October 11, 2017 // 10:44 a.m.
Futuremark, the UL-owned benchmarking company formerly known as MadOnion.com, has officially released a new gaming benchmark targeting high-end desktop (HEDT) platforms - but you're going to have to pay to play.
In the latest release of the 3DMark gaming-centric benchmark, version 2.4.3819, there's a new variant of Futuremark's existing Time Spy benchmark. Dubbed Time Spy Extreme, the new variant is designed to put maximum stress on Windows 10 and DirectX 12 machines with an Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160) rendering resolution for the GPU side and a beefed-up CPU benchmark which is claimed to be three times tougher than the original Time Spy.
As with Futuremark's previous high-resolution and virtual reality focused benchmarks, you don't actually need a high resolution display to run Time Spy Extreme. If running on a system with a lower-than-Ultra HD display, 3DMark is clever enough to render the scenes internally at Ultra HD then downscale them for display - a technique often used in games to boost graphical quality by taking advantage of otherwise wasted graphical grunt on lower resolution displays.
While Time Spy Extreme will run on any high-end system with a 4GB or greater DirectX 12-compatible graphics card and an up-to-date installation of Windows 10, Futuremark is restricting its use to paid versions of the 3DMark benchmark only. Those running the free release will still be able to use the standard Time Spy benchmark, but both the benchmark and stress test modes of Time Spy Extreme are available only on 3DMark Advanced and upwards. Those who already own a copy of 3DMark Advanced purchased after mid-July 2016, Futuremark has confirmed, will receive the new Time Spy Extreme benchmark as a free upgrade.
The new release of 3DMark, which includes bug fixes for all releases including the free Basic Edition, is available now from the official website.