Futuremark, the benchmarking giant formerly known as Mad Onion, has released what it claims is the first benchmark designed specifically for ascertaining a system's ability to play games at Ultra HD and other 4K resolutions.
Ultra HD, the consumer-centric implementation of 4K, is becoming increasingly accessible to even those on a tight budget. Offering four times the resolution of Full HD, Ultra HD promises finer details and smoother images - but only if you've got the content. For gamers, that means having a rig beefy enough to push four times the pixels than usual - and there's no real way of knowing if your system is up to the task without picking up an Ultra HD display and trying it out.
That's the specific scenario Futuremark is trying to address: being able to rate your current system for Ultra HD suitability before you actually buy a high-resolution display device. The result is Fire Strike Ultra, a variant of its Fire Strike game benchmark which renders its contents at an internal resolution of 3,840x2,160 before scaling it down to the native resolution of the connected display. The result: a real-world view of how a given rig would perform when using an Ultra HD display.
Futuremark warns, however, that those whose system is more than capable of playing Full HD may be disappointed by its Ultra HD performance. The company explains that the number of triangles processed per frame jumps from 5.1 million in Fire Strike to 12.4 million in Fire Strike Ultra, vertices from 2.6 million to 6 million, and raw pixels from 170 million to 1.1 billion - meaning 66 billion pixels per second to maintain a framerate of 60 frames per second.
Futuremark has updated its technical guide
(PDF warning) with more details about Fire Strike Ultra, and has updated its 3DMark benchmark suite
with the new functionality. For the competitive types, it has also launched a leaderboard
for the new benchmark.