3D Video Benchmark Test
The 3D video benchmark test (3D video benchmark test) is designed to test, specifically, the performance of your video card when it comes to 3D gaming. In order to do this, we use two sub-tests: a simple polygon count test, and a more elaborate 3D racing game. The aim of the polygon count test is to simply measure the polygon throughput rate (triangles per second) of your video card. The 3D racing game test measures performance for special effects often used in games (bump mapping, shadows, etc.). While both tests are important, more weight is given to the racing game test, since it is closer to what an actual game would demand from your video card.
The 3D test uses XNA, which is not installed on most PCs. You will probably be prompted to install XNA when you first run a 3D test. Simply follow the install wizard to install XNA. Alternatively, you can manually download XNA 3.1 and install it.
The final result of this test (a weighted average of all sub-tests) is measured in TTP/s (trillions of triangle-pixels per second). Basically, the number of triangles in the scene is multiplied by the number of pixels drawn on screen, and then divided by the time elapsed.
TTP/s to FPS
Converting TTP/s to FPS (frames per second) is fairly straight-forward.
First, identify the number of triangles in the scene (e.g. 250,000).
Next, identify the number of pixels being drawn on screen (e.g. 1 million).
Finally, take the TTP/s (e.g. 10), multiply by a trillion, and divide by the first two numbers. In our example, this results in 40 fps. So, a video card scoring 10 TTP/s in the 3D video test would probably draw 250,000 triangles on 1 million pixels at 40 fps.
DirectX and XNA
Our 3D tests use XNA, which is a newer framework that uses DirectX and also works on XBOX. DirectX is the technology that enables games to access the video card directly and therefore use the full power of the video card.
Most PCs will not have XNA installed, so you will probably be prompted to install XNA when you first run the 3D test. You must have XNA installed in order to run the 3D tests.
The Dacris Benchmarks 3D tests are compatible with DirectX 9.0 and require a video card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0 or later. Presently, most video cards should be able to run the Dacris Benchmarks 3D tests. We do not require top-notch hardware, but our tests are designed to scale well to high-end hardware.
Test 1 – XNA Polygon Test
We like to call it “Polygon Madness,” because no real game is going to have this many polygons. This test scales up infinitely, depending on how strong your video card is, so don’t imagine that just because you have the most high-end video card on the market, you’ll have a high frame rate in this test.
Basically, the aim of this test is to find out the raw polygon-crunching power of your video card. While this test is quite entertaining and informative, it does not bear a lot of weight in the final result of the 3D video benchmark, because generally 3D games will try to keep polygon count low and compensate for it with effects like normal mapping or bump mapping.
Test 2 – XNA Game Test
What better way to test 3D performance than through a game? Dacris Benchmarks uses a simple racing game to test the performance of various 3D effects.
- Bump mapping
- Normal mapping
- Motion blur
- HDR (high dynamic range) lighting
- Shadow maps
- Alpha blending