New NVIDIA Tool Measures Quality of VR Experience
The setup for your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset can make you either puke or enjoy whatever content or video game you play, but is it possible knowing if it’s good? NVIDIA will soon release the FCAT VR, a new tool that will help players and developers avoid system testing before using VR headsets.
The FCAT VR Tool Can Avoid VR Nausea
The FCAT VR is very similar to the FCAT tool for 2D displays in PCs, but the new tool adapts to the high demands of Virtual Reality. The best thing about this tool is that it will enable VR content developers to quantify any performance with highly detailed data, instead of just wearing a VR headset and see how it works. The tool will also allow players test their PCs to know if they have to upgrade their hardware or change the setup.
This tool will track four essential metrics that lead to stuttering, high latency, and other problems:
- Frame Time — Since FCAT VR provides detailed timing, it’s possible to measure the time it takes to render each frame. The lower the frame time, the more likely it is that the app will maintain a frame rate of 90 frames per second needed for a quality VR experience. Measurement of frame time also allows an understanding of the PC’s performance headroom above the 90 fps VSync cap employed by VR headsets.
- Dropped Frames — Whenever the frame rendered by the VR game arrives too late for the headset to display, a frame drop occurs. It causes the game to stutter and increases the perceived latency which can result in discomfort.
- Warp Misses — A warp miss occurs whenever the runtime fails to produce a new frame (or a re-projected frame) in the current refresh interval. The user experiences this miss as a significant stutter.
- Synthesized Frames — Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) is a process that applies animation detection from previously rendered frames to synthesize a new, predicted frame. If FCAT VR detects a lot of ASW frames, we know a system is struggling to keep up with the demands of the game. A synthesized frame is better than a dropped frame but isn’t as good as a rendered frame.