3DMark Steel Nomad: A Non-Ray-Tracing Benchmark by UL Solutions

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UL Solutions is preparing to launch 3DMark Steel Nomad, a new software benchmark tool aimed at assessing the performance of computer hardware under demanding non-ray tracing workloads. As the next iteration following the 3DMark Time Spy benchmark, Steel Nomad is set to provide a stringent performance test for a wide array of computing systems.

The upcoming 3DMark Steel Nomad has been developed as a robust, multi-platform benchmarking tool. It is designed to evaluate systems running a variety of operating systems and APIs, including Windows with DirectX 12, macOS and iOS with Metal, as well as Android and Linux using Vulkan. Preliminary visual quality has been indicated through the release of three preview screenshots, though comprehensive details about the benchmark's framework and potential CPU tests have not been made public.


3DMark Steel Nomad is its extensive compatibility range. The benchmark will not be exclusive to Windows but is also set to accommodate macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux systems, all through respective APIs. The software will also reference UL Solutions' prior benchmarks, supporting continuity and comparison across different software iterations.


The non-ray tracing nature of Steel Nomad raises questions about its performance impact on contemporary high-end GPUs, such as the NVIDIA RTX 4090. It remains to be seen whether such graphics cards will be challenged to reach their performance ceilings or if they will handle the benchmark with relative ease, maintaining frame rates above 60 fps at 4K resolution. Details concerning the release date, pricing, and benchmark footage for 3DMark Steel Nomad remain forthcoming. 


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