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Would you pay more than $50,000 for 3DMark 2011?

As the warm summer sun came up over the horizon this morning, KitGuru was in the garden, munching croissant and considering just how accurate the universe’s HDR engine was – when a ping on the laptop indicated that a new spy satellite image had just arrived from a military ‘sauce'.  Shot from high over Espoo in Finland, it appeared to show a cheque payment to the Futuremark marketing department, but for how much and what was the payment for?

Love them or hate them, Futuremark has given itself one of the toughest roles on the planet. To be the fulcrum which tries to balance the combined marketing and engineering ability of the world’s most advanced CPU and graphics manufacturers [We know the feeling – Ed].

No matter what anyone says about its pros and cons, 3DMark is still the most widely considered benchmark among the world’s top system builders.  The launch of 3DMark 2011 in September will cause a massive data jam in server centres across the globe as hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts battle to get a copy of the program that will let them know if their new machine is as cool and powerful as the owner wishes.

If Futuremark uses its normal marketing tactics, then some form of this download will be free. Other versions will cost between tens and hundreds of dollars – according to how you want to use them.

That leaves one question.  What was the cheque our spy satellite photographed on a table in the Espoo Curry Palace?

Right now, it would appear to be a cheque for at least $50,000 from MSI to Futuremark, in order to brand a hot air balloon with the Taiwanese manufacturer’s logo. Interesting.

KitGuru says: Great move for MSI, a company with global reach that has never managed real brand recognition outside the enthusiast community. As we swallow the last morsel of this morning’s croissant, we’re just left wondering if ‘sponsoring hot air’ was a Finnish joke of some sort.

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