AMD Cards Not Compatible With DK2 After Oculus Platform Update

Updated11/10/2017, 3:49pm PT: Corrected typo.

Earlier this week, Oculus pushed a new version of the Oculus Home software (Oculus Home 1.20). Although it introduced new features such as login confirmation to safeguard your account and dynamic bundle pricing so you can take advantage of sale bundles when you already own some of the content in the package, reports surfaced on Reddit that suggested the new update renders the Oculus DK2 developer kit unusable.

Several people reported that images weren’t rendering correctly inside the headset. After the new driver is applied, so went the reports, the image on the left screen has a green overlay, and the image on the right screen is green and flipped 90 degrees. Upon reading the reports, we pulled our DK2 out of the closet to see if we could replicate the issue(s).

At first, we could not. Our DK2 ran just fine with the latest Oculus Home software, despite the prominent warning that states that the DK2 headset is not compatible with the Oculus platform. However, as we dug deeper into the online reports, we noticed a pattern: Everyone who complained of a problem appeared to be using a Radeon graphics card of one type or another, including the R9 280, R9 290X, and R9 390 Radeon. Meanwhile, we found no issues reported from people with Nvidia graphics cards.

Our test machine features an Intel Core i7-5930k and a Zotac GTX 980Ti graphics card, so we swapped in a Power Color RX 480 and--bingo. We replicated the issue with the AMD card installed.

For some reason, AMD’s graphics driver is not compatible with the Oculus DK2 hardware combined with the latest Oculus driver software.

Oculus no longer supports the DK2, so we don’t expect to see a revision of the Oculus Home software that corrects the problem. However, it appears as though AMD could provide the fix here. Oculus didn’t intentionally kill the compatibility of the DK2. If it had, we wouldn’t be able to use the headset with an Nvidia card installed. AMD could potentially address the problem with a driver update if it so desired. For now, DK2 owners with AMD graphics cards can either put their headset away or get an Nvidia graphics card.

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  • Mr5oh
    So wait Oculus's update broke it, but "don't expect them to fix it?" Sounds like a real good reason to avoid them. If you aren't going to support it, don't update it either. Especially if you aren't going to be willing to fix it when you break it. As the old saying goes, don't fix what ain't broke.
    6
  • NamelessBryan
    I'm not saying Oculus is in the right here - but it's not on them to maintain developer tech forever. When it comes to developer preview hardware, it is buyer beware. It's unreasonable for us to expect prototype and dev hardware to remain supported forever. If I had a consumer model I would be pretty bummed if they held back performance boosting updates so that the older Developer-focused models wouldn't break. And even if Oculus could have prevented the issue on their end, the cost wouldn't be free in terms of development & QA resources.

    Kinda sucks for AMD because it generates some bad publicity for them when the problem is obviously on Oculus' side. Would love to see AMD step up with a driver update and save the day for anybody with a DK2, though.
    4
  • steve15180
    I'm really scratching my head on this one. Let me see if I get this. Oculus
    builds a device, Oculus releases drivers, Oculus breaks compatibility with AMD
    graphics cards. Got to be an issue with AMD, they can fix it??? How do you
    get there? Last I checked, AMD and Nvidia use different hardware. Could be
    the way Oculus accesses the hardware. Why would it be incumbent on AMD
    to fix Oculus product if they won't? Why don't you just say "see, Oculus users
    should have bought Nvida cards". Makes as much sense.
    2