Futuremark Releases 3DMark 2016 Beta on Steam

Those of you who are looking to push your PC to the limits this holiday season will be glad to know that Futuremark has recently unveiled a Beta version of 3DMark 2016 on Steam. Before you get too excited, though, you should know that this 3DMark version comes with its fair share of limitations, as it doesn’t include the much-anticipated “Time Spy” DirectX 12 game-test, and it doesn’t support scoring either. What it does offer is a very impressive preview of VRMark, which is a 3D VR benchmark aimed at VR headsets. Sadly, users with multiple GPUs won’t be able to take advantage of their combined power just yet, as the Beta doesn’t offer support for multi-GPU setups right now.

The renowned “FireStrike” test is rendered in VR, and judging by early user reviews, it looks quite amazing. Other noteworthy changes include a fresh interface that looks better when compared to the old one while also being considerably easier to navigate. Clearly, this early version of the new benchmarking tool is aimed at VR fans who are fortunate enough to have a working headset. If you’d like to try out 3DMark 2016 Beta yourself, you can download it from Steam right here.

Futuremark Begins Development of VR Benchmark ‘VRMark’

It’s no secret that VR gaming is taking off in a big way, with Oculus, Vive and many others all pushing their new hardware in one form or another. However, one major issue still holds a lot of gamers back when it comes to VR; hardware requirements. If you’re eager to find out just how VR-capable your rig is, you’ll want to benchmark it, which is where benchmarking specialists Futuremark come in.

VRMark has just been announced by Futuremark, which will use a combination of software and hardware to measure VR system performance, testing aspects such as latency and accuracy. While the benchmark is still in development, Futuremark are aiming to release the tool this year, so there’s no doubt we can expect a sneaky video of it in action in the not too distant future.

“There are already more than a dozen different head-mounted displays for VR at various stages of completion. Analysts forecast that VR will reach 10.8 million users by the end of 2016. But delivering a great VR experience relies on overcoming significant performance challenges,” said Jukka Mäkinen, Managing Director at Futuremark. “With VRMark, we’re aiming to help everyone, from industry engineers and press reviewers to the end user at home, discover the best performing VR technology.”

“UL believes that the blossoming VR industry will greatly benefit from a dedicated VR benchmark developed by a neutral 3rd party,” said Sajeev Jesudas, President, Consumer Business Unit at UL. “VRMark is the first component of a comprehensive VR offering from UL that will also include the development of new standards and certification programs to protect the health, safety and well-being of VR users.”

I’m really looking forward to testing this new benchmark out, and its great news for consumers, especially if it helps identify hardware that it suitable for VR gaming.