Performance testing for VR apps is a tricky problem, and one we've not quite found a satisfactory answer for. As it turns out, Nvidia may have the solution. The GeForce guys just made good on that promise from GDC and released FCAT VR as a free download. As most readers of the site have probably already guessed, FCAT VR is a frame-time-based performance capture and analysis tool intended specifically for virtual reality apps.
Nvidia says that FCAT VR taps into its own drivers, Event Tracing for Windows, and the SteamVR APIs to capture performance data for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The company notes that FCAT VR requires no external hardware (save for a VR headset) and should work on "any GPU." The app can distinguish among new frames, dropped frames, and synthesized frames created by technologies like the Rift's Asynchronous Spacewarp. Nvidia says this complete data analysis should illuminate the real performance picture for VR apps on any given system.
Along with the release of the FCAT VR software itself, Nvidia is offering up a fairly extensive guide to walk people through setting up and using the application. The company says that capturing data is fairly straightforward, but that analyzing it is more involved. That's no surprise, as the same could be said for our own methods. If you're eager to start testing your machine's VR performance, you can hit the FCAT download page. Don't miss the guide, either.
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