Futuremark has always been on the cutting edge of graphics benchmarks and today represents a continuation of that leadership with their new 4K gaming benchmark. This new benchmark is a 4K version of their popular Fire Strike benchmark, which is the company’s most graphically intensive benchmark that is part of their 3DMark graphics benchmark suite to date. It goes by the name of Fire Strike Ultra, which is an update to the Fire Strike and Fire Strike Extreme tests that most users are used to. Fire Strike Ultra renders the original Fire Strike benchmark at a much higher 3840 x 2160 resolution, quadruple that of what the original benchmark was designed for (1920 x 1080).
Today’s Fire Strike Ultra announcement also indicates that Futuremark believes that the future of gaming benchmarks will need to include 4K benchmarking because of the increased prevalence of 4K displays for gaming. The benchmark itself will be included with an update to the 3DMark benchmark for anyone with a professional license, but if you have a basic version of 3DMark you are going to need to pay for an upgrade, which is a little disappointing. Fire Strike Ultra will also require that you have at least 3GB of VRAM on your graphics card as there’s a very high chance that it will run out of memory if you don’t. In many 4K games with higher graphical settings we have found that cards do in fact exceed 3GB of VRAM usage, which would explain Futuremark’s recommendation. Obviously you can still run a 2GB card, but it will very likely suffer horrendous frame (score) drops due to running out of VRAM.
Below are the differences between the Fire Strike, Fire Strike Extreme and Fire Strike Ultra settings in all three of the Fire Strike tests in the whole benchmark.
There is already a pretty sizable Fire Strike Ultra hall of fame leaderboard where you can see what hardware is getting the highest clocks with this less-than-day-old benchmark.