Each 3DMark benchmark test has a specific rendering resolution. This is the resolution that the graphics engine targets when rendering the scene. 3DMark scales each frame from the rendering resolution to your desktop display resolution. This scaling has a insignificant impact on performance in most cases, and scores are comparable regardless of the desktop resolution you use.
Impact on CPU-limited systems
When a benchmark is limited by the CPU, or when the frame rate is very high, image scaling may have a small impact on the benchmark score. Both of scenarios can be avoided, however, by choosing the right benchmark for your system.
Impact of 4K and other ultra-high resolutions
If you have a 4K desktop resolution but your GPU is not very powerful, the image scaling may require a considerable amount of GPU resources and video memory. Running with integrated graphics or a low-end discrete GPU at 4K desktop resolution or higher is not recommended. Your score may be degraded by the performance penalty of image scaling.
As a workaround, you can override the output resolution with the SCALED RESOLUTION setting on the Options screen. For most benchmarks, choosing 1920 × 1080 (1080p) for the output resolution will be fine.
The SCALING MODE setting on the OPTIONS screen lets you choose between CENTERED and STRETCHED SCALING.
Centered scaling preserves the original aspect ratio. It adds a letterbox effect if your desktop resolution does not have a 16:9 aspect ratio.
Stretched scaling will stretch the image to fill the display without preserving the original aspect ratio. You could use stretched scaling to fill a triple-monitor setup, for example. Stretched scaling does not change the workload. The benchmark still renders to the internal rendering resolution, it is just scaled differently to your display.
How to change a benchmark's rendering resolution
In 3DMark Advanced and Professional Editions, you can use custom benchmark settings to change the internal rendering resolution. Please remember that custom runs do not produce an overall score and the sub-scores cannot be compared with scores obtained with default settings.
Optimal settings for overclockers
If you're aiming for the highest possible score in a benchmark—for an overclocking contest, for example—matching your desktop resolution to the benchmark's internal rendering resolution may provide a very slight performance gain.
3DMark benchmark rendering resolutions
|Time Spy Extreme||3840 × 2160||4K UHD / 2160p|
|Time Spy||2560 × 1440||1440p|
|Night Raid||1920 × 1080||1080p|
|Port Royal||2560 × 1440||1440p|
|Fire Strike Ultra||3840 × 2160||4K UHD / 2160p|
|Fire Strike Extreme||2560 × 1440||1440p|
|Fire Strike||1920 × 1080||1080p|
|Sky Diver||1920 × 1080||1080p|
|Cloud Gate (unsupported)||1280 × 720||720p|
|Ice Storm Extreme (unsupported)||1920 × 1080||1080p|
|Ice Storm (unsupported)||1280 × 720||720p|