and Canyon Flight are a blast from the past reengineered to even greater glory than before. What's new is the Deep Freeze part of the demo, set it in the freezing Antarctic, it paints life in such subzero temperatures - windy and eventfully calm. Granted much of the demo is familiar from 3DMark05, this isn't to say its presentation hasn't been modified, indeed as selected enthusiasts will note, the existing demo content has been lengthened, some camera angles have changed, textures and geometry improved, and HDR including shadows added. The magnitude of these alterations yields an impressive display of eye candy above that available in 3DMark05. Return to Proxycon and Firefly Forest make use of Shader Model 2 (SM2.0) while Canyon Flight and Deep Freeze heavily utilise Shader Model 3 (SM3.0) and HDR. What may cause controversy between some past and present fans of the 3DMark series is how the demo is run. 3DMark06 Basic Edition only allows viewing the first part (i.e. Return to Proxycon), in order to view the full demo (i.e. all its 4 components), one needs to register thus purchase either the Advanced or Professional Edition. On a slightly positive note (only just) it's worthy to note that only the first two parts of the demo are available unless using a fully SM3.0 compliant graphics card (without counting the credits at the end). While this isn't anything to transform tears into laughter, it does albeit miserly (try as we might) signify that those of you with SM2.0 hardware needn't overly despair. Innovation unfortunately dictates certain rules and we cannot pursue it without giant leaps for mankind, which in practical terms means moving successfully onto SM3.0. The fact Futuremark chooses to charge for viewing the entire demo remains a debatable issue (bar none), however to condemn their efforts regarding the substantial reduction in support for end users with slightly older hardware has little ground on which to stand and be (at least methodically speaking) argued.

Uses 'Return To Proxycon' (Graphics Test 1) - SM2.0. Click images to enlarge.

Uses 'Firefly Forest' (Graphics Test 2) - SM2.0. Click images to enlarge.

Uses 'Canyon Flight' (Graphics Test 3) - SM3.0. Click images to enlarge.

Uses 'Deep Freeze' (Graphics Test 4) - SM3.0. Click images to enlarge.

Next Page: What's new?

  • News
  • Forums
  • Tweaks
  • Articles
  • Reviews