3DMark Developers Explain Steel Nomad Benchmark Delay

In November of last year, 3DMark unveiled for the first time the successor to its DX12 benchmark graphics card test, Time Spy, named Steel Nomad. It was announced in December that this new test would be launched in the first quarter of 2024. However, the first quarter of this year has elapsed, and the new test remains conspicuously absent.

The personnel from UL, the developers of 3DMark, addressed users’ queries regarding the delay in the test’s release on Steam. They indicated that the rollout of the Steel Nomad and Steel Nomad Light benchmark tests has encountered a slight postponement, with the release date being deferred from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the second, potentially materializing within April.

The delay is attributed to the need to address feedback from multiple industry partners, ensuring that the benchmarks are adequately prepared for fair cross-platform comparisons, which requires more time than initially anticipated. Unlike video games, which can adjust scoring balance through patches post-launch, benchmark tests necessitate extra caution before release to guarantee their resilience over time.

Steel Nomad represents a non-ray tracing, cross-system benchmark, encompassing versions tailored for high-end computing platforms and lightweight devices, namely Steel Nomad and Steel Nomad Light, respectively. This new benchmark supports a variety of APIs, including DirectX 12 for Windows, Metal for macOS and iOS, and Vulkan for Android and Linux systems. The initial release will prioritize Windows and Windows-on-Arm platforms, with macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS versions to follow later in 2024 as free updates to all users.