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Valve launches VR resolution auto-optimization tool for SteamVR

Valve launches VR resolution auto-optimization tool for SteamVR

March 14, 2018 | By Chris Kerr

March 14, 2018 | By Chris Kerr
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More: VR, Design

Valve has launched a new virtual reality resolution tool that automatically custom-tunes the resolution of individual apps, creating an optimal experience based on each customer's GPU and VR headset.

Available though the Steam VR beta, the new 'runtime' feature measures the speed of a user's GPU and tells applications to render at an appropriate resolution based on its power. 

Valve claims the feature will lower the cost of VR for consumers, who'll no longer need to worry about constantly upgrading their GPU -- assuming they already own a VR ready PC or GPU. 

The company also believes it'll make life easier for developers, who previously would've had to test every supported headset on every supported GPU, and make tradeoffs based on how to render at the higher resolutions of next-gen devices. 

"This new auto-resolution system takes the headset out of the equation for developers, explained Valve in a Steam blog post. "Developers can now test their application against the GPUs they support without worrying about what future headsets will require. 

"The same GPU attached to different headsets will render at the exact same application resolution regardless of which headset is attached. And if a headset has a faster refresh rate than older headsets, the resolution will be scaled down based on the difference of refresh rates between headsets. 

"Ultimately, we set the resolution based on how many 'VR megapixels per second' we believe your GPU is safely capable of for the majority of applications available."

The resolution update will cover all SteamVR compatible headsets, including the Vive, Vive Pro, Oculus Rift, and all Windows Mixed Reality headsets. 

You can find out more about the runtime feature, and find out how to test it out yourself, over on the official Steam blog

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