The Futuremark name is synonymous with oft-used synthetic benchmarks like 3DMark06 and PCMark, but it's rarely associated with the measurement of component value. However, Futuremark has kicked off a new service that attempts to quantify the value of components by mixing performance numbers from its benchmarks with street pricing. The rankings are available on this page on Futuremark's YouGamers website, and they cover both graphics cards and processors.
Graphics cards are ranked by "3DMarks per dollar," while processors are ranked by "CPU Marks per dollar." Futuremark says the performance numbers are drawn from its community of users and matched with prices from CNet's Shopper service. The benchmark firm says it picks only graphics results taken on systems with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor and set to run at 1280 x 1024 without antialiasing or anisotropic filtering.
The results are interesting, with Nvidia's GeForce 8600 GT, AMD's Radeon HD 3850, and Nvidia's GeForce 8800 GT topping the graphics card list. On the processor front, the chips that offer the most CPU Marks per dollar are the Athlon 64 X2 3600+, 4000+, and 4200+. Of course, the data should be taken with a grain of salt: testing conditions are obscured, driver versions are presumably mixed, the accuracy of performance numbers isn't guaranteed, and Futuremark benchmarks don't always reflect a given component's performance in real-world applications.