With 3DMark05, Futuremark continues the tradition in its benchmarking software by providing a state-of-the-art Microsoft ® DirectX ® 9 3D performance benchmark.
3DMark05 is an all new 3DMark version taking the most out of Microsoft's DirectX 9. The previous version 3DMark03, did a nice introduction into this level of technology. However 3DMark03 used DirectX 9 specific features in a limited manner, because fully supporting hardware was rare at the time of its launch. In contrast, 3DMark05 requires DirectX 9 hardware with full support for at least Shader Model 2, and takes shader usage to never before seen levels.
Just like its predecessors, 3DMark05's point system is set so that at the moment of release, the high-end VGA cards available in stores can only score around 5000 3DMarks, whereas the worst card that meets the programs requirements yields a score of 1000.
With a framerate of below 1fps on all three of the game tests, the Club3D Volari V3XT breaks the record for the lowest DirectX 9.0 performance. When 3DMark05 was released, Futuremark announced that the lowest score you'd ever get was around 1000. However the V3XT is the exception to this rule even though it is the cheapest DirectX 9.0 based graphics card.
3DMarks on 3DMark05 are now calculated by the following formula:
(Game Test 1 * Game Test 2 * Game Test 3)^0.33 * 250
This is basically the geometric mean of the total frames in each game multiplied by 250. This means that all game tests are now equal.
Of course, since we were able to literally count all the frames rendered by the graphics card, one by one, the total 3DMarks achieved by the V3XT didn't even go beyond 100.