After 11 Years, 160 GPUs Face Off in 3DMark's 25th Anniversary Showdown: How Has Time Treated Them?

After 11 Years, 160 GPUs Face Off in 3DMark’s 25th Anniversary Showdown: How Has Time Treated Them?

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Tras 11 años de lanzamientos 160 GPU se ponen a prueba por el 25 aniversario de 3DMark, ¿cómo las ha tratado el tiempo?

Benchmarks are tests that allow us to view and compare the performance of specific components of a PC or mobile device. Benchmarks have existed for decades, with some focusing on CPU, others on GPU, and others measuring overall performance, including RAM and SSD. In the case of those concentrating on graphics cards, 3DMark is one of the most well-known. On its 25th anniversary, they decided to test all 3DMark benchmarks on a total of 160 graphics cards, creating an impressive list of GPUs and their performance.

QUASARZONE decided to conduct one of the most comprehensive tests we have seen when comparing graphics cards. They used a PC with an AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D, an ASUS ROG STRIX X670E GAMING WIFI motherboard, 32 GB of G.SKILL DDR5 RAM at 6000 MHz, a 2 TB Platinum P41 SSD, a PRIME TITANIUM TX-1600 power supply, and Windows 11. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the test results.

In the first 3DMark benchmarks, almost all GPUs perform similarly

Although 3DMark99 was considered the first benchmark compatible with DirectX 6 and 3D graphics, they started with a slightly newer one. Thus, we have 3DMark2001 SE PRO, which was released in 2001 and was compatible with DirectX 8.1, Windows XP, and Pixel Shader 1.4. We won’t discuss performance much here, as it’s outdated with even a GTX 680 outperforming an RTX 4090. After this, they moved on to 3DMark03 released in 2003, which worked with DirectX 9 graphics. Here, we see slightly more difference between the GPUs, with a GTX 680 no longer one of the top performers. In fact, it scales up to an NVIDIA RTX 3060 Ti and an AMD RX 6600.

Next up is 3DMark05, which was released in late 2004 and utilized Shader Model 3.0. Here, we encounter a similar situation to the previous versions, with hardly any differences between GPUs. Following this, 3DMark06 arrives in January 2006 with DirectX 9.0c support, and unless we use older graphics cards, most receive maximum performance in the test. 3DMark Vantage, released in 2008 and supporting DirectX 10, is when we truly start to see differences between different graphics cards. We can see that the AMD RX 7900 XTX outperforms all others with 160,616 points, while the NVIDIA RTX 4080 scores 145,464 points.

In most modern benchmarks, NVIDIA is the clear winner

We now move on to 2009 when 3DMark 11 was released, along with the first DirectX 11 compatible graphics cards. Here, we see NVIDIA as the victor, with an RTX 4090 scoring 99,556 points, followed by an RX 7900 XTX with 87,559 points. Next is one we likely all recognize: 3DMark Fire Strike, which was released in 2013. Here we see NVIDIA and AMD competing with quite similar results, but the GPUs’ gaming performance is more evident. For example, an RTX 3080 and RTX 4070 deliver equal performance.

They also tested Fire Strike Extreme at a 1440p resolution, noticing more differences between GPUs and an RTX 4090 achieving twice the performance of an RTX 3080. Additionally, they tested the Fire Strike Ultra version at 4K, where mid-range and low-end GPUs struggle for good scores. Next is 3DMark Time Spy, with the RTX 4090 emerging as the clear winner with 37,775 points, 33% more than the RTX 4080. Among the other GPU models, we don’t see such significant leaps, with an Arc A770 reaching the level of a TITAN V. The same situation occurs in 3D Mark Time Spy Extreme, where the RTX 4090 is unattainable.

In Port Royale, the difference increases due to the use of DirectX Raytracing (DXR), giving NVIDIA a significant advantage. In Speed Way, the RTX 4090 scores 10,238 points, the RTX 4080 scores 7,326 points, and below that is the RX 7900 XTX with 6,140 points. Finally, we conclude with 3DMark Solar Bay, where NVIDIA graphics cards dominate again, despite being a multi-platform benchmark. If you are interested in seeing the rest of the data, you can visit QUASARZONE’s Korean website, where they also provide a 3DMark performance comparison among GPUs of various architectures at the end.

After 11 years and 160 GPU launches, the 25th anniversary of 3DMark puts these GPUs to the test—how has time treated them?

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