It is funny how so many things in the computer industry start out as rumours and time and time again people always presume there is no truth behind them. RyderMark started off worse than most rumours in the industry, it went as far as being an open argument between the Inquirer and DailyTech. Now when it is finally about to launch, we will see who was right and who was wrong.
But what is RyderMark and what makes it different from say 3DMark06? Well, let us try to break things down. We will start with what it is not and that is a DirectX 10 benchmark. However, a DirectX 10 version should be coming out at a later stage. What it is on the other hand is rather interesting; Candella Software, the company behind RyderMark, claims that it is based on a real game engine. Now that sounds familiar, anyone want to give the guys over at Futuremark a call and see what games use their engine?
Anyhow, what we have got here is a very advanced benchmark that allows you to test a whole range of new features that have so far not been available. It can test features such as Parallel Occlusion Mapping, a very advanced form of Bump Mapping and it supports 32- and 64-bit HDR Lighting with Anti-Aliasing. Furthermore it does Shader model 2.0 and 3.0, Soft Shadows, Normal Mapping, Soft Particles, Full Scene Motion Blur, Depth-of-Field, Heat Haze, Volumetric Fire and Realistic Water Physics, although we have to say that some of those features do not look that impressive, at least not on the graphics card we tested with. If you have played Supreme Commander you will think the water and fire sucks, but I guess the engine used is already getting outdated. The smoke effects did not look that amazing either.
Nonetheless, it does have a vast range of features that can be enabled and disabled. There is also support for stereo or 5.1-channel sound, but you cannot turn it off which we found strange, since this means that you are always going to lose out some performance to the audio processing. It is also one of the first benchmarks that supports multi-threading, although Intel already has a benchmark that supports dual- or quad-core CPUs, this is the first independent benchmark that does so.
For this preview, we did not have the chance to test RyderMark on a quad-core CPU, but hopefully there will be a performance difference here compared to a dual-core. Let us move on and see exactly what we have here!