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October 10, 2018

3DMark’s new Night Raid benchmark gives integrated graphics their own test

by John_A

A new benchmark aimed at integrated graphics systems like laptops, tablets, and desktops that lack a dedicated graphics card has been added to the classic 3DMark benchmarking utility. The free update is based on the same Time Spy characters and setting that we’ve seen in recent additions to 3DMark, but offers simpler visuals with less intensive demands, making for more nuanced results for those running systems without powerful graphics cards and processors.

UL Benchmarks, formerly Futuremark, has been operating and expanding its 3DMark application for almost 20 years, and it has remained one of the toughest tests for modern graphics cards as each generation of both hardware and software was released. In recent years, however, it has expanded into markets beyond the high-end, offering tests targeting midrange hardware, VR-capable systems, and smartphones. Night Raid is the latest addition to that range, specifically targeting systems using integrated graphics on Intel CPUs and AMD APUs, as well as the ARM chips found in Windows Always Connected PCs.

The benchmark is much less demanding than other 3DMark tests like its Time Spy benchmark, but still renders at 1080P resolution and contains one CPU and two graphics tests, pumping out a score for both and a combined score at the end for comparison with other integrated-graphics gaming systems around the world.

The purpose of the benchmark goes beyond measuring your system against your peers though. UL Benchmarks notes that a reasonable laptop PC should be capable of around 5,000 points in Night Raid. That sort of score should equate to more than playable frame rates in popular games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, or DotA 2, meaning that Night Raid could prove a great way to test whether your next laptop will let you game above 60 FPS.

Night Raid also adds a new stress test to the existing collection and makes it easier to test cooling and battery life performance of laptops and tablets without falling back on much more demanding benchmarks. Although that part of the test will be limited to 3DMark Advanced and Professional Edition versions, the basic Night Raid testing can be performed using 3DMark free, and is available on Steam and the UL website.

If you do decide you want to buy one of the more comprehensive versions of 3DMark, to enjoy the additional tests in Night Raid and some of the more intensive benchmarks designed with heftier hardware in mind, UL Benchmarks has 3DMark at 75 percent off until October 15, giving it a price tag of $7.50

For more information on the specifics of the Night Raid benchmark, check out UL Benchmark’s technical guide.

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