Basemark’s long-awaited virtual reality benchmarking tool, VRScore, is finally available. It's built upon Crytek’s Cryengine, and it's the first test we've used that properly evaluates your PC's ability to present VR content.
VRScore was announced in March 2016 at GDC. At the time, Basemark said the test would include online results comparisons and performance rankings for the best GPU, CPU, and HMD. It also showed off a few screenshots of the Sky Harbor demo scene. During that presentation at GDC, Basemark teased its plan to release VRScore by June 2016. For reasons unknown, this ended up getting pushed back by more than six months. But VRScore is finally ready, and so are we.
There are several versions of the VRScore suite. There’s a free build, which is meant for consumers; a Professional version that offers customizable features for power users; a Media edition for the press; a Corporate edition capable of exporting results data; and a Corporate Plus version that accommodates test automation.
Basemark's free tool is a synthetic metric designed to measure your PC's performance. It consists of a scripted scene that simulates a virtual reality experience, complete with movements to simulate looking around. At the end of the test, Basemark issues a score and compares your system to its online records.
The System Test module, included with all versions of VRScore, evaluates your PC's performance. This benchmark works with or without a VR HMD plugged in. Should you choose to attach a headset and have the requisite drivers installed, VRScore launches your platform's runtime and assigns a score at the end of the test. If not, the metric runs on your monitor, spitting out a frame rate instead.
The System Test records the average frame rate of a 4K baseline scenario, followed by a series of Feature Tests that run modified versions of the System Test. While the main test is rendered at 4K for all HMDs, the runtime of each platform determines the resolution of these Feature Tests. If you run the benchmark without an HMD installed, it'll default to your display's native resolution.
If you download the free version of VRScore, you'll find that it's limited to the Official System Test and the VR Experience demo. Every other version of VRScore also includes the VRTrek test that measures minimum, maximum, and average frame rates. VRTrek also records the time between submitting a draw call and the image appearing in your headset, along with the time each frame takes to submit. At the end, VRScore spits out a result and summary.
Basemark also provides a “VRReady Meter” that's similar to the indicator Valve provides in the SteamVR evaluation test. If the marker lands in the green, your computer is ready for a “Great VR Experience.” Yellow suggests you're "VR Ready." A result in the red suggests you need a hardware upgrade before trying to enjoy VR.
The VRTrek Test comes with the Professional, Media, and Corporate editions of VRScore. This benchmark measures the persistence and latency of the panels inside of your HMD, along with the GPU's ability to maintain ample performance. To run the VRTrek Test, you need a VRTrek latency recording tool, which features two photodiode sensors spread 2.5" apart. These record when the HMD receives a signal, and send data back to your PC through a mic jack. Basemark says Realtek's audio controller is the only device approved for this feature.
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