FCAT VR: GPU And CPU Performance in Virtual Reality

AMD: Graphics Core Next Performance

AMD enabled support for asynchronous spacewarp on its Polaris-based cards with the Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.1 driver a few months back. At one point, we had results for the Radeon RX 480, 470, and 460. But Oculus’ minimum specification cuts off at the RX 470, so we re-ran our numbers using the latest Crimson ReLive Edition 17.2.1 build and dropped the RX 460.

Both Polaris cards run in ASW mode through our test sequence, and generally render every other frame as spacewarp fills in the gaps. They do struggle with the taxing middle section though, which causes them to display more extrapolated frames than real ones by the end of our benchmark.

Superficially, it appears as if the Radeon RX 480 and 470 end up somewhere between Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and 1050 Ti (but much closer to the 1060 6GB). Just remember that this is a cursory look at FCAT VR though, and not a head-to-head between Polaris and Pascal. We’re using a single game to showcase this testing tool. In the weeks to come, we’ll go wider with game selection, perhaps zeroing in on fewer cards, and start publishing performance comparisons that pit AMD and Nvidia against each other across more software. For now, it’s good to see ASW up and running on the two VR-ready models from this generation.

A while back, AMD mentioned to us that its Fiji-based cards supported ASW, but we don’t remember the company announcing this publicly. Well, here’s the proof: Radeon R9 Fury X and Fury both synthesize frames to maintain smooth performance through our Chronos benchmark run. Despite rendering at >11ms, the former even runs at greater than 90 FPS for a brief period. That’s the good news.

Unfortunately, the Hawaii- and Tonga-based boards don’t support ASW, and AMD is staying quiet on whether the feature will ever be added. What results is a mess of dropped frames that frankly looks pretty bad in-game. Dialing quality back is your best bet to enjoy this title.

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