Today we will focus only on 3DMark’s Fire Strike benchmark test targeting high-end gaming PCs. Fire Strike is available in all 3DMark versions including the free Basic Edition.
3DMark Basic Edition is not what we'd call appropriate for hardware reviewers because this edition will not allow you to run tests individually; you must run all tests together and this will be time consuming. Worse, each benchmark test includes a demo which will not display any performance results but you can disable it only in paid versions of 3DMark.
In 3DMark Advanced and Professional Editions each benchmark test can be run separately, and additionaly you can use custom settings, benchmark looping for stability testing or create interactive peformance graphs.
For high end gaming PCs, only the Fire Strike benchmark test is relevant. Using Fire Strike's Extreme preset is a good way of making high-performance PCs cry for mommy. The extreme preset is a full DirectX 11 benchmark made for high-end systems with multiple GPUs and it is not available in 3DMark Basic edition.