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SteamVR Performance Test: Radeon graphics cards ready for VR

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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.


SteamVR Performance Test on Steam

It actually does a real world VR benchmark of the scene from their Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, so if this benchmark runs well, you know it will run well on a VR HMD such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

How do you fare? What do you need to upgrade? Feel free to post pictures of your results!

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

I7-4960 (4ghz)
2* Gigabyte Windforce (1050/1200)

Single GPU : 6.1

Crossfire:   9.9

So... the 290s can do recommended VR - *_as long as AMD and games support crossfire_*. Please AMD, push for support of the technology as it provides a fairly inexpensive path to proper VR.

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

And how do you guys manage to enable xfire in that test?

For me  Fury X on its own gets 9.6, and when I enable xfire I still get the same. Second card is sitting idle with green LED on.

For reference 980ti is getting around 10.7-11.

To be honest I am extremely disappointed with such effort from AMD while working with VR vendors.

Oculus crapped all over AMDs parade with announcement of VR Ready PCs which magically did not mention any containing AMD GPUs, and here I am sitting silly reading on how AMD is innovating in VR scene with LiquidVR and all that context switching and other features, which competition does not have.

And now Steam comes out with small testing app. And I read this post here on how this test is a testament of great work AMD done with VR crowd using LiquidVR, and I do remember that 2 GPUs are ideal for VR experience since each GPU can be allocated towards each eye, no lag, no projectile vomiting, all is good. But in reality, we get the tool which does not use dual GPUs even when xfire enabled, and to top that 8.6TFlops Fury X is being put in place by 5.6ish Tflops card from competition, which does not support any of those fancy features AMD support.

Can someone explain to me, how does these partnerships work exactly? Every time I hear some talk about great tech coming from AMD, and think that's it, that will get AMD huge advantage, and will get their sales up. But every time the bubble busts.

AMD only consoles - yay, games will be more optimised for AMD tech - wrong, still behind the competition.

AMD gives away Mantle code to create Vulcan and DX12 - yay, finally AMD hardware will be used to the fullest, and has advantage - wrong, still behind competition(which has async shaders completely broken)

AMD announces great partnerships and readiness for VR - yay, my 3 Fury Xs finally can be used for something useful - wrong, still behind the competition (which doesn't have any fantastic features to run VR nicely), and games have no clue what is xfire or multiGPU.

Sorry for the rant, but man, I am tired of all these wasted opportunities

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

What about Motion to Photon latency? Is there a test for that?

We keep hearing that developers say VR experience needs 20ms or less latency, else the movement vs visual lag will be too high and folks will get motion sickness.


There will be VR Ready PCs that contain AMD GPUs

Graphics Card (GPU) compatibility – Oculus Support

add: -multigpu

to the command line to test crossfire

This doesn't mean it will make it better, drivers aren't even ready for this.

Also, talking about DX12/Vulkan right now is sitll too early.

You can have 3 Fury Xs but that doesn't mean you'll get a better experience, games have to be optimized for crossfire and drivers have to be released for them as well- that is why for gaming, it is better to have a single GPU.

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

Thanks, I will try the command line.

With VR games the 'game' changes now, since you have two renders running next to each other, so it would be wise to assign one render for one GPU, and another for another.

Talking about DX12/Vulcan is not too early, especially when AMD was so vocal about how they have all these features/advantages, which competition doesn't. So it would be logical for me to expect these features advantages used. yet they are not. If drivers are not ready, then AMD needs to shut up and start talking about it once they have all the ducks in the row and working.

It is not acceptable to hear: Our hardware has this and that, competition hasn't, oh it doesn't work now, we don't have drivers ready :/

With all these announcements from AMD about new stuff, I had an impression that AMD was working very close with devs and have something to show off their advantage. yet when things come out released, AMD looks like they never seen the code and are completely unprepared.

And talking about xfire/drivers: AMDs top end Graphics Card is dual GPU one, which relies on xfire working. So it would be AMDs top priority to make sure their top Graphics Card is top, not sometimes top.


Sorry, I meant that talking about fully supported DX12/Vulkan games is too early, there is literally ONE released game as of today that fully supports DX12 - List of games with DirectX 12 support - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and the game is called Caffeine.

That's the downside to running multigpus - there needs to be a xfire/sli profile driver released. Also the developer of the game has to make the game optimized for xfire/sli.

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

I understand that it is early. But what I am saying is AMD keeps preaching about their advantage and readiness for the new APIs, but when it comes time to perform, all the advantages disappear.

Ashes of Singularity. AMD was working very close with devs, devs were very supportive of AMD hardware, yet beta came out, and AMD still cannot keep up with competition, which has half of the DX12 features broken.

Then another game comes which was supposed to have DX12. Tomb Raider. AMD had their hair technology in that game. Someone even found DX12 option in the game launcher, yet devs come out and start talking nonsense like hey, DX12 was not worth it, blah blah blah.

So if AMD so promotes DX12/Vulkan/VR, then go the full way and deliver on those promises, show that your hardware has an advantage, when there is no more restrictions, like driver overhead(dx11) or competition Game(not)works.

I cannot wait for Hitman to flop in AMD performance department, to hear the excuses again

AMD needs to be aggressive and push every advantage they have down the devs throats. Your hardware has async shaders, frikkin push it to devs, your hardware has extra features for comfortable VR, push that to everyone (Oculus, Valve), even if it is some small benchmarking tool. You co-develop Vulkan/Mantle. Make sure your hardware supports it 1st thing out of the gate.

Valve just announced that their Steam OS now supports Vulkan API. Guess who is 1st out of the gate with functional and decently performing drivers for it??? I will give you a clue: their logo color is light green, and they had nothing to do with coming up with Mantle/Vulkan ideas.

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

ok, tried 2xfury xs

Scored 11, which is maximum I believe (wonder why Valve chose this as a maximum). Both GPUs are loaded when running. Frames tested 12490.


When things go to 11 over 10, it is just that much better.



I didn't have the best experience on my current laptop.  Although I am not considering purchasing a VR set any time soon.


Journeyman III
Journeyman III

I wonder why my 290X is so slow, someone have an idee?


Adept II
Adept II

i have builded a computer and are missing gpu want a good set up for vr and gaming. Ga-x99-sli  motherboard, i7 5820,  corsair h100i gtx  liquid cooler, transcend 370 series 2.5 sata3 1tb ssd, corsair  pro platinumm series 850 power and CMK32GX4M2B3200C16 (Corsair / Memory DIMM) have space for 2 more liquid cooler should be able 2 overclock cpu 2 around 4.5 ghz 4 gpu sockets and crossfire plugs. Was wanting water cooled. was waiting for duo pro but not sure if best bet now as only game player not maker. My r9 200 series from older computer not work well in it as gpu crash often i read that 200 series not like my cpu. was thinking about 2 of polaris 10 are there any better  polaris gpu than 10 on way soon as not want 2 wait 2 much longer. are i better with 1 or 2 gpu or more. Should have gone with amd cpu but stuck with what i got now mother board does support crossfire



Got my new rig setup now so NOW I'm ready!!

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

i have a Fury X and a Fx-8350, But i get some skipped frames in VR

This is a thread i started on reddit about it

Journeyman III
Journeyman III

hello. I am new  and want to know why my brand new rx 480 can't run pass steam vr test. please.Screenshot_19.png