Futuremark unveils new VR benchmarks and Servermark tests


— 2:30 PM on February 28, 2017

Futuremark, best known for the wildly-popular 3D gaming prowess test 3DMark, is at both the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona and the Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco. The company is showing off is latest demo enhancement to VRMark, dubbed the Cyan Room. Futuremark is also talking up its forthcoming mobile VR test for VRMark, and a new type of benchmark intended for servers called Servermark.

When VRMark came out, it included an Orange Room test and a Blue Room test. The Orange Room is a relatively low-intensity test that measures a PC's suitability for VR by comparing it to the baseline requirements for the Oculus Rift (which are very similar to those for the HTC Vive.) Meanwhile, the Blue Room test is much more demanding and indicates that the PC is suitable for the latest and most demanding VR games and applications. Both of these tests use DirectX 11.

By contrast, the new Cyan Room benchmark uses DirectX 12 and is intended to be a showcase for the new API, like the Time Spy test the company released before for 3DMark. Futuremark says the new Cyan Room test will demonstrate how DirectX 12 can make even a modest system suitable for "impressive VR experiences." As with the other tests, you don't need a VR headset hooked up to run the benchmark. You do however have to buy VRMark, which is $20.

Futuremark also says it has "new benchmark tests" coming in the near future that are designed specifically for mobile VR platforms like the Samsung Gear VR. The company says the tests will be geared towards measuring both best- and worst-case performance so that users can see what their device is capable of, and what happens when it's been under heavy load for a long time. Mobile VR benchmarking software isn't very widespread, so Futuremark's addition is certainly welcome.

Finally, Futuremark is also showing two of the tests for its Servermark software at GDC and MWC. The Servermark VDI test is a benchmark intended to determine how many virtual desktops a server can support without performance degradation. Meanwhile, the Servermark Media Transcode test, like its name implies, measures a server's media transcoding chops. It's quite interesting to see Futuremark stepping beyond the gamer-focused 3DMark software.

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