The release of Futuremark’s 3DMark is opening a whole new season of exciting benchmarks which bring the contemporary hardware to their knees and give justification for billions of transistors that power the most powerful chips on planet Earth (who knows, maybe in the whole universe :-).

You can read our detailed review of the new 3DMark with the contemporary graphics cards here, where AMD Radeon HD 7000 Series came on top over Nvidia Kepler-based GeForce cards. As the market is getting ready for Rightware’s Basemark X, Unigine contacted us with news that their Heaven Benchmark has reached version 4.0.

Graphics are astonishing, as always.
Graphics are astonishing, as always.

When Heaven Benchmark appeared, we were taken aback with astonishing graphics and Tessellation mode that brought thousands of dollars in hardware to their knees. A lot has changed since then, and even mainstream cards now offer quite decent levels of performance. The company didn’t stop in their tracks either, releasing Linux and Mac OS versions of originally DirectX 11.0 benchmark. The list of changes in 4.0 is quite impressive, and we have to list the few (for your convenience, we’ve linked all the technical terms to reputable sources):

  • Extreme hardware stability testing
  • Accurate results due to 100% GPU-bound benchmarking
  • Support for DirectX 9, DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.0
  • Multi-platform support for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X
  • Comprehensive use of hardware tessellation, with adjustable settings
  • Cinematic and interactive fly/walk-through camera modes
  • Dynamic sky with volumetric clouds and tweakable day-night cycle
  • Real-time global illumination and screen-space ambient occlusion
  • Support for multi-monitor configurations and different stereo 3D modes
  • Benchmarking presets for convenient comparison of results
  • GPU temperature and clock monitoring
  • Drastic improvement of SSDO
  • Stars at nighttime
  • Improvement of lens flares
  • New, improved version of UNIGINE Engine under the hood
  • Detection of multiple GPUs
  • Anti-Aliasing support on Mac OS X
  • Enhancement of automation scripts in Pro version
  • New Advanced edition for Media and Enthusiasts / Overclockers
  • Russian and Chinese localization

Furthermore, Unigine Heaven now comes in an extended edition, intended for professional game developers and people that want to analyze the 3D hardware to the fraction of a frame.

Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 now comes in three variants, with two paid versions for advanced and commercial users
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 now comes in three variants, with two paid versions for advanced and commercial users

The list of features from the Professional Edition is as follows:

  • Licensed for commercial use (for one PC, site licensing option is available on request)
  • Command line automation
  • Stress testing mode (benchmark looping)
  • Highly customizable reports in CSV format
  • Rendering of a specified frame
  • Software rendering mode in DirectX 11 for reference purposes
  • Technical support

Again, the baseline version is free, Advanced and Pro have their own pricing brackets, with Advanced going for just $14.95, and Professional Edition starting at $495 (per seat). You can visit the store here. Alternatively, you can download the free version here. If you wonder how it looks at smooth rate with all the bells and whistles turned on, you can see the YouTube video here:

If you consider yourself a graphics or computing enthusiast, Unigine Heaven benchmark is one of those multi-platform experiences you cannot miss.