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Virtual Interview: Markus Maki

This week I had the chance to interview Markus Maki. Markus is part of the MadOnion.com team, which develops interactive benchmarking software. In this interview, Markus talks about MadOnion, his gaming background, as well as why he thinks the 3DMark series of benchmarking software has been so successful.

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By: Tim Pabst
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 4
January 01, 2002
  1. · Virtual Interview: Markus Maki
  2. · The Interview
  3. · The Interview (contd.)

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Virtual Interview: Markus Maki - The Interview
(Page 2 of 3 )

1. Markus, MadOnion is an extremely popular company. How many employees work there, and what is your primary responsibility?

MadOnion.com has around 35 people, working at two locations. Our Finnish office contains our R&D and most of the people are located there. We also have a small office in California.

My primary responsibility as the CTO of MadOnion.com has been to oversee our benchmark development. This includes for example helping the team in planning the benchmarks and talking with our BETA program member companies about benchmarking needs. Earlier, when the company was starting up, I was the project lead for 3DMark 99, 3DMark2000, and a few other projects.

2. I know that you've come to MadOnion with a background in gaming and project management. Did this make for an easier transition into the company?

Well, I have been with MadOnion from the very beginning - the company is now just over four years old. The first benchmark I was involved with was called "Final Reality" by Remedy Entertainment. This is where I started learning the ropes of benchmark development. Benchmarking is more of a science than an art form, really.

I think that our teams background with gaming and other audio-visual demonstrations helped a lot in making the benchmarks as nice-looking and as popular as they are.

3. The 3DMark series of benchmarking software has been a huge hit with gamers and professional hardware technicians all around the world. What do you think separates the 3DMark series from any of the other benchmarking utilities out there?

I think there are many reasons:

First, four years of experience in making gaming benchmarks. This means the benchmark is reliable in a sense that we've put a lot of thought into the what's and how's of benchmarking. A lot more than most games do (I think Quake is the positive exception here).

Second, the benchmark is realistic, while still providing the opportunity for deeper analysis of hardware with the theoretical tests. It uses a real game engine and real game-like data sets developed with same tools & methods that game developers use.

This brings us to the third reason - 3DMark have always been forward-looking. It is well ahead of any of the games out there at any given time. Initially when a new 3DMark is released, it may seem a bit twisted towards the high-end hardware, but let 6-12 months pass from the release, and I can claim that 3DMark2000 and 3DMark2001 rank the cards pretty well if you take the average of all gaming benchmarks at the time.

And last, but definitely not the least, it just looks very nice. It's cool to show to your friends, run in a demo box in a computer store, or at a trade show.

4. So, what's in a typical day for you? Do you work "9-5"?

I don't think there's a typical day, and that's what I like this work. Sometimes there's lots of work, and sometimes not so much. I'd say a typical day for me is 10am-7pm

5. With such a great advancement in technology over the last 10 years, where do you think computers are heading in terms of speed, portability and price?

I'm not great at predicting the future, and thus usually don't do it. But thinking really simply, speed / capacity increases fairly linearly on the CPU side. 3D graphics still has some revolutionary steps ahead, portability is limited by the battery technology (plus heat is a problem) and price for the top of the line models will stay about the same. You just get more bang for buck every year.
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