ShaderMark 2.1 is a DirectX 9.0 pixel shader benchmark. All pixel and vertex shader code is written in Microsofts High Level Shading Language. ShaderMark provides the possibility to use different compiler targets and advanced options. It also features a picture quality comparison based on mean square error (MSE) values.
Currently there is no DirectX 9.0 HLSL pixel shader benchmark on the market. Futuremark's 3DMark03 (www.futuremark.com) and Massive's AquaMark 3.0 (www.aquamark.com) are bases on hand written assembler shaders or partly HLSL shaders. HLSL is the future of shader development! The HLSL shader compiler and its different profiles have to be tested and this gap fills ShaderMark v2.1. Driver cheating is also an issue. With ShaderMark, it is easily possible to change the underlying HLSL shader code which makes it impossible to optimize a driver for a certain shader, instead of the whole shader pipeline. ShaderMark v2.1 is also the first pixel shader benchmark, which measures the performance of the new shader model 3.0
Requirements: ATI: You need Catalyst drivers 4.9 at the least to run ShaderMark v2.1 - the Shadow Mapping (shader 20) and Bump Mapping (shader 19) Issues will be fixed in the next Catalyst NVIDIA: Please use the latest 66.31 Driver, the 61.77 won't work!!!
What's new or changed in v2.1?
it's now free for all, no limited shareware version anymore
reduced cpu + driver overhead through redundant render state filtering
GPU performance optimized resource allocation
support for shader model 2_b and 3_0
nearly all shaders undergone changes and fixes
testing of >2_0 shaders
dynamic pixel shader flow control testing
floating point texture filtering performance testing
multiple render target performance testing
multiple shader test
mean square error (MSE) calculation in the image quality test - hardware rasterizer vs. Microsoft reference rasterizer