Start your engines, a new 3DMark is coming soon

Dust off your old GPUs, time has come for some benchmarking.

3DMark Steel Nomad hardware benchmark set in a sand-covered desert town.

UL Solutions has released a couple of preview screenshots of its upcoming 3DMark benchmark launching on PCs, Macs, and even smartphones. Running mainly on latest graphic APIs, this test is expected to be quite heavy without the help of ray tracing.

Steel Nomad is a new heavy non-ray-tracing benchmark and the successor to the seven-year-old Time Spy test. The previous version boasts a whopping 42 million submitted results – that’s a lot of used Watts. Steel Nomad will be 3DMark’s most demanding non-ray-tracing benchmark running exclusively on DirectX 12 for Windows machines. Meanwhile, macOS and iOS owners will also be able to run it using the Metal API. Android and Linux versions rely on Vulkan.

A screenshot of 3DMark running the Steel Nomad test, as a character rides on a futuristic motorcycle.

It’s unclear if we’ll be able to compare different API results or not. After all, any inconsistency makes pitting the best graphics cards against Apple’s latest M3 Max that much harder. We already know who will win, but it would be nice to see by how much. Same for iPhones. which have started to support heavy PC/console games such as Resident Evil Village.

It’s nice to see Linux support too, as the platform has advanced a lot lately. This is largely thanks to Valve and its Steam Deck, but the active community developing translation tools to allow Windows app compatibility is no small part, either.

A screenshot of 3DMark running the Steel Nomad benchmark, as a character has their back turned to the tester.

In celebration of 3DMark’s 25th anniversary, this benchmark’s scenes will feature some references to previous versions. Think of it as an easter egg for veteran users.

“Thank you to the 3DMark community,” says UL. This includes “the gamers, overclockers, hardware reviewers, tech-heads, and those in the industry using our benchmarks who have joined us in discovering what the cutting edge of PC hardware can do over this last quarter of a century.”

UL didn’t share any release dates for Steel Nomad, but we expect it to come soon as the screenshots give the impression of an already working product.