We will in this article discuss the best graphic cards for virtual reality. All the tests and data discovered are dependent on the SteamVR Performance Test. Therefore, we recommend you to look at our Virtual Reality Guide first since we expect you to have a little understanding of fidelity. Roughly speaking the term fidelity in a general sense means how much of the system’s potential devotes itself into the VR performance. Our guide already provides information about graphic cards that are just capable of VR, we will, therefore, surpass cards like GTX 950/960/970 or lower.
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Choosing a graphic card for Virtual Reality is a puzzle. Virtual Reality gaming requires at least a GTX 970, but most upcoming games will probably need a GTX 980 for optimal performance. The dilemma gets rather problematic since these are not cheap cards. If you want to play casual and not graphic demanding games, then delightfully stick with the GTX 970. On the other hand, games keep developing and companies creating Virtual Reality games focus mainly on graphical progress since Virtual Reality is mainly focusing the vision of our eyes. If this prognosis is right, then sooner or later the GTX 970 will be less popular, and people tend to focus on the more expensive cards. In this article, we are mainly focusing on high-end graphic cards for Virtual Reality. To clarify things we will specifically be focusing on the following graphic cards: EVGA GTX TITAN X, Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury X and EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. (click the links to see more details about the graphic cards. Note that it is an affiliate link, and it will redirect to the appropriate Amazon site).
|Graphic Card||VR Ready Status||Fidelity||Frames Below 90 FPS|
|EVGA GTX TITAN X||Ready||11 (Very High)||0%|
|Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury X||Ready||9.6 (Very High)||0%|
|EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti||Ready||11 (Very High)||0%|
Obviously, the high-end graphic cards achieved a very high fidelity rating. Surprisingly the Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury X turned out differently, with lower fidelity rating at a 9.6. When comparing FPS on different games the Fury X and GeForce GTX 980 Ti goes almost even depending on the game, however, GTX 980 Ti is slightly more powerful. When comparing fidelity rating, the GTX 980 scores 1.4 points more than the Radeon R9 Fury X. Does this mean that the AMD cards are less likely to devote its potential to the full VR experience? The answer is a bit of both. The scores are realistic, but it’s told that the application Steam VR Performance Test runs better on Nvidia cards while having minor issues with the AMD cards. Another factor that could influence the score is the driver updates. Nvidia has stated that they focus on driver updates that increase their adaptability into the VR devices. Unfortunately, these updates are only available for the newest generation cards, specifically the 900-series cards. AMD might as well develop updates that incorporate higher fidelity for the VR tests, but in its current state, the Nvidia leads the VR industry.
The Titan X and GTX 980 Ti both scored 11 in the test. Does this mean they go equally? The Titan X comes in 12GB VRAM having a tremendous asset at 4k and higher resolutions. Both may have 0% under 90 FPS, but if we were testing how many frames got over 200, then the Titan X would win anytime. The real dilemma is whether the Titan X can stand against TWO GTx 980 Tis.
As said before the Titan X’s massive amount of VRAM makes it capable of running high fps on higher resolutions and 4k, where you can draw deep on the extra space for large textures. When comparing the processing power, the Titan X, and 980 Ti goes equally.
The Oculus Rift drives in 2 x 1080×1200 or a total resolution of 2160×1200 or 2.6M pixels. Which in reality is slightly smaller than the mid-range 1440P resolution and yet still much smaller than 4K where the Titan X performs excellently due to the VRAM. The Oculus Rift renders every frame twice, and with the given low resolution per eye, what we need for higher performance isn’t more VRAM. Our commitment lies in the processing power, which we’d get from the second GTX 980 Ti. Basically, Titan X and a GTX 980 Ti goes almost equal in processing power, a second one would benefit more compared to a Titan X.
Basically, Oculus Rift depends on processing power. Titan X and a GTX 980 Ti runs almost equal in processing power. A second GTX 980 Ti would benefit more compared to one single Titan X. The major benefit of buying a Titan X lies within the memory, and VR gaming wouldn’t use all that memory.