UL Benchmark to end support for a number of older benchmarks

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 16 2020 @ 14:20 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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UL Benchmarks send out word that it's phasing out several of its older benchmark tests. Starting on January 14, 2021, the firm will no longer support 3DMark Sky Diver, the 3DMark API Overhead feature test, PCMark 8, Servermark Media Transcode, and VRMark for Android.
Benchmarks have a natural lifespan that ends when they no longer provide meaningful results on modern hardware. When old benchmarks are used with new hardware, the results can be skewed or limited in ways that reduce their accuracy and relevance.

After reviewing our product line, we’ve decided to end support for 3DMark Sky Diver, the 3DMark API Overhead feature test, PCMark 8, Servermark Media Transcode, and VRMark for Android. After January 14, 2021, these unsupported benchmarks will:

  • No longer be sold by UL, Steam, or other app stores.
  • No longer be guaranteed to work with UL's online services.
  • No longer receive updates.
  • No longer be eligible for customer support.

    Please read the notes below for more information and suggestions for alternative tests.

    3DMark Sky Diver
    3DMark Sky Diver is a DirectX 11 benchmark for PCs with integrated graphics. Released in 2014, it is now too lightweight for modern PCs. UL recommends using 3DMark Night Raid (DirectX 12) or 3DMark Wild Life (Vulkan) to benchmark laptops, notebooks and other systems with integrated graphics.

    3DMark API Overhead feature test
    The 3DMark API Overhead feature test was released in 2015 to coincide with the launch of Windows 10 and DirectX 12. The test compares the draw call performance of graphics APIs. At launch, this was the most significant difference between older APIs and new, low-level APIs like DirectX 12, Metal and Vulkan.

    Today, developers are more likely to choose a graphics API based on feature support and compatibility. Draw call performance is no longer the deciding factor. UL has no plans to update or replace this test.

    PCMark 8
    PCMark 8 is a benchmark suite that measures PC performance for home and office use. It was released in 2013 for PCs running Windows 8. Only 5% of desktop PCs are still running Windows 8 in 2020, according to Statcounter. UL recommends using PCMark 10 to benchmark modern office PCs running Windows 10.

    Servermark Media Transcode
    Servermark Media Transcode is a benchmark for testing the performance of media transcoding servers. Released in 2017, the benchmark targeted a narrow range of processors and software libraries that are no longer used in modern server clusters. UL has no plans to update or replace this benchmark.

    VRMark for Android
    VRMark for Android, released in 2018, was designed to benchmark the performance of Google Daydream devices. In October this year, Google officially announced the end of support for Daydream VR in Android 11.

    UL has no plans to create a new VR benchmark for smartphones at this time. You can benchmark PC-based VR systems with the Windows version of VRMark.

    Legacy benchmarks are free to download
    Legacy benchmarks going back to 3DMark99 are free to download from the UL Benchmarks website. These unsupported benchmarks are provided for entertainment only with no guarantee of compatibility with current operating systems or hardware.

  • About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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