Nvidia lauches FCAT VR benchmarking tool

March 16, 2017 // 10:24 a.m.

Tags: #benchmark #benchmarking #fcat #fcat-vr #htc-vive #nvidia #oculus-rift #oculus-vr #steamvr #valve #virtual-reality #vr

Nvidia has announced an updated version of its Frame Capture Analysis Tool (FCAT) which aims to help quantify the smoothness of a given PC's virtual reality experience - and it's compatible with rival AMD's graphics processors as well as the company's own.

The original Nvidia FCAT tool was released back in 2013 as a means of measuring more than just maximum, minimum, and average framerates. Using FCAT, it's possible to detect frame-pacing issues in multi-GPU systems, microstutters, and dropped frames - something the company has used in the past to demonstrate that selected GPUs can offer a smoother performance than others even when the average framerate is roughly equivalent.

With FCAT VR, Nvidia is looking to do the same for virtual reality - in case the name wasn't explanation enough. 'Before now, Virtual Reality testing relied on general benchmarking tools, synthetic tests, and hacked-together solutions, which failed to reveal the true performance of GPUs in VR games,' claimed Nvidia's Andrew Burnes in a blog post published late last night. 'With FCAT VR, we read performance data from Nvidia driver stats, Event Tracing for Windows (ETW) events for Oculus Rift, and SteamVR’s performance API data for HTC Vive to generate precise VR performance data on all GPUs.'

Said data, Burnes explained, reveals much about how a VR title is really running on a given system: frametime, dropped frames, runtime warp dropped frames, and Asynchronous Space Warp (ASW) synthesised frames are all taken into account, and stutters, interpolation, and 'the experience received' claimed to be laid bare for all to see courtesy automatically-rendered graphs.

Those interested in trying Nvidia's new FCAT VR tool will find the download link, alongside a detailed explanation of its use and analysis of its results, on the company's GeForce blog.

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