Is 3DMark compatible with Windows 10?
Yes, as long as as long as SystemInfo 4.40 or later is installed. The Steam version automatically includes this update. The standalone version will notify if your SystemInfo is out of date.
Is 3DMark compatible with Windows 8 / 8.1?
Yes, 3DMark is compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.
Why does the benchmark run so slowly? Why are my framerates so low?
Benchmarks are designed to place a heavy load on your PC to identify the weak points and bottlenecks in your hardware. It is sometimes the case that only small differences in visual quality can be seen from very large increases in the amount of processing required.
What version of DirectX does 3DMark use?
The Time Spy benchmark uses a DirectX 12 engine.
Every other benchmark test in 3DMark uses a DirectX 11 engine. We use a DirectX 11 property called Direct3D feature levels to create tests for specific versions of DirectX compatible hardware. Direct3D feature levels allow developers to use a DirectX 11 engine while still supporting existing hardware, from DirectX 9 to DirectX 11, from lightweight tablets to high-end desktops.
Fire Strike Ultra, FIre Strike Extreme, Fire Strike and Sky Diver use a multi-threaded DirectX 11 engine.
Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10_0.
Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9_1.
Does 3DMark use DirectX 11.2?
Does 3DMark use DirectX 11.1?
Yes, but only in a minor way and with a fallback for DirectX 11 to ensure compatibility with the widest range of hardware and to ensure that all tests work with Windows Vista and Windows 7 as well as Windows 8.
DirectX 11.1 API features were evaluated and those that could be utilized to accelerate the rendering techniques in the tests designed to run on DirectX 11.0 were used.
Discard resources and resource views
In cases where subsequent Direct3D draw calls will overwrite the entire resource or resource view and the application knows this, but it is not possible for the display driver to deduce it, a discard call is made to help the driver in optimizing resource usage. If DirectX 11.1 is not supported, a clear call or no call at all is made instead, depending on the exact situation. This DX11.1 optimization may have a performance effect with multi-GPU setups or with hardware featuring tile based rendering (sometimes found in tablets and entry level notebooks).
16 bpp texture formats
The 16 bpp texture formats supported by DirectX 11.1 are used on Ice Storm game tests to store intermediate rendering results during post processing steps. If support for those formats is not found, 32 bpp formats are used instead. This optimization gives a noticeable performance effect on hardware for which the Ice Storm tests provide a suitable benchmark workload (tablets, entry level notebooks).
There are no visual differences between the tests when using DX11 or DX11.1 in 3DMark and the practical performance difference from these optimizations is limited to Ice Storm on very low end Windows hardware.
If Ice Storm is a DirectX 9 test, why doesn't 3DMark work on Windows XP?
Ice Storm uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 9_1. 3DMark will not run on Windows XP PCs, since DirectX 11 is not available on Windows XP.
What is the difference between 3DMark Fire Strike and 3DMark 11?
3DMark 11 is our first DirectX 11 benchmark, released in December 2010. 3DMark Fire Strike, released in February 2013, is our second generation DirectX 11 benchmark and is the more modern and demanding of the two.
Default rendering resolution
- 3DMark 11 Performance preset - 1280 × 720 (720p)
- 3DMark Fire Strike - 1920 × 1080 (1080p)
Extreme preset rendering resolution
- 3DMark 11 Extreme preset - 1920 × 1080 (1080p)
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 2560 × 1440 (1440p)
While 3DMark 11's Entry preset can prove useful for testing entry-level hardware, in most cases we recommend using 3DMark Fire Strike for testing DirectX 11 based systems. Scores from 3DMark 11 and 3DMark Fire Strike cannot be directly compared.
What is the difference between 3DMark Sky Diver and 3DMark Fire Strike?
Together, Sky Diver and Fire Strike let you test the full range of DirectX 11 graphics hardware. Fire Strike is equivalent to testing a system with a modern DirectX 11 game on ultra-high settings. Sky Diver is more like running a game on normal settings. As a general guide:
- If a system scores less than 2800 in Fire Strike you should run Sky Diver.
- If a system scores more than 12000 in Sky Diver, you should run Fire Strike.
Please note that Sky Diver and Fire Strike scores are not directly comparable.
What is the difference between 3DMark Fire Strike and 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme?
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme is a slightly modified version of 3DMark Fire Strike and is designed for high end multi-GPU (SLI/Crossfire) systems and future hardware generations. In addition to the higher rendering resolution, additional visual quality improvements increase the rendering load to ensure accurate performance measurements for truly extreme hardware setups.
Scores from 3DMark Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme should not be compared to each other - they are separate tests with their own scores, even if they share the same benchmark scenes.
What is the difference between 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme and 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra?
3DMark Fire Strike Ultra is the exactly same test as Fire Strike Extreme, but with the rendering resolution increased to UHD (2160p). It is designed for testing high end multi-GPU (SLI/Crossfire) systems and future hardware generations for their performance at UHD (2160p) resolution.
Scores from 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra should not be directly compared to Fire Strike or Fire Strike Extreme scores - they are separate tests with their own scores, even if they share the same benchmark scenes.
What is the difference between 3DMark Cloud Gate and 3DMark Vantage?
3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Cloud Gate are both benchmarks for DirectX 10 capable hardware. The difference is in the engine powering each benchmark. 3DMark Vantage, released in April 2008, uses a DirectX 10 engine. In comparison, 3DMark Cloud Gate uses a DirectX 11 engine limited to Direct3D feature level 10_0. Using Direct3D feature levels is the modern approach to game engine design as it allows developers to use a DirectX 11 engine and still support older generation hardware all the way down to DirectX 9 level models.
We recommend using 3DMark Cloud Gate for testing DirectX 10 based systems. Scores from 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark Cloud Gate cannot be directly compared.
What is the difference between 3DMark Cloud Gate and 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme - they appear to be almost identical?
3DMark Cloud Gate is a test for DirectX 10 capable hardware. 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme (and the lighter ES3.0 variant, 3DMark Sling Shot) are tests designed for mobile devices. When porting Cloud Gate to mobile devices, several limitations of the mobile hardware required us to make changes to the test content to ensure reasonable frame rates. In short, 3DMark Sling Shot and 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme are more lightweight versions of the Cloud Gate scene, optimized for mobile devices. Cloud Gate and Sling Shot scores are not comparable to each other.
What is the difference between 3DMark Ice Storm and 3DMark06?
3DMark06 and 3DMark Ice Storm are both benchmarks for DirectX 9 compatible hardware, however, they use different engines and target different types of hardware.
- 3DMark06 - DirectX 9
- 3DMark Ice Storm - DirectX 11 limited to Direct3D feature level 9_1
- 3DMark06 - powerful desktop gaming PCs (in 2006)
- 3DMark Ice Storm - powerful mobile devices (in 2013)
For testing modern gaming PCs we recommend using 3DMark Sky Diver or 3DMark Fire Strike rather than 3DMark06, since such systems will almost certainly support DirectX 11. 3DMark Ice Storm is the ideal modern benchmark for DirectX 9 compatible mobile devices such as tablets, netbooks, ultra-portable notebooks and entry-level PCs. Scores from 3DMark06 and 3DMark Ice Storm cannot be directly compared.
My benchmark score from 3DMark Ice Storm fluctuates wildly between runs. Is something wrong?
3DMark Ice Storm was designed for mobile devices such as tablets and netbooks, so is a very lightweight test for any modern high end gaming PC. On high end systems the framerate can be over 1000 frames per second. On such systems 3DMark Ice Storm really isn't the correct test to run as even a tiny variation in the time it takes to render each frame can cause major changes in the framerate, leading to major fluctuation in the final score. As a rule of thumb, if you score more than 40 000 points in 3DMark Ice Storm, your system is "too good" for the test and you should instead use 3DMark Sky Diver or 3DMark Fire Strike to benchmark your system.
Also note that some power saving features may trigger when running Ice Storm. The benchmark load is so light that the video card may decide that lower operating frequency is fine and this may cause the score to fluctuate. If you are seeking the highest possible score in this test on a high end system, you may need to explicitly force your video card to operate in "high power" mode through video driver settings.
On very fast setups and on most multi-GPU (SLI/Crossfire) configurations, 3DMark Cloud Gate and 3DMark Sky Diver will also end up being limited by your processor and you will see similar (if smaller) effect. You should always use the benchmark most appropriate for the hardware you are benchmarking - the performance range of hardware that can be benchmarked using 3DMark is simply far too wide to cover it all with just a single test and that is the reason why 3DMark includes four different tests and the extreme preset for Fire Strike to cover all cases - even situations involving heavily overclocked processors and multi-GPU SLI/Crossfire setups cooled using liquid nitrogen or liquid helium.
I changed my desktop resolution and my scores changed slightly. Why?
3DMark works differently from 3DMark 11 to tackle the issue of different display sizes and resolutions. 3DMark always renders the tests internally at the resolution specified for each test ("offscreen rendering") and then scales the image to your desktop resolution before displaying it, preserving the aspect ratio (applying letterboxing if the desktop aspect ratio is not 16:9).
Internal rendering resolutions of 3DMark tests
- 3DMark Ice Storm - 1280 × 720 (720p)
- 3DMark Cloud Gate - 1280 × 720 (720p)
- 3DMark Sky Diver - 1920 × 1080 (1080p)
- 3DMark Fire Strike - 1920 × 1080 (1080p)
- 3DMark Fire Strike Extreme - 2560 × 1440 (1440p)
- 3DMark Fire Strike Ultra - 3840 × 2160 (4K UHD, also known as 2160p)
- 3DMark Time Spy - 2560 × 1440 (1440p)
If you alter your desktop resolution, you will also alter the target resolution for the final image scaling. On modern hardware, display scaling is almost "free" and in general the scores are comparable no matter what desktop resolution you use. However, when a test becomes limited by the CPU and framerates get very high (Ice Storm on almost all desktop hardware, Cloud Gate and Sky Diver on high end hardware), there can be a small impact to the score from image scaling. If you seek to obtain the absolutely highest score from a test (for overclocking contest purposes, for example), setting the desktop resolution to match the internal rendering resolution of the test you are running may provide a very slight increase to your score.
Note that the introduction of 4K UHD ("4K") displays have slightly changed the situation regarding image scaling. If you are running Windows desktop at a very high resolution but your GPU is not very powerful, the scaling may actually require considerable amount of GPU resources and video memory. Running with integrated graphics or low end discrete GPUs at 4K and above desktop resolution with 3DMark is not recommended and your score may be degraded by the performance penalty of image scaling.
As a workaround, you can override the output resolution of 3DMark from the help tab and instead let your monitor handle the lower resolution image as-is. For most tests under these circumstances, an output resolution of 1920 × 1080 (1080p) is recommended.
Help tab also includes an option to change between letterboxed and stretched scaling. This can be used, for example, to scale the image to fill a triple monitor Eyefinity setup. Aspect ratio is not preserved when stretched is selected. Note that this does not change the workload - it is still rendered in the internal rendering resolution, just scaled differently.
Custom tab (Professional and Advanced Edition) allows you to alter the internal rendering resolution for a custom run. The usual caveat applies that custom runs do not produce an overall score and sub-scores cannot be directly compared to scores obtained with default settings.
Fire Strike runs fine on my system, yet Fire Strike Ultra is a complete slideshow, why?
UHD (2160p) resolution adds an immense amount of work for the GPU - the number of pixels being rendered is quadrupled over the 1080p rendering resolution of Fire Strike and this factor alone will cut the performance with Fire Strike Ultra to around 25-30% of what you'd see with Fire Strike. Also note that due to the high resolution, Fire Strike Ultra requires 3GB or more dedicated video RAM. If your system does not meet this requirement, it is up to the video driver to juggle resources around by using much slower main RAM as extension of the dedicated video RAM. This means the performance is greatly hampered on systems with too little dedicated video memory. You may also experience video driver crashes that ultimately boil down to the test running out of video memory. UHD (2160p) resolution is a tough challenge, even for the best GPUs out there.
Why are there MSI and Galaxy/KFA2 logos in the benchmark demos?
The logo placements are a special sponsorship arrangements. Advertising placements ensure that we can offer the free 3DMark Basic Edition alongside the paid editions.
I have issues with the SystemInfo scan at the start with 3DMark - how do I fix this?
First make sure you have the latest update to SystemInfo installed.
Alternatively you can try disabling SystemInfo scan by unticking "Scan SystemInfo" in the Help tab but do note that any results from such a run cannot validated as they are missing information on the hardware configuration.
If you are getting a complete system hang during SystemInfo scan, ensure that HPET is enabled in your BIOS settings. SystemInfo Hardware Monitoring requires HPET (High Precision Event Timer) to function. Also ensure that your motherboard BIOS is up to date.
If you are running into problems with installing the latest SystemInfo update, you may have corrupted files in Windows installer cache. Easiest way of cleaning these up would be to try to uninstall Futuremark SystemInfo using a third party uninstallation tool that can clean up any corrupt or conflicting "junk" left over in Windows caches. There are many tools out there that can perform this, one example would be Revo Uninstaller but there are also others.
If you have an AMD Radeon RX 480, 580 or Vega card (only some models affected) you may also be affected by a compatibility issue with Futuremark SystemInfo 5.3 and your graphics card. We're working to solve this in a future update, but in the meanwhile you can resolve the issue by uninstalling the 5.3 version and reverting to Futuremark SystemInfo 5.1.
I'm using Windows Vista and I can't get 3DMark to start?
This is most likely due to a missing Windows update that is required for DirectX 11 applications to run on Windows Vista. Download and install the Platform Update for Windows Vista from Microsoft.
If this update is present, do also note that AMD has ceased providing driver updates to Windows Vista (Catalyst 13.12 is currently the latest driver for Vista). Without a more recent AMD video driver available for Windows Vista, 3DMark is not guaranteed to work on such system configurations in all situations. We strongly recommend upgrading to a more recent version of Windows if you have AMD video hardware.
I updated to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, or I got a new PC with Windows 10 Fall Creators Update and I'm seeing a black screen during DX11 tests (Fire Strike, Sky Diver, Cloud Gate, Ice Storm). Time Spy works. What is wrong?
This is an issue with Intel graphics drivers and most commonly seen in laptops. This is true even if you are actually running the test on a dedicated video card. Please update your Intel integrated GPU drivers to 16.50 (126.96.36.19949) or later to correct the issue. Also it is strongly recommended to update your NVIDIA drivers to 388.13 or later, or AMD drivers to 17.11.1 (November 10) or later as these drivers are designed for Windows Fall Creators Update.
I updated my NVIDIA driver to 387.92 and now API Overhead Test hangs at the start of the Vulkan test. Why?
This issue has been resolved in 3DMark 2.4.4163 - please update and run the test again.
I updated from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 or from a previous Windows version to Windows 10 and now 3DMark refuses to start. Incompatible?
3DMark is compatible with Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The problem is that when updating to a new version of Windows, the update removes the SystemInfo service from Windows and 3DMark cannot start the required service on startup. Please uninstall SystemInfo, then either reinstall 3DMark or install the latest SystemInfo to fix the issue.
This issue can also happen when installing major Windows 10 updates (for example, Windows 10 November 2015 update) that are effectively performing an in-place OS upgrade.
I'm experiencing total system hang during a test or test exits with "process exited unexpectedly" error.
Most common cause for this is that either you system does not support High Precision Event Timer (HPET) or it is disabled in BIOS. You can test this by going to help tab and unticking "SystemInfo Hardware Monitoring". If the problem goes away, check if your motherboard BIOS has the option to enable HPET and enable it. If problem persists even with HPET enabled when you re-enable Hardware Monitoring, contact our support and include full details about your hardware configuration.
If you are getting "process exited unexpectedly" immediately at the start of the first test and you meet the minimum requirements, this may be due to monitor scaling settings. You can try switching between "stretched" and "letterboxed" on the help tab, try overriding a different output resolution in the help tab, or go to your video driver settings and set display scaling to be done on the GPU.
If neither of these apply and you are getting "process exited unexpectedly", then it may be an indication of a video driver issue. Ensure your video drivers are up to date and if still experiencing problems, contact our support and include details about your hardware configuration and background applications you have running on the system.
I'm having problems starting the Steam version of 3DMark
Verify that all pre-requisites installed properly. 3DMark requires that Futuremark SystemInfo and NET Framework 4.5 are properly installed and normally Steam version of 3DMark installs these. However, if installation fails, 3DMark can then fail to start. If problem persists, contact our support and include details about your hardware configuration and background applications you have running on the system.
I'm having problems viewing results online ("View result online" doesn't do anything or an error comes up)
Check if you have antivirus software that blocks 3DMark from opening a browser. Reportedly at least Avira AV will prevent 3DMark from opening the default browser to display results. Temporarily disable such software and/or contact your security software support and ask for assistance. If this is not the cause, make sure you actually have a default browser set in Windows.
Also note that 3DMark automatically uses the proxy settings of Windows (which are configured in Internet Options) - if you are using a web proxy server that requires authentication, 3DMark cannot contact www.3dmark.com and online features of 3DMark cannot work with such configuration.
I'm having problems getting Hardware Monitoring to show temperatures and clock speeds (Advanced Edition)
This was a known issue with 3DMark v1.1 and is corrected in the current version - install latest update to 3DMark. Note that if you are seeing some but not all of the data, this is normal - not all hardware configurations provide all different forms of monitoring data.
I'm having problems with SLI/Crossfire performance and I have more than two video cards
Note that Multi-GPU configurations with more than two cards use up additional video memory due to resources that have to be duplicated on every card. For Fire Strike we recommend at least 1.5GB per card for 3-4x SLI/Crossfire and Fire Strike Extreme we recommend 2GB or more per card. The tests should run even when using cards with less memory but there will be a performance penalty as video driver has to use main RAM to extend the video memory.
I'm having stability issues when running loop testing and get error about display resolution changing
While the loop tickbox in Custom tab does disable most of the anti-tampering checks, when loop testing for hours in full screen mode, the run can be interrupted if some background application draws a popup or task bar notification as it causes a switch back to the desktop view. 3DMark cannot recover from such display mode change.
For very long stability stress tests we recommend testing using the windowed mode. Windowed mode is not interrupted by task bar popups or other interrupts from background applications, only actual driver crashes or general system instability will stop the test. When looping all parts of a test, there are loading screens with light load between each part. For maximum load set the stress test loop to loop a single part of a test - Fire Strike Game Test 1, for example - and the loop will be continous without loading screens. Note that when looping, the run will never produce a score.
Also we recommend disabling Scan Systeminfo from the help tab for loop testing - you are not going to get a result file anyway, so there is little point in gathering hardware data and in very long loops the hardware monitoring dataset (temperatures, clock frequencies etc.) can be so large that it could in theory cause stability problems.
Sky Diver Demo hangs with black screen (or very dark screen with faint outline of the main character) just as the scene switches from outdoors to the cave.
This issue was (mostly) fixed in 3DMark v1.5.884, but unfortunately it seems that it can still (rarely) occur. If you are still experiencing this issue, contact our support with full details about your hardware configuration, including motherboard model and BIOS version.
"Ouch! Something has gone wrong.", "An unknown error occurred." or "An error occurred while running benchmark."
These are generic errors that comes up when something unexpected happens. These errors should include a full technical error message about the issue. If you have no idea what could have caused the problem, contact our support with the full error message for further assistance.
"It seems that you're running Windows 7"
3DMark requires Service Pack 1 on Windows 7 to run. Please install Windows 7 SP1. We also recommend installing all recommended Windows Updates.
"It seems that you're running Windows Vista" or "It seems that you're running Windows XP or an older version of Windows."
On Windows Vista 3DMark requires Service Pack 2 and DirectX 11 Platform Update for Windows Vista from Microsoft. We also recommend installing all recommended Windows Updates.
There is no way to run 3DMark on Windows XP. If you are still using Windows XP (or even older version of Windows), you will need to upgrade your operating system to correct this issue.
"Window focus lost during benchmark run."
This error occurs if some background application interferes with 3DMark and tries to draw a popup window, an overlay or otherwise switches the window focus from full screen 3DMark view during a benchmark run. In such cases the score would no longer be accurate so the test is aborted.
Most common culprits causing this error include various instant messaging and email applications that give popups when a new message arrives. Turn off such applications and try again. In general it is recommended to close any unneeded background applications before benchmarking a system to ensure that all system resources are available during the test.
"Connecting to www.3DMark.com failed. Are you connected to the Internet?"
Online result validation and result viewing online both require internet connection. This error usually means that you are not connected to the internet or you cannot reach 3DMark.com server at all. 3DMark.com itself is almost certainly still online - you just can't reach it.
"Could not connect online." or "Service temporarily unavailable."
A subtly different problem - you have an internet connection and 3DMark.com can be reached but for some reason the server is down. This could be a temporary downtime due to deployment of of new updates to 3DMark.com result service - in such cases it should clear itself within a few minutes. Alternatively this could be an unplanned downtime and our administrators are already busy restoring service. If the problem persists for longer, contact our support to ensure that we're aware of the problem.
"Online result validation failed."
Something is wrong with the 3DMark.com result validation service. If there is nothing out of the ordinary with your benchmark run and the problem persists, contact our support with details about your hardware and save a copy of your result to a file (if using Professional or Advanced Edition) in case it is needed to investigate the problem.
"Checking DirectX compatibility failed."
This is a highly unusual error message that would imply that DirectX is not properly installed or it simply refuses to provide information on the hardware available. Contact our support with full details about your hardware configuration and your operating system for further assistance.
"DirectX 9/10/11/12 compatible hardware required."
A DirectX 9 compatible video card is the minimum for starting 3DMark and it is required for the Ice Storm test. There is a further requirement of DirectX 10 capable card for Cloud Gate, DirectX 11 capable card for Sky Diver and Fire Strike tests and DirectX 11 capable card with DirectX 12 compatible drivers (and Windows 10) for Time Spy. If you know for a fact that you have the proper hardware and are still getting this error, it may be caused by corrupt video driver installation. Try completely removing your video drivers with a third party driver cleaning utility, then reinstall the latest available drivers and try again. Contact our support with details about your hardware (including DXDIAG output text file) if you cannot resolve the issue and think you are getting this message in error.
"Loading result failed."
There is something wrong with the result file you tried to load. If you are certain that you have not tampered with the file, contact our support and ensure you can provide the result file for analysis.
"Saving result failed." or "Exporting results to XML failed." (Professional Edition only)
These errors usually indicate that your disk is full or you do not have permission to write to the folder where you are trying to save or export a result. Correct the problem and try again.
"Test run was cancelled by user."
Pressing ESC cancels the test. This is not really an error, more of a notification why the test ended. In some rare cases this may also be caused by an unknown error with the test workload. If you are sure you did not cancel the run, contact our support for assistance to figure out what exactly did cause the run to end prematurely.
"Invalid upgrade key"
First ensure that the key you are inputting is in one of these forms:
3DM-ICF-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY (Base 3DMark key, no Time Spy)
3DM-SPY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY (Time Spy upgrade key)
3DM-ICFT-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY-YYYYY (3DMark with Time Spy included)
YYYYY sections are alphanumeric strings that contain numbers (0-9) and letters. Note that letters I and O will never show up in this part of the key. Anything resembling an I is number 1 (one) and O is always 0 (zero). Also ensure that all letters you input are capital letters. Note that some Professional Edition and Site License keys may have slightly different format, but same rule applies to the part following the type of the key.
If you still can't get your key to work, please send us an email and include a photo or scan of the key if it was printed on paper and tell us where you got it so we can assist further.
"Registering a professional licence requires an internet connection."
Connect your system to internet to resolve this error. If you are using 3DMark Professional Edition in an environment where no network connection is available, contact our support for further assistance.
"This program requires Steam. Please restart Steam client and try again."
This error can come up only with the Steam version of 3DMark. Something is wrong with Steam on your system. For whatever reason, 3DMark cannot start Steam API and communicate with Steam client. If verifying local files does not solve this problem and it happens on all Steam editions (also 32bit), contact our support or use a stand-alone version of 3DMark.