"The standard PC gaming performance benchmark."
When we are talking about 3DMark Vantage we are talking about the leader in gaming PC benchmark, a software use by every gamer, that gives an accurate result, to compare their machines. The latest version comes for DirectX10 on Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating system and brings two graphics tests, two CPU tests and six feature tests. The software has 3 edition, “Basic”, which is free, being more or less a trial version, with many features not available and that can only show results online, “Advanced”, that has most of the features and comes at a cost of 19.99$ and “Professional Edition” which compared with the Advanced versions is licensed for commercial use, includes command line automation as a feature and has priority support, but that comes at a cost of 995.00$.
Before installing make sure that the minimum hardware and software requirements are met:
Processor: Requirement: x86/x64 single core CPU with SSE2 support, Recommendation: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600, AMD Athlon X2 6000+ or equivalent, or higher;
Graphics Card: Requirement: Fully DirectX10-compliant graphics hardware;
Display Device: Requirement: Capable of 1280x1024 resolution, Recommendation: Capable of 1920x1200 resolution, needed to run all the presets;
System Memory: Requirement: Windows Vista minimum requirements, Recommendation: 2GB or more;
Hard Disk: Requirement: 1GB of free hard disk space
Operating System: Requirement Windows Vista or Windows 7
Installing is simple and straight forward with a "Express", which will install all the features, or "Custom" option that allows the user to select the destination path of the software and selection the features by everyone needs. I recommend the Express install since all features have a good utility. The installation process shouldn't take more the a couple of minutes depending on your computer setup.
3DMark Vantage's futuristic interface design cannot be more simple and more easy to use then it is. It has basic elements for beginners users like a “Run Benchmark” button that will run all tests and will display the results, but also more advanced options for expert users that can set each tests options of their choice like the resolution, multisample count, loop count, texture quality, shadow shader quality, shadow resolution quality, shader quality, post processing scale options, or run individual tests of users choice.
Futuremark Corporation made some important changes on 3DMark Vantage that are really appreciated by the users, like removing the trial version, which only allowed 1 benchmark test, and making the Basic Edition free, they also recompiled it with Visual Studio 2010 and updated SystemInfo component to version 4.0. Another plus for them is the online ranking which allows the users to compare their gaming PC setups.
The main two downsides of 3DMark Vantage are the lack of features and options for the free version and the requirement of internet connection to see the scores.
If you have a gaming Pc and want to see his limits and compare it with other benchmark results 3DMark Vantage is the software for you.
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