What can we say about AquaMark3 and our quest for a solid DX9 benchmark, to complement what is soon to be released by the team at Valve Software? Well, unfortunately AquaMark3, in our opinion is not the answer. Now before folks start drafting a rant-mail to the editor here, allow us to put a few things into perspective. There is no question AquaMark3 is a solid and useful benchmarking tool. As a matter of fact, with its basis on a real game engine, and liberal use of DX9 shader effects, it's a pretty good indication of what current generation mixed mode DirectX gaming performance will be like on a given graphics solution. However, if you want to really measure what "pure" DX9 performance metrics could be for a video card, Half Life 2, with its resounding Microsoft endorsement as a perfect DX9 specimen, is much closer to reality in our view. On the other hand, we'll most likely include AquaMark3 as a general DirectX benchmark, for future graphics articles here at HotHardware. AQM3 is a highly configurable and stable benchmarking platform for a current DirectX gaming experience. However, as we all know, DX9 shader technology in next generation game engines, will become even more pervasive in the months ahead, so there's a lot more to the NVIDIA and ATi story that needs to be told. Not to mention what that slightly influential Carmack fellow is cooking up in OpenGL.
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