As part of the recent excitement generated by the AMD Capsaicin event held during GDC 2016, the world discovered that AMD is at the heart of 83% of the exciting Virtual Reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) systems market worldwide.1 From traditional bastions of gaming, such as consoles and discrete graphics cards inside gaming PCs, to incredible innovations such as the wireless Sulon Q head-mounted display powered by an AMD FX-8800P APU, AMD is demonstrating the prowess needed to drive the immersive experiences of VR.
The last piece of the VR puzzle is to understand where today’s AMD desktop platforms fit into the broad VR ecosystem. In fact, HTC recommends the AMD FX™ 8350 as a processor that’s capable of driving the HTC Vive VR headset - a fantastic and very accessible entry point to a VR-capable PC. Simply select your VR recommended discrete GPU to enable your VR experience.
Valve, the game developer behind incredibly popular games such as DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Half-Life, recently released the SteamVR performance test so that gamers can find out how capable their hardware is for Virtual Reality workloads.
In our testing, we found that many of our popular desktop processors can meet the High or Very High fidelity performance levels needed to earn the SteamVR performance test VR Ready moniker:
SteamVR Test Fidelity
AMD FX™ 9370
Radeon™ R9 Fury
GeForce GTX 980
Radeon™ R9 390
GeForce GTX 970
With zero dropped frames and no CPU bottlenecked frames, the AMD FX 8-core/6-core processors listed above deliver the performance needed to earn the “VR Ready” rating.
Decades of PC gaming have taught us that there’s a wide spectrum of capable hardware to choose from, and that you don’t need to spend top dollar in order to have a worthwhile experience. VR is no different. The highest-end hardware will provide the highest visual fidelity, but you can get a great experience from a midrange PC as long as you pair it with a capable graphics card designed to maximize your VR experience - then adjust visual detail levels appropriately. The SteamVR performance test also indicates where a more mainstream PC can be considered “VR Capable” for these hand-tuned VR gaming experiences, some of which we have indicated below:
SteamVR Test Fidelity
AMD Athlon™ X4 880K
Radeon™ R9 380
GeForce GTX 960
Again, all these combinations caused no CPU bottlenecked frames, ensuring the discrete GPU is working hard to deliver the best VR experience it can. A VR Capable rated platform is also able to be upgraded to “VR Ready” status by upgrading the discrete GPU – our testing shows an A10-7890K platform can be upgraded to Very High fidelity by using a GeForce GTX 980 graphics card, for example.
The Bottom Line
PC users shouldn’t assume they need to replace their PC to try out VR, and folks who want to build a brand-new system to experience virtual reality may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the AMD FX™, Athlon™ X4, and A10-series processors are viable platforms to enjoy this new, incredible, and immersive medium. Our testing is not designed to be exhaustive, so if you have a combination not listed above, go ahead and try out the SteamVR performance tool and share your results with us on your favorite social media platform, and tag it #AMDVR.
For more information on this or other AMD products check out these resources:
- Learn more about the AMD processors here
- Learn more about Radeon™ Graphics here
- Learn more about AMD LiquidVR™ here
- Become a fan of AMD on Facebook
- Follow AMD on Twitter
Till next time - GET MORE with AMD Processors!
Jay Marsden is a Communications Manager at AMD. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.
- According to Jon Peddie Research as of March 11, 2016, AMD is estimated as powering 83% of the total addressable market for dedicated VR HMDs.
- AMD Test System configurations for all SteamVR results: AMD FX™ 9370 4.4GHz, AMD FX™ 8370 4.0GHz, AMD FX™ 8350 4.0GHz, AMD FX™ 6350 3.9GHz, A10-7890K 4.1GHz, A10-7860K 3.6GHz, AMD Athlon™ X4 880K 4.0GHz, Motherboard: ASUS A88X-PRO, 8GB RAM, Win10 pro 64-bit , AMD Driver 15.301.1801.1001, Nvidia Driver 10.18.13.6200
© Valve Corporation, all rights reserved. Valve, the Valve logo, Steam, the Steam logo, Source, the Source logo, Valve Source, Dota, Counter-Strike, and the Counter-Strike logo, Half-Life, Half-Life logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Valve Corporation.