Next 3DMark will be DirectX 10-only
In his blog over at YouGamers, 3DMark developer Nick Renqvist has revealed a handful of details about the next version of Futuremark's flagship 3D benchmarking software. According to Renqvist, the "next generation 3DMark" will be Windows Vista-only and will require DirectX 10-compliant hardware. He justifies that choice by saying the following:
You may ask: Why no fallback to DX9 then? Well, we already have a Vista enabled DX9 benchmark (3DMark06) and the last three 3DMarks have all been DX9; 3DMark03 has one test which requires SM2.0, 3DMark05 requires SM2.0 for all tests and 3DMark06 uppers the requirements for two tests to SM3.0. I think both we and the rest of the world are ready to step into the next generation - DX10. There's no reason to go backwards, if you know what I mean.
Renqvist adds that "the whole environment surrounding DX10 feels like a fresh breath of air. It's clean, nice, and tidy." Finally, he drops a hint about the next 3DMark's rendering effects. "We have been working really hard on new advanced volumetric effects for the next 3DMark. 3DMark06 has some nice volumetric rendering going on, and though we were very pleased with the results, we want to go into 6th gear in the next 3DMark," Renqvist says.