Futuremark Corporation, which I just now realized is based out of Helsinki, Finland, has announced that they’ll be bringing their highly praised 3DMark benchmarking tool to Google’s mobile operating system at some point in 2012. Why is this significant? Before I started writing for IntoMobile, before I worked for Nokia, and before I had to deal with retail customers at a Helio (now Virgin Mobile) mall kiosk in Texas, I was in charge of benchmarking at a now nonexistent boutique gaming PC manufacture called Hypersonic PC Systems. My job involved getting on the phone with every company that made computer hardware, from memory modules to graphics cards to hard drives, and request their stuff which I’d then exhaustively benchmark on my ridiculously cluttered workbench. I’d then assemble charts showing which combinations delivered the best performance, hand them over to my boss, and then he went ahead and ordered hundreds of components that we’d use in our machines. What tool did I use to figure out who made the best piece of kit? 3DMark.
Whenever a new Android smartphone or tablet comes out, everyone picks from a wide range of available benchmarking tools to find out just how fast it is. Different tools are used for different aspects of the device, and most tools don’t even upload their final results to a central database so others can see what kind of performance they should be getting. While I’ve yet to see 3DMark for Android, I have a sneaking suspicion that once it gets released people will immediately forget about Linpack, Quadrant, Nenamark, and whatever else is out there, and just stick to using 3DMark for analyzing the GPU and CPU of a device, and then something like SunSpider to test the browser. Seriously, PC enthusiasts know 3DMark like grease monkeys know dynos. The brand recognition is there.
That being said, I’m older now, the only games I play are on my iPhone, and frankly … I could care less about benchmarks. Products are so much more than just numbers on a chart. Some people don’t accept that, and that’s fine. They’re the kind of folks who’ll love this app.