Wanting to take a deeper look into the performance variables of 3dmark, Paticularly its vertex emphasis, I decided to collect and gather data of how well 3dmark scales with pixel pipelines and vertex units.
Here is the chart.
Game Test 1: This result actually surprised me. The vertex shader emphasis is relatively small here, And this test is definately pixel shader bound.
Game Test 2: This is yet another interesting result, The emphasis on vertex performance is rather astounding. In some cases disabling vertex units has much more profound impact than disabling 4 pixel pipelines. It is my subjective opinion that this test is unrealistic in regards to gaming and polygon counts.
GameTest 3: This test is very balanced between vertex/pixel shader performance. Losing fairly fair shares of performance with each disabled.
Conclusion: Why this conclusion is half based and only based off a night's work. I have to say that denying 3dmarks' extreme load on vertex performance is folly. This benchmark is as vertex limited as it is pixel limited. Whether this vertex performance will be a realistic interpretation of future gaming remains to be seen. I personally have my doubts we'll be seeing games with over 1 million drawn polygons per scene anytime soon. Even Unreal 3.0 will only draw 400,000.
P.S. This information oughta be useful for your soft modders, give ya an idea of what to expect