3DMark and Windows 8 RTC: Official Futuremark Response

August 19, 2013

HWBot, a community site for competitive overclockers that will be familiar to many of our users, posted an announcement yesterday banning all benchmark submissions, including 3DMark, achieved on Windows 8 systems.

The reason given was a potential exploit with the real-time clock (RTC) in Windows 8. You can read the full post here: Windows 8 Benchmark Results No Longer Accepted at HWBot

Before panicking, it is worth clarifying that the exploit described by HWBot has no practical benefit for hardware manufacturers or PC gamers since it only serves to create a false score that does not reflect actual performance. Furthermore, the steps required to exploit this issue are quite unusual and could not be happened upon by accident. 

Simply put, you can and should continue using 3DMark (all compatible versions) with Windows 8.

  • Gamers can use 3DMark to test the performance of their Windows 8 systems without concern. 
  • Windows 8 systems that have been overclocked by modifying the CPU multiplier through the BIOS - whether manually or preconfigured by a reseller - are unaffected. 
  • 3DMark scores included in hardware reviews in magazines and websites are unaffected.
  • You can continue to use our Hardware Channel to compare CPUs, graphics cards and motherboards in Windows 8 systems.

We are, however, investigating the Windows 8 RTC issue so that we can protect the integrity of our 3DMark Hall of Fame. For the good of our enthusiast OC community we will be looking into technical solutions to detect if the exploit has been used.

For everyone else in all other cases, whether press, industry or gamer, there is no reason to stop using 3DMark on Windows 8 systems. If you still have concerns, or want to ask a question, you can post in our forums.