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We're excited to introduce our new 3DMark API Overhead feature test - the world's first independent test for measuring differences in DirectX 12, DirectX 11 and Mantle API performance. It's also the very first public application to use DirectX 12 full stop. This is cutting edge stuff! 

Why is API overhead important?
There has been much talk recently of new graphics APIs that let developers code 'close to the metal.' And though it's natural to think of the GPU, the benefits of APIs with lower overhead are actually achieved by making better use of multi-core CPUs to streamline code execution and eliminate software bottlenecks, particularly for draw calls.

A draw call happens when the CPU tells the GPU to draw an object on the screen. Games typically make thousands of draw calls per frame, but each one creates performance-limiting overhead for the CPU.

New APIs like DirectX 12 and Mantle reduce that overhead allowing more draw calls. With more draw calls, a game engine can draw more objects, textures and effects to the screen, which means richer, more detailed graphics in your games.

How does the 3DMark API Overhead feature test work?
The 3DMark API Overhead feature test measures API performance by making a steadily increasing number of draw calls. The result of the test is the maximum number of draw calls per second achieved by each API before the frame rate drops below 30 fps. 

We recommend reading the 3DMark Technical Guide[], which goes into more detail and explains the important differences between feature tests and benchmarks.

System requirements
  • The DirectX 12 test requires a PC running an up-to-date version of Windows 10 Technical Preview (build 10041[] or later), 4 GB of system memory, and DirectX feature level 11_0 compatible hardware with at least at least 1 GB of graphics memory. 
  • The Mantle test requires 4 GB of system memory and AMD hardware that supports the Mantle API[].
  • The DirectX 11 test requires DirectX feature level 11_0 compatible hardware with at least 1 GB of graphics memory and 4 GB of system memory.

Available now
The API Overhead feature test is available now. The Steam version of 3DMark updates automatically. The test cannot be run from the free demo.

3DMark Windows v1.5.884
This major update adds the API Overhead feature test, the world's first independent test for comparing the performance of DirectX 12, Mantle, and DirectX 11. See how many draw calls your PC can handle with each API before the frame rate drops below 30 fps.
  • Added new API Overhead Feature Test.
  • Added Feature Test selection screen.
  • Improved formatting of larger scores to make them more readable.
  • Result screen automatically shows FPS after running a single test.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the Sky Diver demo to hang at the cave entrance scene.
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