3DMark Firestrike Extreme
Futuremark’s graphics tests are legendary for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with the very latest graphics cards. But gaming’s not all about graphics; physics plays an increasingly important part (as do other things like opponent AI), so it’s not just about the video cards.
Firestrike Extreme comprises two graphics test and one physics test. The graphics tests send the camera through an underground world of smoke and lava, wherein a fell beast of molten rock attacks a priest-like figure who drops their robe to reveal a female opponent seemingly made of an open lattice of glowing wires. The camera struggles to capture their furious attacks and riposts. Last, a physics test tracks a dozen or more floating, tentacled drones.
Firestrike Extreme is the middle tier of three Firestrike versions, bracketed by Firestrike and Firestrike Ultra. Again, this benchmark was recommended by AMD, so here goes:
The surprising degree of uniformity across the scores for the Graphics 1 and Graphics 2 tests suggests that the video cards (two GTX580s in SLI) are the major factor here. Since Firestrike Extreme is specifically designed to stress graphics systems, this is to be expected.
However, substantial difference show in the Physics score, with the Intel processor bringing up the rear. This is a reminder that gaming performance is more than just what your GPUs can do.
Let’s take a look at some actual game benchmarks, starting with the Aliens vs. Predator benchmark in the next section.