The most common metrics for graphics card performance tend to be games, but modern GPUs are tasked with doing a lot more than creating pixelated representations of explosions and car crashes on Windows PCs and smartphones. The fine Finns at Basemark have taken the covers off Basemark GPU, a utility intended to test the mettle of graphics chips using a variety of 3D APIs on multiple desktop and mobile platforms.
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The most difficult scenario in Basemark GPU performs an offscreen test at a resolution of 3840×2160 and requires 4 GB of video memory. A less-aggressive version of the test needs one-quarter of the memory and targets the common 1920×1080 resolution. As is common among benchmarking tools, Basemark GPU is available as a feature-limited free app and a paid version with additional features. The free version always submits results to Basemark's Power Board, something hardware and driver developers probably avoid under most circumstances. Both versions of the tool can test onscreen and offscreen results, a feature that should help make comparisons between desktop-bound and mobile platforms somewhat more direct.
Besides its work making benchmark tools for VR and web browsers, Basemark also offers an “industrial-grade graphics and compute engine” it calls Rocksolid. That engine runs on a variety of APIs including OpenGL 4.5, OpenGL ES 3.1, and Vulkan 1.0. In turn, the Rocksolid-powered Basemark GPU test supports those same APIs. The company says its GPU test tool also supports embedded and automotive OSes like QNX and Integrity, and that future releases will add support for more APIs like Microsoft's DirectX. Getting onto iOS and macOS will require supporting the Metal API given Apple's recent deprecation of all third-party graphics APIs on those platforms. For the time being, Basemark is offering its GPU benchmark tool for Windows versions 7 through 10, Debian and Ubuntu Linux, and Android.