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Oculus Rift – Robinson: The Journey, Obduction & The Unspoken – AMD vs. NVIDIA Performance

Intro

We have been playing more than 30 VR Oculus Rift games using 4 top NVIDIA and 2 top AMD video cards, and we have just completed performance benchmarking for Robinson: The Journey, The Unspoken, and Obduction.  Since we posted our original evaluation in January, we have benchmarked 6 VR games in our follow-up using FCAT VR.

Since PC benchmarking methods such as using Fraps do not accurately convey the performance that the user actually experiences in the HMD (Head Mounted Display, NVIDIA has released FCAT VR.  We favorably compared FCAT VR with our own video benchmarks which use a camera to capture images directly from a Rift HMD lens.

Using extreme macro mode, we capture video showing the Oculus DeBug Tool performance overlay at 1080P/60FPS directly from the left HMD lens .

For each of our 6 test video cards, we will use Obduction to compare NVIDIA’s FCAT-generated frametime graphs and performance results directly with the Oculus Performance DeBug tool overlay running in real time in our videos.  We will also benchmark Robinson: The Journey and The Unspoken using the GTX 1080 Ti FE, the GTX 1080 FE, the GTX 1070 FE, a EVGA GTX 1060 SC, the Fury X, and a Gigabyte G1-RX 480 at RX 580 clocks with our Core i7-6700K at 4.0GHz where all 4 cores turbo to 4.6GHz, an ASRock Z7170 motherboard and 16GB of Kingston HyperX DDR4 at 3333MHz.

Performance headroom inside your apartment is lowest even on a GTX 1080 Ti as it is the most demanding part of The Unspoken

Until FCAT VR was released in March, there was no universally acknowledged way to accurately benchmark the Oculus Rift as there are no SDK logging tools available.  To compound the difficulties of benchmarking the Rift, there are additional complexities because of the way it uses a type of frame reprojection called asynchronous space warp (ASW) to keep framerates steady at either 90 FPS or at 45 FPS.  It is important to be aware of VR performance since poorly delivered frames will actually make a VR experience quite unpleasant and the user can even become VR sick.

It is really important to understand how NVIDIA’s VRWorks and AMD’s LiquidVR each work to deliver a premium VR experience, and it is also important to understand how we can accurately benchmark VR as explained here.  And before we benchmark Robinson: The Journey, The Unspoken, and Obduction,  let’s take a look at our Test Configuration on the next page.