One of the most common obsessions of gamers is testing their computer’s performance because it’s just not enough to choose all hardware parts for their system after reading documentation and performing extensive comparisons between products. On a more amateurish note, even non-gamers that upgraded their system or purchased a brand new one might wish to see a full assessment of their computer’s capabilities just to make sure it does what it says.
3DMark Vantage is a state of the art benchmarking software, currently trusted by gamers from all around the world, thanks to its nice bundle of features and accurate testing results. Moreover the free edition is a reliable solution to perform a basic set of straightforward tests if you don’t wish to spend money for such a program.
Installation & Requirements
The program’s install process is very easy to follow and you are given the possibility to choose between the “Custom” or “Express” modes. Because our software in question is the free, basic edition we recommend the “Express” mode that will install all of the program’s features.
Keep in mind that 3DMark Vantage is a performance benchmark for computers that have DirectX 10 compatible graphics cards, so this is the first condition to use the program. The rest of minimum system requirements can be considered as fairly acceptable, mainly because there is no point in testing a very old or weak PC. The program runs on Windows Vista and 7 and requires at least a x86/x64 single core CPU with SSE2 support, 1 GB of RAM and 1 GB of hard drive space.
3DMark Vantage has a modern appearance that is quite pleasant to look at, and its designers certainly did not compromise on functionality. The main menu comes under the form of a stylish sidebar with smooth hover effects that reveal glossy buttons for each category, the first one being “Main” , which displays in the content area the full list of tests that will be performed and a button to run the benchmark. The “Options” button reveals a sub-menu that will allow you to fine-tune the benchmark in many aspects, including checking/unchecking individual graphics, CPU and feature tests.
The “System Info” scans your computer and opens in Internet Explorer a detailed report containing information about your system’s hardware and software configuration. Similarly the “Results” option opens up a full report for test results in your default web browser.
The “Upgrade” button is the place where you can enter your registration code if you purchased a license for one of the commercial versions of 3DMark Vantage (Advanced or Professional) and activate it. Last but not least, by clicking the “About” button you can see which version of 3DMark Vantage you have installed and a list with the entire development team and other related information.
3DMark Vantage has a neat interface designed in contradiction with the fact that it’s mostly appreciated by advanced users. The layout was organized in such a manner that makes it easy to use and comprehend even by the most inexperienced user and looks great at the same time.
- The built-in benchmark preset provides a minimalistic but challenging system test simulating game-like loads.
- The interface is clean and very easy to use.
- Accurate test results.
- The “System Info” option retrieves a comprehensive report for system hardware and software configuration.
- The free version has only the performance testing preset and all the customizing options are disabled.
- The reports for test results and system info are displayed in a web browser, thus they cannot be accessed without an Internet connection.
3DMark Vantage is highly capable tool, but sadly the free version looks more like a never-ending trial, considering that all the customizing options are disabled. If you are bothered by this and still don’t wish to pay for a commercial benchmarking program you might want to try some other free alternatives.
Furmark is such an alternative, even if it’s not as popular as 3DMark Advantage is does provides a bunch of settings and works on Windows XP, Vista and 7.
Heaven Benchmark is a benchmarking utility with a free version and a paid one, that was designed for DirectX11 graphics cards and interestingly enough works on Linux-based systems besides the usual Windows XP/Vista/7.
Frequently, gamers test their systems on more than one benchmarking software, but 3DMark Advantage is surely among them because in spite of the disabled settings and the presence of a single preset it is currently one of the most trusted programs thanks to its in-depth testing methods and precise, objective results.