Is your system Steam VR ready?

February 23, 2016 — by Skoar Harbinger0

It was up to the manufacturers of VR hardware to release hardware requirements and there was no third-party software to benchmark your system to check readiness for VR. Not anymore. Valve has released a benchmarking software – VR Performance Test to put your machine through the grind as part of Steam VR. Give it a go and let us know in the comments if your system is VR ready!

Press Release

The weekend’s tech news has been all about the HTC Vive: we have heard about its $799 price tag, and that pre-orders will start on 2/29. Valve has released the very first VR Performance Test that gives end users a way to figure out: Is my system ready for Steam VR?

Steam VR

This app features high quality VR content from the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, designed specifically for the HTC Vive, though it can be run on any PC and does not require a headset to be connected to the system. It’s available for anyone to download and test their system.

In short: 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. CPU and GPU hardware is then assigned one of three categories (VR Recommended, VR Capable, or VR Not Ready) based on the average fidelity level attained.

All Radeon R9 390 series and Fury series products, including the R9 Nano can achieve the highest attainable status: ‘Recommended for VR’. This performance is a validation of the work AMD has done with Valve and other technology partners to deliver the best VR experiences with our products through the LiquidVR initiative.

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.*

GPU Score
2xRadeon R9 Nano 11
GeForce GTX 980 TI 11
Radeon R9 Fury X 9.6
Radeon R9 Fury 9.2
GeForce GTX 980 8.1
Radeon R9 Nano 8.0
Radeon R9 390x 7.8
Radeon R9 390 7
GeForce GTX 970 6.5

Tested on 2/21/2016, with the following system specs: Intel i7-6700K, 2x4GB DDR4-2666 RAM, Z170 motherboard, Radeon Software 16.1.1, NVIDIA driver 361.91, Win10 64-bit.
As you can see and verify for yourself, Radeon R9 products are perfectly positioned to deliver superior Steam 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 Steam VR experience than their direct competitors for this headset. We’re especially proud of the Radeon R9 Nano’s performance in this Steam 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 ‘Recommended for VR’ status than the competition’s offerings.

What’s more, we’ve worked very closely with Valve to implement one of AMD LiquidVR’s premier features called Affinity multi-GPU into the Aperture Science Robot Repair demo, which this tool is based on . Think of this as CrossFire technology for VR, where the application lets one GPU render for the left eye, and the other for the right eye. Though the work implementing Affinity mGPU into this application is not finished, it’s already showing significant performance uplift over a single GPU.**

We’re very excited about the HTC Vive and Steam VR experience. We’re also thrilled to bring exceptional 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.

Here’s a link to the tool on steam

*Please turn off the recording function in the Gaming Evolved App before running the performance test.
**To enable multi-GPU support, use “-multigpu” as a launch option without the quotes. Please note this work is still ongoing, and is not an officially supported feature at this time.



Skoar Harbinger

This pixel pushing fairly belongs in the imaginary la-la land where she spends most of her time killing demonic sprites when she isn't covering the latest happenings in the video gaming world. If you wish to get her attention, hit her up on any of our social media channels.

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