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Basemark's VRScore Benchmark Suite: 6 VR HMDs Tested

Final Thoughts

Basemark’s VRScore is an interesting piece of software. VR performance evaluation tools are rare, and VRScore is a respectable attempt to fill that gap during this market's nascence. At the same time, VRScore's results can be a little bit arbitrary. That is to say if you base your buying decision solely on this benchmark's outcome, it would be hard to choose anything other than an Oculus Rift DK2.

VRScore appears to favor the difference between the raw framerate with and without an HMD, rather than the display resolution and refresh rate.

The fact that each HMD operates at its own target resolution is a point of contention, too. Because of the lower experience resolution, Oculus' Rift DK2 manages lower app-to-photon latency scores, which shouldn’t be possible. The DK2's 75Hz refresh rate shouldn’t be capable of outpacing a 90Hz low-persistence display, but because the Vive test taxes our GPUs more heavily, Oculus achieves a more attractive latency score. Even the Rift CV1, which has the same resolution and refresh rate displays as HTC's Vive, appears 1.5ms quicker than the Vive because the test runs at a lower resolution.

Nevertheless, VRScore is a welcome addition to the benchmarking scene, despite its curious results. Basemark normalizes the scores across the board, so we can effectively compare hardware configurations. The tool doesn't appear ideal for comparing HMDs to each other, but it should prove useful for evaluating the VR-readiness of specific hardware configurations. Most people won’t have access to more than one VR HMD (if any), so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Basemark puts VRScore's emphasis where it does.

We’ll surely explore the merits of VRScore with a larger array of hardware in the future. The tool may not help us determine which HMD offers the best display capabilities, but it could help us build a database of hardware best suited for different VR platforms.


MORE: Best Virtual Reality Headsets


MORE: The HTC Vive Review


MORE: The Oculus Rift Review

Kevin Carbotte is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He writes news and reviews of graphics cards and virtual reality hardware.
  • Piki__
    Comparing GTX 1080 vs RX 480? HOw unfair can you be. Compare to GTX 1060!
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    19234404 said:
    Comparing GTX 1080 vs RX 480? HOw unfair can you be. Compare to GTX 1060!

    This isn't a GPU comparison. The article's scope is to show what VRScore is all about.
    Reply
  • Piki__
    19234670 said:
    19234404 said:
    Comparing GTX 1080 vs RX 480? HOw unfair can you be. Compare to GTX 1060!

    This isn't a GPU comparison. The article's scope is to show what VRScore is all about.

    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    19234733 said:
    19234670 said:
    19234404 said:
    Comparing GTX 1080 vs RX 480? HOw unfair can you be. Compare to GTX 1060!

    This isn't a GPU comparison. The article's scope is to show what VRScore is all about.

    That is irrelevant, it would be much better seerved by including a GTX 1060 as well.

    I would have liked to, but there are two problems with that.
    I didn't have any more time to run more benchmarks. You have to run each pass 5 times per HMD. More GPUs would mean less HMDs. I cover VR, so the HMDs were my priority.

    The other problem, and this one's the kicker, is that I don't have a GTX 1060. In fact, the two GPUs that I used are the only two current generation cards that I have access to.
    Our GPU reviewers receive the graphics card samples, most of which go to Igor in Germany.
    Reply
  • thor220
    If you are trying to appear objective you are doing a poor job of it

    "Gigabyte's GTX 1080 G1 Gaming has no trouble maintaining roughly 90 FPS with the Rift and Vive, but PowerColor's RX 480 struggled to keep up."

    It should be thoroughly noted in this article that the RX 480 is not AMD's top end offering and that the GTX 1080 and RX 480 are in a different price class. Yet we have here you giving AMD the business for something that should have been obvious from the onset. While you do note that the RX 480 and GTX 1080 are in a different class you only do so in regular font in a text swamp. Something that important should at least be in bold.

    I could also nitpick how the Nvidia card is always above the AMD one or that it's charts come before the AMD ones in the 2nd half, which effects presence of mind. Likely you are projecting your own preference in this instance, perhaps without even knowing.
    Reply
  • rhysiam
    Thanks for the article, it will be interesting to see how these new benchmarks come together.

    To those annoyed by the RX 480 vs 1080 comparison, I think you're completely missing the point. The article clearly states in the title that's it's testing HMDs and trialling a new benchmarking suite. On the methodology page there's a short and very clear paragraph stating that a future article comparing GPUs is in the works (looking forward to that, btw). And it's very clearly and explicitly stated that the goal of this article is NOT testing GPUs. Then, in exploring the results of the benchmark (necessary to see how the new benchmark suite works) we see a GTX 1080 performing better than an RX 480. So what!? 480s start at less than 1/3rd the price. Maybe Nvidia fans should get angry because the 480 achieves ~70% of the 1080s performance at 30% of the price? Or perhaps you could blame the author because they're perpetuating the perception that Nvidia cards are overpriced by only demonstrating the high end (and arguably overpriced) model?

    No, this is an interesting introduction to a new benchmark, clearly labelled as such, and IMHO a worthwhile read. To be blunt, if someone just looks at a few of the charts without reading the article and concludes that Nvidia > AMD, then that's entirely their own fault.
    Reply
  • WFang
    For a review that purports to be about the HMD's, I found the lack of for example photon delay data for each HMD glaring.

    Also, this test tool overall seems to miss the mark for what I was hoping for. This does not appear to be very helpful when it comes to comparing HMD's which in my opinion is what we need more. Figuring out what hardware works best is important, but can be approximated by looking at e.g. 4k game tests already.

    As for the differences in render vs display resolution, it would be nice if it was possible to force rendering to the display native resolution and/or the lowest resolution HMD in the test round-up.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    I'm surprised they didn't just use USB 3, for the light sensor module.

    19238012 said:
    As for the differences in render vs display resolution, it would be nice if it was possible to force rendering to the display native resolution
    Until they address this, it seems the tool is useless at characterizing what a user of that HMD would actually experience.

    Apparently, 6 months' delay wasn't enough. It's still not ready for use.

    That said, I look forward to downloading it for the eye candy.
    Reply
  • sleven
    Running HDK 1.3 at 2880x1620 pixels seems to be a major handicap in this test. An overfill of 1.5x from the native 1080p resolution seems like an arbitrary setting, but I guess it's used because it was on "by default" depending on how the server was installed. Setting "renderOverfillFactor" to 1.0 would run at the HDK 1.3's native resolution of 1920x1080. 1.5x overfill is overkill for HDK.
    Reply
  • sleven
    HDK 1.4* is interchangeable with HDK 1.3 in this case
    Reply