Originally posted by euan
What is the difference between a synthetic test that does many various 3d operations (geometery, textures, shaders), and say a game fly-by or recorded demo?
A synthetic uses false workload to simulate how hard it can push a piece of hardware. Lots of overdraw, that you wouldn't normally have in a game is an example.... and you can't see it.
A flyby uses the an actual game engine, from an actual game product. Sound / Physics / AI (even unused) / Actual game engine overdraw, etc.
Some people feel that a Synthetic doesn't represent game performance, and a game benchmark does.
IMO, A synthetic represents It's OWN ruleset... not a GAME ruleset. It's objectives are totally different. It purposely brings your hardware to it's knees, where as a game engine tries not to... yet tries to give you the best eye candy it can.
IT can be said, that Both types of tests will show you which hardware generally performs better, and which types of hardware will last longer before having to upgrade again.
The Agenda is different.
A Synthetic, measures differently, and it's sole purpose is to generally give you harware performance comparisons, via it's maximum capabilities.
A Game benchmark, meaures ONLY for that game engine. It can give you a hardware comparison for THAT game engine... but it can also give you a comparison of how other game engines are generally coded for the times.
I see uses for both types of testing, to get the whole picture.
As I stated earlier... the only problem I have with Futuremark is how they get their funding.