Test your PC out for gaming capabilities with 3DMark Vantage

Gaming seems to be the stuff right now.

If you’re a serious PC advocate, whether on a Mac, a PC or a Linux box, you’re most likely doing some kind of gaming. This is one of the reasons why I really like tools like 3DMark Vantage. It’s a graphics benchmarking tool for Windows.

3DMark Vantage is the industry standard benchmark tool for DirectX 11-based gaming PCs. It includes two graphics tests, two CPU tests and six feature tests. 3DMark Vantage is one of the best ways to consistently and reliably test DirectX 11 with real world, game-like loads.

The Basic Edition is free.  The Professional Edition unlocks all of the app’s features including custom testing options, unlimited test runs and priority customer support. A commercial license enables you to use the benchmark for business purposes, including testing for performance, standards compliance and stability.  For research and development including component evaluation, burn-in testing and competitor analysis and for promotional use including trade shows, consumer events, overclocking competitions and other sales and marketing activities, 3DMark Vantage is a must have tool.

The app’s benchmark presets offer a convenient way of scaling the load to provide relevant results for all levels of hardware. These settings represent more advanced levels of visual quality, and a score is produced when running the tool when completed. That score is calculated differently for each preset, and scores are not comparable across different presets.

download 3DMark Vantage

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The Gaming Report – DirectX 11 in WoW

There are a lot of ellaborate guides on the web on how to enable experimental DirectX 11 rendering in the recently expanded huge MMORPG World of Warcraft Cataclysm.

So first: what will this do for you? Well if you have a decently new videocard, switching to DirectX 11 will possibly bring increasing Frames Per Second in most zones on the highest of details.

While DirectX 9 may be a bit slower, you won’t feel at a visual disadvantage to those using the newer version just because you don’t have a compatible card or using Windows 7 while you are just under good ol’ XP (DirectX 11 is not available for this OS). Every effect still looks the same. The only gains are in performance.

Also, you will probably notice some glitches along the way on some systems – depending on your hardware configuration. Despite that however, there’s no loss in trying to see how it runs on your system. Personally I found some problems with water rendering on NVIDIA cards or just water borders while they transition to land not showing up…

Anyways, getting to the facts, you have two options to enable the new rendering more for WoW:

  • Look on your desktop or your favorite place from where you start the game – for your World of Warcraft shortcut. Right-click it, and select properties. Under the shortcut tab, add at the end of the line “-d3d11” (without quotes). Click Ok.

  • Alternately you can right-click your WoW shortcut and select “Open file location”. Go to your WTF folder, and double click the file “Config.wtf”. Open it with Notepad. Scroll at the end of the document, and add on a new line SET gxApi “d3d11”. Save your file.

Any time you want to go back to the way WoW renders graphics by default, just repeat the same procedure and remove the line you just added. Be sure the game isn’t already running while you are making changes!

That’s it! Some have experienced up to 40% performance increase in some zones, so happy gaming!

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