It seems as if we were not the only site to have FutureMark email us about our 3DMARK2003 testing. The email from FutureMark asked us to remove our results from our HIS 9600XT Turbo review because the 53.03 driver we used on the NVidia card we compared it to was not on FutureMark's "Approved Driver List". Further research of this issue revealed that FutureMark actually put this clause in their End-User License Agreement for 3DMARK2003:
"PLEASE NOTE that Section 11 of this Agreement contains terms, which restrict Your right to publish any Results obtained by You using drivers that do not fulfil Futuremark Optimization Guidelines requirements. Updated Optimization Guidelines and list of drivers verified by Futuremark can be found on Futuremark’s website at http://www.futuremark.com."
It seems this afternoon, Overclocker Cafe posted a blurb explaining their thoughts on this issue.
"It almost comes across as if Futuremark is happy only as long as ATi isn’t besting NVidia on its benchmark. That is of course only my opinion. You draw your own conclusions. I want to say I do not know nor have heard of any questionable ties between Futuremark and NVidia nor do I wish to suggest collusion between the two. As for us here, we are now one of the numerous other sites who will not be using 3D Mark 2003 again."
We also disagree with FutureMark's "Approved Driver List" dictating which drivers can be used for 3DMARK2003 testing, thus our future reviews will not feature a comparison using the 3DMARK2003 benchmark until further notice. We feel our readers should see results based on the most recently released drivers for all our products in all tests. And just so everyone understands, this also means that today's released ATI Cat 4.1 drivers are not legal to use with published 3DMARK2003 scores.
Please voice your opinion about this issue!