3DMark06 is the sixth generation of the 3DMark program. It is a benchmark tool specifically developed by Futuremark Corporation for DirectX version 9.0c video card. It was first released in 2006. The program is used for conducting video card benchmark test to analyze the performance of the computer’s 3-D graphic rendering.
The program stresses the performance of the computer using various tests. These tests are primarily based on how the computer handles video game programs. Since it was developed for DirectX 9.0c, the computer where the tests will be performed must have this version of DirectX. The program includes advanced HDR/SM3.0 and SM2.0 Shader graphic tests. It also offers CPU (single and multi-core processor) tests, which are now included in the 3DMark score. This is the first version of 3DMark to include CPU tests in the overall 3DMark score. Feature tests are also available to measure specific graphic elements on the computer’s video card. All tests conducted on the program can be submitted to the Online ResultBrowser service and compared to other 3DMark scores.
3DMark06 comes in three editions – Basic (freeware), Advanced (shareware), and Professional (shareware). The Basic Edition offers the basic benchmark tests with Online ResultBrowser capability. The Advanced Edition is for personal/home use only. It also offers Pro-Online ResultBrowser functionality, seven feature tests (not included in the Basic edition), and a playable mini-game. The Professional Edition offers all the features available in the Advanced Edition with added command-line scripting capability, 3DMark score full publishing rights, and total control over the tests. This edition can also loop game demos.