Futuremark Launches Online Benchmarking Tool

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Futuremark, maker of canned benchmarks used by reviewers (including us) all over the internet.  Now they’re taking things a step further by letting users see what the 3DMark score might be if they pick the right parts…before they whip out their credit cards.  The new system is sponsored by Gigabyte, so it only works with Gigabyte products—strike one right there. 

You can go into the tool pick out a motherboard, then a relevant CPU and graphics card (with confusing model numbers instead of chips).  Once you get a basic system set up, it gives you a suggested 3DMark (presumably Vantage) score as well as a ‘Total MSRP Cost’.  While it seems like an innovative tool, in practice it becomes little more than a commercial.  Since Gigabyte is sponsoring the page, it will only work with Gigabyte products.  It doesn’t use any AMD processors and has a pretty anemic selection of graphics cards.  Moreover, it’s “total price” is misleading: that only includes the motherboard, CPU and graphics card.  It makes no mention of cases, power supplies, RAM, storage or optical drives.  While overall the scores and performance estimates it gives may be pretty close, the tool is so limited in scope that it’s not much better than nothing at all.

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