SteamVR Performance Test: Radeon graphics cards ready for VR

Blog Post created by sasa.marinkovic Employee on Feb 22, 2016

Today Valve released the SteamVR Performance Test, one of the first available virtual reality tools to help consumers identify graphics cards ready to power premium virtual reality experiences on the HTC Vive headset.


This Performance Test is based on the Source 2 engine and features high quality VR content from the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo designed for the HTC Vive. Nonetheless, the test can be run on any PC and does not require a VR headset. It’s available for anyone to download and test their own system.


The test employs a technique called dynamic fidelity, which automatically adjusts image quality as required to avoid dropped frames that can break the sense of presence critical to VR experiences. The CPU and GPU hardware is then assigned one of three categories (‘VR Ready’, ‘VR Capable’, or ‘VR Not Ready’) based on the average fidelity level attained. ‘VR Ready’ is the highest achievable level of experience possible.


AMD is pleased to report that our Radeon R9 390, Nano, and Fury series GPUs are all able to achieve ‘VR Ready’ status. This performance is a great testament of the work AMD has done with Valve and other technology partners to deliver the best VR experience with our products through the AMD LiquidVR™ initiative.


In addition to the component ratings, the Performance Test provides frame-by-frame data regarding rendering time and fidelity level, along with an average fidelity rating and a dropped frame counter.  ‘VR Ready’ products must maintain an average fidelity of 6 (High) or better with no dropped frames.


Below is a small chart summarizing the results by GPUs with system configuration details, should you need a reference point in running the benchmark yourself.*


Last year at GDC we talked about multi GPU scaling in VR, where the application lets one GPU render for the left eye, and the other GPU for the right eye. Though the work implementing multi-GPU into this application is not finished, it’s already showing significant performance uplift over a single GPU on Radeon cards.


As you can see and verify for yourself, Radeon R9 products are perfectly positioned to deliver superior VR experiences for the HTC Vive headset– whether you choose the R9 390 or opt for a true enthusiast product like the R9 Fury, AMD Radeons are in a position to deliver a better VR experience than their direct competitors for this headset. We’re especially proud of the Radeon R9 Nano’s performance in this VR test that is unmatched at its mini-ITX form factor. There’s also a wider selection of Radeons currently available that are capable of attaining the ‘VR Ready’ status than the competition’s offerings.


We’re very excited about the upcoming HTC Vive and SteamVR experience. We are also thrilled to bring superior grade VR capability not only to millions of Radeon users who can rest assured that their GPUs are ready to drive the HTC Vive headset, but also to those thinking about buying one of the above-mentioned cards to power a premium VR-Ready experience.


Sasa Marinkovic is Head of Software and VR Marketing for AMD.