Futuremark launches 3DMark 2016 Beta with virtual reality benchmark


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Futuremark has launched a new beta version of 3DMark through Steam, bringing a preview version of an all-new virtual reality benchmark ahead of the expected wide availability of VR headsets next year.

This preview of VRMark, the name of Futuremark's upcoming virtual reality benchmark, allows you to "move freely" within one of the benchmark's test environments. It works on either VR headsets or monitors, although at this early stage it doesn't support multi-GPU setups, and the preview version doesn't generate a score.

The 3DMark 2016 beta also brings a revamped interface that will be familiar to users of Futuremark's equivalent mobile benchmark. The home screen of 3DMark now shows a recommended benchmark for your system, and the benchmark page gives you easier access to each test.

The new version also allows you to download each benchmark individually, which is great news for those with gaming machines that probably don't want to download 3DMark's lighter benchmarks, such as Ice Storm or Cloud Gate. This means that 3DMark itself is a smaller download, although the overall installation size will be similar to previous versions with every benchmark installed.

Unfortunately, this 3DMark beta does not include any of Futuremark's upcoming DirectX 12 benchmarks, such as Time Spy. The company is keeping these benchmarks behind closed doors for now, ahead of an expected release next year.

If you want to check out the 3DMark Holiday Beta, as Futuremark calls it, you can download it now through Steam. At this stage it appears as though you need to own a paid version of 3DMark through Steam to access the beta.

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Yeah - I'll get a chance to look at it on Christmas Eve. Looks very interesting and nice to see some sort of VR benchmark tool. It'll be interesting to be able to give a new VR title a score to meet in order to be a good experience in VR.