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Show Off: 3DMark 11

Coraltastic

I don’t have a DirectX 11 graphics card yet, and haven’t hitherto been moved to desire one. This trailer for the latest iteration of venerable (and oft-controversial*) PC benchmarking app 3DMark rather makes me want one, however.

Of course, the visual splendour to be found in an application dedicated to pushing high-end PCs to the absolute limit has about as much in common with the graphical capabilities of contemporary videogames as do olympic athletes, lumberjacks or men who can successful change a tyre to me. So it’s utterly futile to dream of playing in worlds that look quite as lovely as this. We’re a long way off PCs being able to generate scenes of this quality at 60 or even 30 frames per second. What 3DMark11 will be good for, upon its release in the third quarter of this year (why can’t people just use months?), is to wave your big digital willy around and see if anyone’s impressed. For the rest of us, admiring the oceanic footage below may well be enough.

Here’s the video, though you should really click through to the HD version to get the full, deliberately murky effect.

Ooh, barnacley. Tell your more naive friends it’s the first Bioshock 3 footage.

If you’re toting a DirectX10 card, you may want to give 3D Mark Vantage a spin. If you’re still in DX9 climes, then you’ll want 3D Mark 06. If you’re still on DirectX 8, go back to Counter-Strike, old man.

* There have been a few tech press allegations over the years that NVIDIA and ATI have tailored their drivers to ensure superior 3D Mark results over the competition, regardless of how accurately that reflected their card’s real-world gaming performance. I have no idea of the truth or extent of this, or whether it still continues. Intrigue and conspiracy at even the driest of echelons, eh?

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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