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Compare Cross-Platform Gaming Performance with 3DMark for iOS

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 10, 2013
3DMark for iOS

Futuremark has been creating software to benchmark PCs for well over a decade, but with the most recent version of its 3DMark gaming benchmark, the company sought to create “one benchmark for all your hardware and devices,” spanning the range from smartphones to $10,000 gaming PCs. The software launched for Windows in February, followed by Android in April, and now has finally arrived on iOS, allowing enthusiasts to compare the gaming capabilities of their iPhones and iPads with Android devices and gaming PCs.

The Windows version of 3DMark contains three tests: Ice Storm, Cloud Gate, and Fire Storm, with each one increasing in complexity. Lower-end devices, including the soon-to-be-replaced iPhone 5, are limited to Ice Storm, which itself is subdivided into “basic,” “extreme,” and “unlimited” versions. Users wishing to compare performance between devices should be sure to choose the same test on each device.

In addition to graphics and physics benchmarks, the app offers detailed system info for each device, giving users an easy way to see the hardware specs that companies like Apple prefer to hide. There’s also a built-in score browser, so that users can see how their devices stack up to the competition.

For example, our iPhone 5 scored 6044 on the basic Ice Storm test, compared to 4256 for the older third-generation iPad. The built-in device browser tells us that fourth-generation iPads score an average of 9290 on the test.

3DMark for iOS

3DMark is not the first benchmark to reach iOS. Utilities such as Geekbench have existed for several years, although it focuses on CPU and memory performance, ignoring graphics. Other options include GFXBench, which aggregates mobile GLBenchmark scores with desktop DXBenchmark scores to beat Futuremark to the “cross-platform” goal. However, 3DMark’s arrival on iOS gives users yet another platform for performance comparison, and one from a company with a long history in the industry.

Those ready to start benchmarking their devices can pick up 3DMark for iOS right now on the App Store. The Android and Windows versions are also available, and the company still has plans for a Windows RT version of the software, which is “coming soon.”

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