For those that are not already aware of the issue, the folks at Futuremark seem to be struggling to keep a consistent product in the latest 3DMark benchmark. In particular, Fire Strike. Sometime around the release of Time Spy things started getting screwy with Fire Strike and now it seems with every Fire Strike GUI version update the effect is progressively decreasing benchmark scores, and specifically the physics portion of the benchmark.
Kudos to @Papusan for noticing this months ago and asking me to have a look at it. He has been going back and forth with Futuremark about the problem and it seems they are either ignoring him or perhaps they do not view it as a high priority issue. Or, maybe because most people running Fire Strike are not observant enough to notice, care, or ask questions they feel they don't need to fix it.
Some people might say you cannot compare results across benchmark software versions, but that shouldn't hold water here. There is a leaderboard and searchable database of results that basically every benching enthusiast and PC reviewer relies on, and if there is not a very high degree of consistency between GUI versions the results in their database will become irrelevant, as will their leaderboard. The search filter does not have a field to filter by GUI version, so we can expect the results from the database and leaderboard to be increasingly misleading, inaccurate and unreliable over time. This certainly is not a desirable thing for what is supposedly the current defacto standard in PC benchmarks.
You will notice from the examples posted below that with each new version of Fire Strike the scores get lower and lower. These examples are consecutive runs on the same day, same machine, and identical CPU and GPU settings. The only thing that changes is Fire Strike benchmark results degrade with newer versions. We need Futuremark to understand and correct this.
Here is a similar example from @Papusan: http://www.3dmark.com/compare/fs/11036017/fs/11035883
If you agree this is a problem and want it to be fixed, please complain to Futuremark and let them know they need to put the brakes on and not do anything else with 3DMark until they have this mess under control. Gimmicky features are one thing, but inconsistent benchmark results makes 3DMark unreliable.
If you would like to do your own testing to validate the issue before contacting Futuremark, older versions of 3DMark are available for download from the TechPowerUp.com web site.
In case you're not good at simple math, here is a visual aid to show what the fuss is about.
We would like to acknowledge that a representative of Futuremark has responded promptly to this article and provided an email address for those interested in communicating with them about the issue. We appreciate the accountability and responsiveness.
We sincerely are grateful for Futuremark's responsiveness. I provided additional test results to Mr. Kokko to corroborate the findings of @Papusan and they have released an update that is expected to resolve the issue. See the message from James below for more details.
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I have an Alienware 18 (2013 model, A09 Bios), with two GTX 780m SLI (modded bios), Core i7 4930MX (Stock - Overclock enabled on the Bios Settings but in Default values), 32Gb Ram 1600mhz.
My friend has an very identical hardware, but his Alienware is a previous model, with a 3940MX Extreme Processor. The GPUs are identical, with modded bios too. Both systems with a 330W PSU.
Running 3dkmark, we realized that GPU scores has a significative difference.
After disabling Overclock option on the Bios, my scores grew a little more, but the difference between the systems continues.
Guys, do you think that can be my processor getting the power from the GPU's? If no, what could be?