Earlier we repoed about how Futuremark had decided to throw out the support for older 3DMark versions from the coming update of the ORB (Online Result Browser), where peoepl will upload and validate 3DMark results. The result was a minor lynch mob that wanted Finnish heads to roll, since the older versions still have a strong following in the enthusiast community.
It didn’t take that many days after it proclaimed it would drop support for 3DMark 2001 SE, 03 and 05 before they got spammed with comments where people made it loud and clear that they would boycott coming 3DMark products. This made Futuremark reconsider, and yesterday it released some more information on the coming version of the ORB. The full (unofficial) statement can be found below.
Last week we made an announcement about the upcoming full rewrite of the ORB, complete with some changes and a planned discontinuation of legacy benchmark ORB support. We asked for your feedback and boy did we get it. In fact we were taken completely by surprise by the number of people who wanted us to continue supporting older benchmarks.
We are really pleased that so many people still find the older benchmarks useful and entertaining. So, we took another look and discussed the subject at length, considering what could be done, with all options on the table.
After considering the situation, we decided to take the time and do the extra work to continue supporting older benchmarks. It can’t be done in time for the launch of the new service, but adding support for 3DMark03 and 3DMark05 to it will be our top priority. There will be a short transition during which 03/05 support will be unavailable.
As to 3DMark 2001 SE, we debated on it a lot but ultimately it boils down to several obstacles that, in combination, prevent us from adding it to the new system. First, even today 3DMark 2001 results in ORB are no longer validated in any way as the hardware component detection routines that shipped with it are not compatible with today’s hardware, so the benefits of ORB validation are already very limited – the SystemInfo component used is completely different and cannot be updated like with 03/05/06/Vantage. The result format also has nothing in common with the later benchmarks, unlike 03/05 that are much more straightforward to support.
Then there are the usage figures – 3DMark 2001 SE usage is only 1,5% of monthly benchmark results in ORB (In comparison, 3DMark03 is 2,6% and 3DMark05 is 4,8% of total monthly usage. 3DMark06 and Vantage together are over 90% of all 3DMark results). I know some of you are going to be disappointed, but when you combine the technical issues blocking reasonably easy implementation with the usage figures, we still have to stick with the hard choice of retiring 3DMark 2001 SE support with the launch of the new service.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to post or get in touch with us. We really do care what our community thinks and as always, further feedback is more than welcome.
Futuremark will thus include 3DMark 03 and 05, though 2001 SE will not be included since the systeminfo components are too different from the later versions. Even if we will miss the online verifications for 3DMark 2001 SE we can at least conclude that the other beloved benchmarks of the 3DMark series, 03 and 05, will be supported in the future.