Futuremark, a company best known for its 3DMark benchmark just announced the availability of their a new benchmark suite called VRMark. As the name implies, this benchmark is used for testing your system’s ability to run VR games and experiences, since the performance required to do so is much higher than normal gaming performance.
As always, Futuremark did their best to use a custom game engine to drive the experiences to the levels which can make your systems slow to a crawl. With VR, the maneuvering space was limited, as reducing the framerate inside the VR experience could potentially get you in a bad shape. Futuremark focused on squeezing every inch of performance on in the conventional desktop mode, and then checked for maximum achievable framerate when the headset is turned on. All in all, quite an interesting approach to the benchmarking. Then again, we’ve been waiting on benchmarks other than SteamVR.
This benchmark features two rooms for testing. The Orange Room shows impressive level of detail that can be achieved on a PC that meets the recommended hardware requirements for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. You can run the Orange Room as a benchmark to measure performance objectively, or as an Experience, which lets you judge the rendering quality with your own eyes.
You can run the Orange Room benchmark and experience on your monitor in Desktop mode, no headset required, or on a connected headset in HMD mode. There are two versions of VRMark available: a free edition, VRMark Basic Edition, which includes the Orange Room benchmark and its experience mode; and a $19.99 Advanced Edition, which additionally unlocks access to the Blue Room benchmark that allows the exploration of both the Orange and Blue rooms in Experience mode, and adds the ability to customize your runs.
This brings us to the Blue Room.
Blue Room benchmark
The VRMark Blue Room benchmark is a more demanding test with a greater level of detail. It is the ideal benchmark for comparing high-end systems with specs above the recommended requirements for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. A PC that passes this test will be able to run the latest VR games at the highest settings, and may even be VR-ready for the next generation of VR headsets. This room also shows you more detailed results and hardware monitoring charts.
Recommended FPS rate for optimal VR experience stands at 90 FPS. We already tested this benchmark on the Intel Skylake NUC Scull Canyon, you can see our results here. If you want to see if your PC can run VR, you can download VRMark here.
We are already running headsets in our labs, and you can expect the very first benchmarks coming out as early as next week. There’s one headset we’re particularly interested in how it will perform… and more importantly, how will our system perform.