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3DMark releases Fire Strike Ultra to benchmark 4K Ultra HD


The buzz around 4K gaming continues to grow, but can the latest hardware really deliver? And are the extra pixels worth the extra cost? Lately, we are being asked the same questions again and again:

  • Should I buy a 4K monitor for my current PC setup?
  • What hardware do I need to play games at 4K Ultra HD resolution?

To answer those questions, we’ve created Fire Strike Ultra, the world’s first 4K Ultra HD benchmark, available now and ready to use in the latest version of 3DMark.

Run Fire Strike Ultra on your existing PC to answer the first question. Fire Strike Ultra renders the test content at 3840 x 2160 (4K Ultra HD) before scaling the output to your PC’s display resolution. This means you don’t need a 4K monitor to run Fire Strike Ultra, though you will need a GPU with at least 3 GB of dedicated memory.

For the second question, you can help your readers understand whether new hardware delivers on the 4K promise by testing it with Fire Strike Ultra. And while it’s always been possible to run 4K tests with custom settings in 3DMark, using a dedicated 4K test will provide a common reference point for all your reviews. Your readers will also be able to search for and compare Fire Strike Ultra scores for different hardware configurations on our website.

To say that Fire Strike Ultra is demanding is putting it mildly. Most people know that 4K Ultra HD is four times larger than 1080p, but with Fire Strike Ultra that’s only part of the story. Check out this comparison to see the truly monstrous amount of processing required to run Fire Strike Ultra.

Average amount of processing performed per frame

Fire Strike Fire Strike Extreme Fire Strike Ultra
Graphics Test 1: Tessellation patches 500,000 560,000 650,000
Graphics Test 1: Triangles 5.1 million 9.9 million 12.4 million
Graphics Test 2: Vertices 2.6 million 3.9 million 6.0 million
Graphics Test 2: Pixels 170 million 400 million 1,100 million

Take another look at that last row. To run Fire Strike Ultra Graphics Test 2 at a steady 60 frames per second at 4K Ultra HD resolution, your PC will need to process 66 billion pixels per second. You’ll find more details, along with complete release notes for this update, in the 3DMark Technical Guide.

Naturally, there’s a dedicated Fire Strike Ultra leaderboard in the Futuremark Hall of Fame, and I can’t wait to see what the world’s best overclockers achieve with the world’s most unforgiving benchmark.

Download 3DMark v1.4.775
Fire Strike Ultra is available now in the latest versions of 3DMark Advanced Edition and 3DMark Professional Edition. The Steam version of 3DMark updates automatically. The standalone will prompt you to download and install the update.

Find out more and download: