Without doubt the new battleground for PC performance is that of virtual reality, a nascent technology segment that is starting to really drive innovation, especially when it comes to GPU performance. Futuremark have never been slow out of the blocks and as such are one of the first companies to develop a benchmark app that assess just how adept your system is at delivering a VR experience.
The good news for 3DMark Advanced and Professional Edition users is that Futuremark is rolling out a preview of their new VRMark benchmark in its latest incremental update. The update adds an interactive preview of VRMark where you can freely explore two VRMark test scenes designed for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. The good news for overclockers is that it also works on a standard 2D display. The bad news however, is that as a development preview, you won’t get a score at the end of a run. Not yet anyway.
Regardless, it should be interesting to see what the future of VR looks like as benchmark. In years to come VR will most likely become the biggest driver of PC system performance. No bad thing, since it should provide an (arguably stagnant and lackluster) industry with a real reason to once again keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible. In a few short years, VR benchmarks like VRMark could well become the standard bearers for GPU performance testing. Say good bye 3D benching, and hello to VR benching.
The new update to 3Dmark also adds a new UI that allows easier access to the many benchmark apps now integrated in the app. The revised Home screen displays is described by Futuremark as ‘faster, more flexible, and easier to use’. It also automatically recommends which benchmark you should run for your system – perhaps not a ‘go to’ feature for overclockers. However the news that the app has been rebuilt so that you can install and update integrated benchmarks independently of each other will surely be very welcome. Who doesn’t like the idea of smaller, faster downloads?You can read more about the new VRMark benchmark at Tom’s Hardware.