Press releases


Servermark Media Transcode benchmark is now available

November 20, 2017


Servermark server benchmark suite

The first server benchmark in our new Servermark suite—Servermark Media Transcode—is now available from our UL website.

Servermark is a new benchmark suite from UL and Futuremark. Servermark brings our trusted benchmarking expertise to industry, enterprise, and press users who are searching for accurate and impartial server benchmarks. 

Servermark tests are easy to install, run, and understand, which means you can choose and compare server hardware configurations with confidence.

The first Servermark test in the suite is the Media Transcode benchmark. More Servermark benchmarks are in development and will be available with future updates.

Servermark Media Transcode benchmark

Media Transcode is a Servermark benchmark for testing the performance of media transcoding servers individually or as a cluster. The aim of the benchmark is to determine how many video streams a server can transcode simultaneously using high-performance media transcoding libraries from Intel and NVIDIA.

Servermark Media Transcode result screenshot

The video content used in the benchmark test covers real-world challenges such high motion, low motion, and low light. A range of options and settings let you configure the target video format, resolution, and quality level. The benchmark produces a set of useful performance and quality metrics that you can use to compare server configurations. You can also compare the input and output videos by eye or with your own quality tools. 

UL benchmarks

Futuremark is part of UL, the global safety science company. Servermark is our first UL-branded benchmark. You can find out more about Servermark on our new UL website at https://benchmarks.UL.com/servermark.



VRMark Cyan Room coming November 22

November 15, 2017


VRMark - The Virtual Reality Benchmark

We're excited to announce that VRMark Cyan Room—our new DirectX 12 benchmark test for VR—will be released on November 22.

VRMark is a benchmarking application for measuring VR performance. You can run VRMark tests on your monitor—no headset required—or on a connected HMD. Each benchmark runs on a fixed path, which makes it easy to repeat the test on other systems to compare performance.

VRMark Cyan Room - DirectX 12 benchmark for VR

Cyan Room is a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for VR. It uses a pure DirectX 12 engine built in-house and optimized for VR. It features a large, complex environment and many eye-catching effects. Cyan Room shows how using an API with less overhead can help developers deliver impressive VR experiences even on modest PC systems.

VRMark Cyan Room benchmark screenshot

VRMark's Experience mode will let you explore the Cyan Room in your own time. You can change the rendering resolution and other settings to make the scene more or less demanding. VR headsets use clever techniques to compensate for missed frames. Using Experience mode with a VR headset is a great way to see how system performance affects your VR experience.

VRMark Cyan Room benchmark screenshot

First released in November 2016, VRMark has helped thousands of people test their PC's performance for VR.  

The VRMark Orange Room benchmark tests your system against the recommended hardware requirements for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. 

The Blue Room is a much more demanding test. With its massive 5K rendering resolution and spectacular volumetric lighting effects, it sets a high bar for future hardware generations.

After running a benchmark, you see if your PC was able to meet the target frame rate, a comparison with other systems, and detailed hardware monitoring charts.

Available November 22

Cyan Room will be released on November 22 as a free update for VRMark Advanced Edition and VRMark Professional Edition. Find out more.



PCMark 10 v1.0.1403 update released

November 13, 2017


Today we released a minor update for PCMark 10 that improves the PDF result report feature and fixes a few minor bugs. Benchmarks scores are not affected.

Improved

  • SystemInfo module updated to 5.3.629 for improved compatibility with the latest hardware.

Fixed

  • Fixed an issue with the Web Browsing video workload not starting in some cases.
  • Fixed an issue with the Web Browsing workload not starting when running on a proxy server.
  • Improved logging for the App Start-up, Spreadsheets, Writing, and Web Browsing workloads.

Professional Edition only

  • You can now customize the PDF result report with your own logo. 
  • Added hardware monitoring graphs to the PDF result report.
  • Subscores from PCMark 10 Extended benchmark runs are now included in PDF and XML result reports.
  • Fixed the "--clean-temporary-files" command line option.
  • Added a new command line setting "tempdir" for overriding the default location for the workloads' temporary files.

How to get the latest version

To update to the latest version, open PCMark 10 and follow the prompts on the Home screen. If you bought or downloaded PCMark 10 from Steam you will get the latest updates automatically.



Futuremark and Newegg offer PC enthusiasts everything they need in one place

November 7, 2017


We are proud to announce a new partnership with Newegg, the leading tech-focused e-retailer in North America. The partnership sees Newegg complement its comprehensive selection of PC components and complete systems with our popular 3DMark, VRMark and PCMark 10 benchmarks. It's a winning combination: everything you need to build and benchmark a new PC in one place.

Newegg has long been the preferred destination for tech-savvy PC users when buying or building a new PC or upgrading individual components. Futuremark benchmark tests have helped millions of people test, compare and understand PC performance. Now for the first time, PC enthusiasts can buy Futuremark benchmarks from the same place they buy their components and accessories.

Jani Joki, Commercial Director at Futuremark, said,

“Our benchmarks have been used by gamers, overclockers and PC enthusiasts for almost 20 years. We are delighted to partner with Newegg to offer 3DMark, VRMark and PCMark 10 to PC gamers and system builders who care about performance.”

Merle McIntosh, Newegg’s SVP of Sales & Marketing, said,

“Newegg is committed to offering the most comprehensive hardware selection and a superior shopping experience. 3DMark, VRMark and PCMark 10 are industry-standard benchmarks that add to Newegg’s selection and help the company deliver everything from hardware components to PC performance measurement tools.”

To celebrate the start of this partnership, 3DMark, VRMark, and PCMark 10 Advanced Editions will be featured in Newegg’s Black November Gaming Edition promotion from November 7-13. 

About Newegg

Newegg Inc. is the leading electronics-focused e-retailer in the United States. It owns and operates Newegg.com (https://www.newegg.com) which was founded in 2001 and regularly earns industry-leading customer service ratings. It now has a global reach to more than 50 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East. The award-winning website has more than 32 million registered users and offers customers a comprehensive selection of the latest consumer electronics, entertainment, smart home and gaming products, consistently ranking as one of the best online shopping destinations.



3DMark Time Spy Extreme - 4K DirectX 12 benchmark available now

October 11, 2017


3DMark API Overhead feature test

We released a major update for 3DMark today that adds Time Spy Extreme, a new DirectX 12 benchmark test for 4K gaming PCs.

Time Spy Extreme is a benchmark for gamers who want to play at the highest settings, system builders configuring 4K-capable machines, and overclockers who are tweaking the latest PC hardware for every last bit of extra performance.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme - 4K DirectX 12 benchmark

Time Spy Extreme is the world's first 4K DirectX 12 benchmark test, developed with input from AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, and the other members of our Benchmark Development Program.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme screenshot

With its 4K Ultra HD rendering resolution and a redesigned CPU test, Time Spy Extreme is the ideal benchmark test for the latest high-end graphics cards and new processors with 8 or more cores. You don't need a 4K monitor to run the test, though you will need a GPU with at least 4 GB of dedicated memory.

Ideal for new multi-core processors

The CPU test has been redesigned to let processors with 8 or more cores perform to their full potential. Compared with Time Spy, the Extreme CPU test is three times more demanding. It also lets processors use more advanced instructions sets up to AVX2 when supported.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme result screenshot

You'll find a more detailed description of the tests and scoring methods in the 3DMark Technical Guide.

Time Spy Extreme Stress Test

The update also adds a new Time Spy Extreme Stress Test. Stress testing is a good way to check the stability of your system after buying or building a new PC, upgrading your graphics card, or overclocking your GPU. It can help you identify hardware problems or a need for better cooling.

3DMark Time Spy Extreme Stress Test result screenshot

Available now

Time Spy Extreme is available now as a free update for 3DMark Advanced Edition and 3DMark Professional Edition licenses purchased after July 14, 2016, and for those with older copies who already own the Time Spy upgrade.

Standalone versions of 3DMark will prompt you to download and install the update. On Steam, 3DMark is updated automatically. 

3DMark Advanced Edition - $29.99

3DMark Advanced Edition unlocks all benchmarks and additional features including Time Spy Extreme, Stress Tests, and Custom Run settings. 3DMark is available to download and buy from our online store and from Steam.

  • Unlock all benchmarks and feature tests including Time Spy Extreme.
  • Check your PC's stability with 3DMark Stress Tests.
  • Explore your PC's performance limits with custom settings.
  • Get in-depth insights with interactive performance graphs.
  • Automatically save your results offline.

3DMark Professional Edition - from $1495 per year

3DMark Professional Edition is licensed for business and commercial use. It offers additional features designed for business users such as command line automation and scripting, extended Stress Test options, Image Quality Tool, private offline results by default, and result export to XML for further analysis and reporting.



Is it true that iPhones get slower over time?

October 6, 2017


Last week, a story went viral that claimed Apple was intentionally slowing down older iPhones to push people to buy its latest models.

The claim was based on data which shows Google searches for "iPhone slow" spiking dramatically with the release of each new model.

And while plenty of reputable sites debunked the logic of that claim, no one looked at actual performance data to tell the true story.

Fortunately, we have plenty of real-world data we can use. Since 2016, we have collected more than a hundred thousand benchmark results for seven different iPhone models across three different versions of iOS.

These benchmark results provide a unique insight into the everyday performance of each iPhone model over time. And, as you'll see, there are no signs of a conspiracy.

How we test iPhone performance

3DMark is a free benchmarking app for testing the performance of smartphones. It works by running a demanding series of tests. Each test produces a set of scores that you can use to compare devices. The recommended test for recent iPhone models is called Sling Shot Extreme.

Are older iPhones being deliberately slowed?

We looked at data for the iPhone 5s first because, if older devices are being deliberately slowed, the effect should be most obvious with models that have been around for longer.

The chart below shows iPhone 5s GPU performance over time. Each bar shows the average 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Graphics test score calculated from all results submitted during that month. A higher score indicated better performance. The bars are coloured according to iOS version.

As you can see, iPhone 5s GPU performance has remained consistent from iOS 9 to iOS 11 with only minor variations that fall well within normal levels.

iPhone 5s Sling Shot Extreme GPU performance

The next chart below shows CPU performance over time as measured by the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Physics test. Again, it is clear that iOS updates have not had a significant effect on performance.

iPhone 5s Sling Shot Extreme CPU performance

The charts for the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 7 tell a similar story. GPU performance has remained consistent across iOS versions with only minor variations.

The graphs for CPU performance show a very slight drop in performance over time - possibly due to minor iOS updates or other factors - but a user would be unlikely to notice this small difference in everyday use.

iPhone GPU and CPU performance in Sling Shot Extreme

Why do searches for "iPhone slow" spike when new models are released?

Our benchmarking data shows that, rather than intentionally degrading the performance of older models, Apple actually does a good job of supporting its older devices with regular updates that maintain a consistent level of performance across iOS versions.

That said, there are some factors that might affect people's perception of performance after updating an older device with a newer version of iOS. An update might add new features that use more resources or require more processing power. New apps developed for the latest models might not run as smoothly on older devices. Conversely, apps designed for an earlier version of iOS might not take full advantage of optimizations in the latest version. And then there is always the  psychological effect of knowing that there is a new and improved model available, which can make your own device seem outdated.

How to test your own Android or Apple phone 

3DMark is a free benchmarking app available from the Apple App Store and Google Play. Benchmark your phone and see how it compares with the latest models.

Download 3DMark Sling Shot Apple benchmark from the App Store  Download 3DMark Android benchmark from Google Play



UL opens new Futuremark Performance Lab in Fremont, California

September 20, 2017


UL Benchmarks

People sometimes wonder how we built our global benchmarking business from Finland. It hasn't been easy. After all, Finland is kind of...remote. 

That's why we are excited to announce the opening of a new Futuremark testing facility in Fremont, California that is ideally placed to serve our partners and customers in Silicon Valley.

The Futuremark Performance Lab is a key part of UL's expansion into benchmarking services. In addition to benchmark testing, the lab will also enable us to offer new services to electronics retailers and hardware manufacturers in North America. 

Futuremark Performance Lab

In our purpose-built lab, we can test the performance of servers, laptops, desktop PCs, mobile devices, and enterprise hardware. 

The lab is housed in a 21.55 m2 (232 sq ft) temperature-controlled room that is fully ESD compliant. The lab is equipped with a variety of digital testing hardware including oscilloscope, multimeter, precision scales, sound level meter, infrared thermometer, and luminance meter. 

Our professional photography equipment includes an SLR camera with macro lens and macro flash, LED light panels, studio light box, and backdrop. Together with our benchmarking software, the lab has everything we need to provide a complete testing service for our customers.

VR Testing and Training

Our VR lab is the first of its kind within UL. It provides a dedicated space in which to demonstrate and test VR equipment. It also serves as a safe environment in which to develop, test and experience VR-based training.

The lab is designed to provide the ideal environment for experiencing VR. It has ample floor space to move around unobstructed while up above, the ceiling-mounted cable management system and sensors keep wires out of the way. The lab is configured with powerful VR-ready PCs supporting Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. Standalone and mobile VR platforms are also available. 

Technical Marketing Services

Our Technical Marketing Services team evaluates our partners' products to find insights that drive compelling marketing stories. Our new lab provides the ideal facility for testing servers, PCs, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, VR systems, and enterprise software. 

With a focus on real-world performance and user experience metrics, we find the facts and present them in professionally crafted reports, white papers, infographics and presentation slides. Find out more

Retail Solutions

The Futuremark Performance Lab in Fremont will also support our new Retail Solutions business. Here we use our expertise in PC and mobile performance to help retailers increase sales, reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction. 

We offer a set of services to help retailers find better ways to sell consumer electronics to their customers. We can test and assess products, create and define product categories, and provide marketing support. In Europe, we have recently helped one of the biggest electronics retailers in the Nordic region improve the way it sells PCs. Find out more.  

Open for business

The Futuremark Performance Lab is located within the UL building at 47173 Benicia Street, Fremont, CA, 94538. To find out more, please call Ryan McCall on +1 510-319-4400 or email benchmark.sales@ul.com.



How does Android 8.0 affect everyday performance?

September 7, 2017


PCMark for Android benchmark for smart phones and tablets

Google has started rolling out Android 8.0 to its Pixel and Nexus devices with other manufacturers expected to follow later this year.

According to Google, Android 8.0 is, "Smarter, faster, more powerful and sweeter than ever," but will you notice the difference when using your favorite apps?

Android OS updates can make wide-reaching changes that affect the whole device. People assume that an OS update will mean better performance too, but we have seen that this is not always the case.

By using a benchmark based on real-world tasks, you can see the areas where an OS update has the biggest impact. PCMark for Android benchmarking app can help you see how device performance changes with Android 8.0.

How to rank and compare the best Android 8.0 devices 

It is easy to find the best smartphones and tablets with PCMark for Android. The in-app Best Devices list ranks over 1000 of the latest devices by average benchmark score.

By default, the list shows scores from devices with the same Android OS version as your own device. To see the list of best Android 8.0 devices follow these simple steps:

PCMark for Android Best Device List for Android 8.0

  1. Swipe left to the Best Devices screen.
  2. Tap the FILTERS button.
  3. Choose a benchmark test.
  4. Choose Android 8.x.

Compare device performance across Android OS versions

PCMark for Android makes it easy to see how Android OS updates affect your phone's performance.

  1. Swipe left to the Best Devices screen.
  2. Tap the FILTERS button.
  3. Use the Search box to find your device.
  4. Tap on your device to open the Device Details view. Landscape mode works best.
  5. Scroll down, then select a benchmark test and Android version to compare scores.


PCMark for Android comparing smartphone performane across Android OS versions

Comparing Google Pixel performance with Android 7.0 and Android 8.0 in PCMark for Android.

PCMark for Android benchmark tests are based on everyday activities such as web browsing, video and photo editing, writing and data manipulation. Use the test scores to see how your device's performance in these areas changes across Android versions. Higher scores, shaded green, indicate improved performance. 

Download

PCMark for Android is a free benchmark app available from Google Play.

Download PCMark for Android benchmark from Google Play



New Vulkan API performance test for Android devices

August 17, 2017


3DMark API Overhead feature test

Today we added a new Vulkan test to our 3DMark Android benchmarking app. The new API Overhead feature test lets you compare the performance of Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.0 APIs on your Android smartphone and tablet.

3DMark API Overhead feature test

Vulkan is a new graphics API that provides high-efficiency, low-level access to modern GPUs in a wide variety of devices from PCs to smartphones. APIs like Vulkan make better use of multi-core CPUs to streamline code execution and eliminate software bottlenecks, particularly for draw calls.

Games typically make thousands of draw calls per frame, but each one creates performance-limiting overhead for the CPU. APIs with less overhead can handle more draw calls and produce richer visuals. The API Overhead feature test is an impartial test for comparing the performance of Vulkan and OpenGL ES 3.0.

The 3DMark API Overhead feature test measures API performance by making a steadily increasing number of draw calls. The result of the test is the number of draw calls per second achieved by each API before the frame rate drops below 30 FPS.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single mobile device. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare different Android devices or to compare Android devices with Apple devices.

We recommend reading the 3DMark Technical Guide, which goes into more detail and explains the important differences between feature tests and benchmarks.

Important notes on compatibility

The OpenGL ES 3.0 part of the test requires Android 5.0 or later and a device that supports OpenGL ES 3.0.

The Vulkan part of the test requires Android 7.0 or later and a device that supports Vulkan.

Please note that devices that shipped with early Vulkan drivers may have performance and stability issues in this test. Vulkan performance can be much lower than expected, and the test can crash on devices with underdeveloped Vulkan drivers. Performance on these older devices may improve with future Android OS updates.

Download

3DMark is a free Android benchmark app available from Google Play.

Download PCMark for Android benchmark from Google Play



Futuremark partners with Elkjøp Nordic to make it easier to buy a perfect PC

August 9, 2017


Today, we're announcing an exciting new partnership between Futuremark and Elkjøp Nordic, one the largest consumer electronics retailers in Northern Europe. 

For the important back-to-school sales period now underway, Elkjøp is using Futuremark benchmark scores to make it easier for people to choose and buy the perfect PC, whether online or in one of its stores.

Elkjøp, part of the Dixons Carphone group, is one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in the Nordic region with 400 stores in six countries. Trading as Elgiganten in Sweden and Denmark, Gigantti in Finland, and Elko in Iceland, Elkjøp sells a wide range of consumer electronics and household appliances through its online stores and retail locations.

Elkjøp knows that choosing a new computer is difficult. Many people struggle to relate PC specifications to real-world performance. This can leave less knowledgeable customers feeling confused and uncertain. Others buy cheaper laptops and notebooks without understanding how the low performance of these systems will affect their everyday use and enjoyment. 

Øystein Schmidt, Communications Manager at Elkjøp Nordic AS, says, 

"Our mission at Elkjøp is to give our customers good value for money and a simple, enjoyable shopping experience. Buying a PC is daunting for many people. With Futuremark's help, we are aiming to make it easier than ever."

We worked with Elkjøp to create and define a set of computer categories with clear and helpful names. These categories - Basic, Home, Produce, and Create - describe the capabilities of a system rather than its specifications. For example, PCs in the Basic category are suitable for social media, email, online shopping, and surfing the web. PCs in the Create category are more powerful and are capable of working fluidly with large media files for photo editing, graphic design, video production, and making music.

Every PC, notebook, and laptop sold by Elkjøp has been thoroughly tested in our dedicated lab. We use a range of benchmarks to produce complete data on all aspects of performance from everyday web browsing and personal productivity, to how well a system handles the latest games and virtual reality experiences.

Testing PCs in the Futuremark lab

The PCMark 10 benchmark score determines which category each PC belongs to. For gaming PCs, the 3DMark score indicates graphics performance and VRMark shows the systems that are VR-ready. Comparing PCs is as easy as comparing numbers. The higher the benchmark score, the better the performance.

Screenshot of Elkjøp website

Elkjøp is using categories and benchmark scores to make it easier for its customers to choose and buy the perfect PC. You can find them on its website, on its point-of-sale material in store, and in its advertising and promotions across the Nordic region.

Find out more

For more information on our retail solutions and our partnership with Elkjøp, please visit our new UL website at benchmarks.UL.com.



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