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Futuremark's Time Spy benchmark arrives to test DirectX 12 performance

On Thursday, Futuremark launched 3DMark Time Spy, a new DirectX 12 benchmark test initially teased last month that’s built from the ground up to really see what Microsoft’s Windows 10 exclusive graphics API brings to the gaming table. The test was created with major input from the Benchmark Development Program consisting of companies such as Nvidia, AMD, Microsoft, Intel, and more.

“With its pure DirectX 12 engine, which supports new API features like asynchronous compute, explicit multi-adapter, and multi-threading, 3DMark Time Spy is the ideal benchmark for testing the DirectX 12 performance of the latest graphics cards,” Futuremark said.

The new Time Spy test includes a demo, two graphics tests, and a CPU test. It renders at a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, meaning it’s going to require a somewhat hefty machine with a recent graphics card to run it at a decent frame rate. Time Spy is billed as the successor to Fire Strike, processing 30,000,000 verticies per frame in the first graphics test, and 40,000,000 verticies per frame in the second test. The Fire Strike test only processes 3,900,000 and 2,600,000 verticies per frame, respectively.

In addition to the number of verticies Time Spy processes per frame, the first graphics test also processes an average of 13,500,000 triangles, 800,000 tessellation patches, and 70,000,000 compute shader invocations. In the second graphics test, Time Spy processes 14,000,000 triangles, 2,400,000 tessellation patches, and 70,000,000 compute shader invocations per frame on average.

Despite the need for hefty hardware components to render it smoothly, Time Spy can reportedly run on video cards as old as the Radeon HD 5000 series, the GeForce GTX 400 series, and Intel’s own HD Graphics 4000 and 2500 GPU series.

Time Spy can benchmark multiple GPUs too, by way of the linked-node mode in DirectX 12’s explicit multi-adapter component.

Futuremark is serving up Time Spy as a free upgrade for the Windows versions of 3DMark Basic Edition / Steam Demo, 3DMark Advanced Edition, and 3DMark Professional Edition. For customers who purchased Advanced Edition before July 14, $10 will unlock additional, optional features and settings in the Time Spy benchmark tests.

Right now, Futuremark is offering a discount on 3DMark Advanced Edition and Time Spy to celebrate the release of the new test. The benchmarking program will be on sale for $10 until July 23, and after that it will cost $30. Customers who already own 3DMark can get the Time Spy upgrade for $5 until July 23.

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