Benchmarks are only good if they can blindly compare performance of different hardware to see how they perform against each other in an GENERAL ENVIORMENT AND TESTING
If they start adding in specific code paths, then they will be worthless.
The fact is, MOST games DO NOT have optimized code paths for all different hardware, they usually don't even have optimized code paths for the two most common hardware (Radeon and GeForce).
If games have ANY optimized code paths at all, they usually only have two different code paths: A general API code path (for all general hardware), and 1 single optimized GPU code path (which is usually at least 90% an optimized code path for Nvidia hardware).
Optimized code paths are good and bad. It's good because it can put the focus of a game to a specific hardware, making it run better/look faster. But it's MAJORLY bad because there will NEVER be code paths for all hardware, and even then, they will not be as mature as some other code paths (*cough* Nvidia code paths *cough*).
If 3DMark starts to use optimized code paths, that will make it WORTHLESS as a subjective messure of performance.
Nvidia crying because their GPU is pants at general, unoptimized DX9 performance doesn't help them, and just because they may get their way and eventually get a 3DMark with an optimized code path doesn't mean ****.
Again, MOST games DO NOT, and WILL NOT have seperate optimized code paths for specific hardware.
edit by StealthHawk: don't circumvent the swear filter