A benchmark program is one that has been designed to squeeze the maximum performance of the hardware and, thus, allow us to know its real performance. There are all kinds of programs to analyze the performance of a computer, from general programs to measure the performance of the computer as a whole, such as AIDA64 or PCMark, to specialized programs in certain components, such as Cinebench for the CPU or 3DMark for graphics cards.
3DMark is a benchmark software developed by Futuremark (UL) that allows us to measure the performance of our computer when playing. This program consists of a series of tests, from less demanding to more demanding, so that we can know in detail how far our processor and our graphics card can reach. We can measure performance from mobile games to 4K gaming.
This program is ideal for comparing different configurations of a computer, measuring the difference in performance between two or more components and, above all, to see how much our equipment improves by overclocking it. It even has a stability test that will let us know if the overclock is stable or can give us problems.
This tool has specific tests for DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and older versions, such as 10 and up to 9. In addition, it has stress tests, stability tests and even specialized tests to measure the bandwidth of the GPU and the performance with Ray Tracing and DLSS.
Futuremark benchmark software has been in operation since 1998, for more than 20 years, and has always been up to date including support for the latest technologies and updating its tests to the latest versions of DirectX.
Where to buy 3DMark for Windows
Although until recently you could buy this software directly from its main website, right now the best option we have is to buy it on Steam. In this store we will find the best offers and, in addition, we can buy the different accessories to improve the functions of this software.
The official price of the tool is $ 29.99 on the website. However, in Steam we can get a pack with all the accessories (even the latest Port Royale tests) for less than 25 euros. And if we wait for a good offer, we can get all the tools of Futuremark for less than 10 euros. A bargain.
We can also buy a 3DMark license on websites for Steam, such as Instant Gaming, saving us money. On this website, for example, this license costs 18 euros, but we must bear in mind that it does not come with all DLCs.
3DMark DLC for all types of tests
All the add-ons included in the 3DMark benchmark suite are:
- Time Spy: for gaming computers with DirectX 12. We can choose between normal and "extreme".
- Night Raid: DirectX 12 test for computers with integrated graphics.
- Fire Strike: for computers with DirectX 11. There are several editions: normal, ultra and extreme.
- Sky Diver: for gaming laptops and mid-range computers.
- Cloud Gate: for basic notebooks and mid-range computers.
- Ice Storm: to analyze smartphones and tablets.
- API Overhead: measures the performance of the computer's API.
- PCI Express: measures the bandwidth of the PCI Express port.
- VRS: VRS test to measure performance and image quality.
- Port Royal: test to measure the performance of RTX graphics when moving Ray Tracing.
- DLSS test: performance test with and without Deep Learning. For RTX graphics.
The most important and representative for a gaming computer is Time Spy, Fire Strike and Port Royale (if we have an RTX graphic).
And we will also have a trial version of VRMark, the virtual reality benchmark software.
If we buy the application alone, without a pack like Steam, we can use all the tests except Time Spy and Port Royale, along with the subtests (such as DLSS) included in them.
How to measure the performance of my PC with 3DMark
Once we have this application in our possession (in our Steam library, specifically) we download and install it as if it were any game. Once downloaded we execute it to go to the main window of the program.
In the main window we will be able to see all the tests we have to measure the performance of our computer. If one is not installed, we can download it from this application as we need it. In addition, if we do not have any purchased, we can also buy it from here.
When we select a test, we can see a summary window of it. Each test is configured as a base to run with a configuration so that the data is as neutral and comparable as possible between different computers and components. Anyway, if we want, we can launch customized tests with the configurations that we want.
When we run the test, the program loads all the resources and executes them. Each test usually takes a few minutes to finish. And while they are running, it is best not to be doing anything else with the computer, so that the values are as reliable and real as possible.
When each of the tests ends, we can see an overall score of the same. We can also see the values obtained in each of the individual tests, as well as a summary of the hardware used and other detailed information.
In addition, we can also see our results online. In this way we can know more data about them, about our PC and about the note that other users with similar hardware are taking.
Every time we make changes to our equipment (for example, update a driver, update Windows, etc.) we can repeat these performance tests to know if it has improved or worsened in PC operation. The same happens when we overclock the PC components. So, we will be able to know if the new configuration is stable and, in addition, the performance improvement we have achieved.