News from August 2017

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.


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



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