Are the days of benchmark apps numbered?
In an interesting review of testing systems, Ace’s Hardware ran 3DMark03 on systems from a 350Mhz PII to an 2.8Ghz P4. It turns out that while games show significant sensitivity to the CPU, 3DMark03 seems pretty much only sensitive to the video card. In fact the 350Mhz Pentium system was either even or better than a 2.8Ghz Pentium when the former had a RADEON 9700 Pro vs. a RADEON 9600 when running vertex and pixel shader tests. Since these tests were designed to stress the video cards it’s not that surprising, but it does bring into question if tests like 3DMark03 have any place in benchmarking over “real” games and applications.