TG Video - Futuremark shows off mobile benchmark on phones and PDAs

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Los Angeles (CA) - Desktops and laptops can usually display video at decent framerates, but what about smaller mobile phones and PDAs? According to Futuremark, these diminutive gadgets now have enough graphical power to run intensive games, and they have a benchmark to prove it.

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Company representatives showed, on video, their 3DMark Mobile Developer's Edition utility which records how quickly a mobile device can play back a game scene. In the video, a Dell Axim x50v PDA goes up against a Nokia mobile phone and the results aren't pretty.

3DMark Mobile runs on i386-based Windows, ARM Windows CE and ARM Symbian-based phones. The benchmark consists of two game-like scenes of a samurai swinging two swords and of a space battle. Frames-per-second are recorded to a log file which can then be compared to other devices for bragging rights.

Futuremark's Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tero Sarkkinen, demonstrated 3DMark Mobile at their Showstopper's booth in the Wilshire Grand Hotel. Showstopper's is a pre-show gathering that occurs the night before the CTIA wireless conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Sarkkinen had a side-by-side demo of 3DMark Mobile running on a Dell Axim x50v PDA and a Nokia mobile phone.

The Dell PDA, with its accelerated graphics chip, was obviously much faster than the un-accelerated Nokia phone. The difference in video smoothness can be easily seen in our video. Sarkkinen noted that not all Nokia phones are graphically challenged and that some have "excellent" acceleration.

Futuremark's mobile benchmark has been around for a while, but Sarkkinen told us that it has taken a while for phones and PDAs to catch up and play the benchmark effectively. "The benchmark has been around since November of last year, but only recently have devices been able to play back the video smoothly," said Sarkkinen.

The benchmark is meant for phone manufacturers, graphics chip designers and game companies that want to validate game performance and video playback. Sarkinnen told us that a typical large company would probably pay "around five figures" for 3DMark Mobile Developer's Edition.