Multi-Res Shading, Closing Thoughts
Arizona Sunshine is available on both Oculus and Steam for the Rift and Vive, but our testing was done through SteamVR. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where you can handle motion-controlled weapons to you know…shoot zombies.
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We see an interesting result here. The GTX 1060 results in a higher frame rate, both in delivered and unconstrained frame rate, but if you look at the green/red line graph you'll see that the NVIDIA card is, in fact, running at a less consistent frame time than the RX 480. In a normal gaming scenario that would be more concerning, but here, as long as the frametimes are completed in enough time to meet the necessary refresh rate, then the VR experience shouldn't be affected. Looking at the interval graphs for both cards I see an interesting comparison: while the RX 480 has sustained blocks of time with 45 FPS effective gameplay, the GTX 1060 has more individual spikes down, indicating less grouped dropped frames. Overall, the GTX 1060 has a 9% edge.
Below you'll find results from Raw Data, one of the first successful games on the HTC Vive. While the game itself is solid we are not comparing the GTX 1060 to the RX 480 in this case. Instead, I want to use it to demonstrate the capability of MRS, multi-res shading. Launched with the GeForce GTX 980 Ti in 2015, MRS adjusts the rendered resolution of the image to better match the effective resolution of the image as it is scaled through the lens in your headset.
NVIDIA's solution is Multi-res Shading that can divide the image that the game engine wants to display into nine different viewports. The center viewport, the one the user will 99% of the time be focused on and the one without lost pixels to the warping, remains the same resolution and maintains the detail required for a great gaming experience. However, the surrounding viewports can be adjusted and sized to more closely match the final warped resolution that they will display at in the VR headset. The image still has to go through a final warp to the correct shape for the VR lens but the amount of data "lost" along the edges is minimized and thus performance can be improved for the gamer.
Raw Data supports MRS at settings of 0 (off), 1 (normal) and 2 (high).
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Let's look at what is happening with the GeForce GTX 1060 running at Medium settings. The average frametime and frame rate improve, though only with the MRS setting of 2. MRS 0 and MRS 1 seem to offer very little improvement with this GPU, but MRS 2 results in a 13% performance improvement for little to no degradation in image quality.
What about the GTX 1080 that has a bit more headroom?
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While all three settings allow the GTX 1080 to run at Medium quality settings with very few dropped frames, the unconstrained frame rate increases by 5% at MRS 1 and by 18% at MRS 2. This added performance capability could very well be the difference between being able to run a game at Medium settings or High and we have witnessed other games with MRS support show similar advantages. More testing to be done next week!
Initial Closing Thoughts
At this point, I feel confident that FCAT VR is a fantastic tool for reviewers, developers, and end users to take advantage of and measure all aspects of VR gaming. Much like the use of FRAPS democratized basic performance analysis for forums and communities, keeping the public engaged and knowledgeable, I think FCAT VR can do the same thing for virtual reality. It’s not quite as dead simple, and there are still features I would like to see added to the software (easy including of 95th / 99th percentile frametimes), but it's easily the best and most robust tool available.
Add to it that NVIDIA is going to open source the code for analysis, and I fully expect other programmers to take a stab and developing tools to deal with the data files and include even more features.
Our first results, though not covering nearly as many games as I would like at this point, show the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB card coming out ahead of the Radeon RX 480 8GB. Chronos, Dirt Rally, and Obduction on the Oculus Rift all indicate significant performance advantages for the NVIDIA card in this price range, despite the claims of VR dominance by the Radeon marketing and branding teams. Edge of Nowhere shows a very small edge for the GTX 1060, effectively creating a tie.
The battle between the GeForce GTX 1080 and the Radeon Fury X only has one data point currently, but honestly based on the last several weeks of testing, the battle isn’t worth fighting. AMD does not have a competitive part in the high-end consumer graphics space for standard PC gaming and that doesn’t get any better in VR. In fact, it gets worse. I said it in my GeForce GTX 1080 Ti review, but AMD needs Vega and it needs it soon.
From me, expect to see much more VR performance evaluation soon, including in upcoming graphics card reviews as the spring and summer hit. If you have a VR headset of your own, head over to GeForce.com and download the tool yourself – I’d love to see your thoughts!
Great write-up! Your
Great write-up! Your GeForce.com link for FCATVR in the last sentence of the article is pointing to a file location on your C drive instead of Nvidia’s site though. This tool looks really interesting and I look forward to playing with it at some point myself 🙂
What, you can access my hard
What, you can access my hard drive? Huh… 😉
Better than it was, but now
Better than it was, but now it takes me to the first page of the article instead of the download page on Nvidia’s site.
“Gentlemen, we can correct
“Gentlemen, we can correct this link; we have the technology…” 😉
Thanks for all your hard work
Thanks for all your hard work guys!
Tests I’d like to see:
Tests I’d like to see:
Higher performing GPUs (Fury, 1070)
7700K-based build (better for games than 5960X)
Interesting that the RX 480
Interesting that the RX 480 loses in all Unreal Engine 4 games (and Dirt Rally, don’t know about Codemasters Engine), an engine that is heavily tailored to Nvidia cards. Look at the only game using Unity, Edge Of Nowhere and, surprise, surprise, the RX 480 magically catches up to the GTX 1060. *rolleyes*
I wish more VR devs would use Unity or the UE devs build in better support for AMD Hardware.
It’s clear that amd is in
It’s clear that amd is in just stay alive mode in the gpu space, similar to where they were against Intel for the last four years with Bulldozer. I really don’t expect Vega to be competitive for more than a month or two as Volta is right around the corner. It’s a bad time to a gpu enthusiast from a competition perspective.
You could ignore AMD and just
You could ignore AMD and just buy nVidia for GPU and Intel for CPU like any other normal person. You’re not poor are you?
By definition, ‘normal’
By definition, ‘normal’ people are not ‘rich’, as they are considered ‘average’ in wealth, hence the concept of the ‘rich’, ie. above average in wealth, having more money than the average person.
Just a tip. You’re not going to win any friends on here spouting elitist cr@p like that. Nobody here cares how much money you think you have or actually have. It’s utterly irrelevant. What matters is whether you are a person of substance, rather than a shallow, materialistic looser.
How can the delivered fps be
How can the delivered fps be higher than the unconstrained fps? See the “Dirt Rally – High Preset” result on the “GTX 1060 vs RX 480” page
Check the last paragraph on
Check the last paragraph on the “GPU Performance Scaling” page. It explains that phenomenon.
Thx for pointing that out,
Thx for pointing that out, here’s the quote for the even lazier than me:
“Because the frametimes reported by the Oculus and SteamVR runtimes combine the CPU and GPU, but the unconstrained time is based on GPU alone. In situations where the frametime is very close to the 11ms/90FPS mark we see overlaps of CPU and GPU time (rather than it being purely sequential). The result is that unconstrained FPS will sometimes be lower than delivered FPS.”
However, I still don’t get it, I’m sorry. Perhaps a few more words are in order?
My interpretation of this is
My interpretation of this is that in this scenario, the CPU is getting some work done while the GPU is working; aka the system is performing better/faster simultaneously instead of work having to wait for one to finish before moving to the next compute device for the current operation.
Unconstrained FPS doesn’t take the extra performance-gain into account, so when only looking at the GPU and expectation of frame delivery, it’s presenting a slower/incomplete analysis of performance. It doesn’t pick up that the system is doing some of the work at the same time instead of sequentially, so it’s analysis is that it’s taking longer than reality shows.
The internet will correct me if I’m wrong, but that was my interpretation of the situation.
So, Nvidia wants us to wait
So, Nvidia wants us to wait for AMD Vega for VR? OK, I’ll wait.
What is the shader:ROP ratios
What is the shader:ROP ratios for both the GTX 1060 and the RX 480? And it again looks like time will tell as to what if any gaming software and driver/API tweaks will do for AMD’s polaris based SKUs! The RX 480 and Polaris SKUs are getting some tweaks in the form of the RX 580/other Polaris updates so maybe some retesting should happen then.
There is also maybe some driver/games/other software improvments coming along with any of the Polaris/Refresh RX 500 series SKUs so this very same bemchmark run on the RX 500 series SKUs and maybe some feature support that the RX 480 lacks compared to the GTX 1060.
I also want to see any current CF/SLI VR benchmarking along with any DX12/Vulkan explicit multi-GPU adaptor benchmarking where both CF/SLI are not used and any Dual GPU usage is done through DX12’s/Vulkan”s API multi-GPU load balancing methods.
Vega is still a little ways off so some good looks at the RX 500 series Polaris refresh SKUs like any RX 480/RX 580 to GTX 1060 benchmarking, with some added multi-GPU VR/Non VR setups are in order. The RX 480’s are dropping in price below the $200 dollar price point and if the RX 580s retail at around $199 then the RX 480 pricing will most likely hit the 150 price point at some point in time on any stock of RX 480s that may be remaining in the retail channels! And that bodes well for some affordable RX 480 CF gaming uaseg for VR/Non VR gaming usage with the new Ryzen/AM4 options that are now available and without.
The Rx 480 is $179, correct ?
The Rx 480 is $179, correct ? Isn’t the GTX 1060 40% more ?
They seem to be different class of GPU based on price.
The Radeon Fury seem to be the direct competitor to the 1060, no ?
Exact same price as the 1060.
Would be cool when comparing cards, that the same class or card (based on price) get compared.
Because I’m pretty sure the GTX 1080 ti crush the 1060 at VR…
but then its also pointless the compare them both when they dont cost the same.
depends where you live. in my
depends where you live. in my country the two still pretty much about the same price. sometimes a bit cheaper than 1060. also RX480 with such price still depending on deal. AFAIK AMD has not officially cut RX400 series price.
the thing about geforce is they tend to sell well even without price cut so retailer have no reason to offer big deal on them unlike AMD cards that is much harder to sell.
“the thing about geforce is
“the thing about geforce is they tend to sell well even without price cut so retailer have no reason to offer big deal on them unlike AMD cards that is much harder to sell.”
Sigh. Yes, the legions of the stupid strike again. I’m going to really enjoy watching AMD do to nVidia what they just did to Intel. 🙂
Damn the GTX 1060 is stompin
Damn the GTX 1060 is stompin RX 480. Really want to get into performance testing myself.
Curious what model of the rx
Curious what model of the rx 480 and 1060 was used?
The gap in unconstrained FPS make little sense,
unless the rx480 may have been running at like 1ghz ?
I also found anything below 90fps in VR gives a very poor experience. its not like a game on a monitor going from 60 to 40fps, its noticeable but ok.. in VR dropping below 90fps is headache inducing.
So here the “hardocp” method would be good to use.
in short. what is the game setting to use to reach near rock solid 90fps.
can the gtx 1060 even reach that, and be used for solid VR ?
From this it seem it falls short with the tested settings.
We’re using the standard
We're using the standard RX480 and GTX 1060.
Very interesting paper, but
Very interesting paper, but you should give more technical data on the videocards you tested. parameters like memory or GPU frequency, Oced or not, driver version, etc. are important. Not all 1080, 1060, 480 are born equal.
Standard cards were used, and
Standard cards were used, and drivers were current as of time of testing for the review.