Inexpensive VR REDUX

The point is this:
Unless your laptop has a SINGLE GPU that’s nVidia GTX960-class or higher, don’t bother.
If it has a dual-GPU setup at all – most with discrete cards now do, sharing time with a power-sipping Intel GPU – then your performance will suffer severely.

I just set it all up on my slightly-aged Ivy Bridge i5 desktop with a GTX960, hooked up the IR tracking camera, and after some fiddling with display settings (SteamVR was upside down!?), it just worked.
Virtual Desktop was great for projecting my desktop on an enormous screen, and I failed horribly at a couple of rounds of Devil Daggers because I just couldn’t take in the entire screen. Most games I tried (mostly smallish indies) seemed to play perfectly projected on the virtual display.

Tentatively confident in the abilities of the system, I brought up Elite: Dangerous.
It asked to set the graphics settings based on the system spec – I let it do so.
It set the global settings to “Ultra”. I didn’t expect this.
I also didn’t expect it to actually run so smoothly. Not 60fps smooth, but fairly consistent, and what I’d consider playable on a 2D monitor. I’m sure further tweaking would improve performance even more. The constant hitch and judder I experienced with it on the laptop was entirely nonexistent.
The drift was also eliminated by the use of the IR tracker. There were still some headset centering issues, I seemed to have to look to the left about 15 degrees in order to look straight out the cockpit, which made lateral movements awkward, as moving my head forward would move it diagonally in-game. I’ll look further into this later.

So all the performance issues from my last post are pretty much eliminated by just not using a laptop for VR. Just don’t do it.

The other issues stand,however. I really do need to adjust the lenses for proper focus, and the combination of the size of the foam faceplate and the shortness of head straps insist on pushing the lenses into my eyes. The nose rest also needs some work to be not-uncomfortable.
The software support is coming with Virieo, and supposedly with VorpX later, which will make a lot of games playable.

Until then, if you’ve got the machine for it – at least a GTX960 – then the Razer OSVR HDK is a relatively cheap way to get your VR on in Elite: Dangerous.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: