There’s a lot of evidence mounting that suggests both of Nvidia’s top-end 10 series graphics cards, the GTX 1080 and 1070, have compatibility problems when trying to run the HTC Vive headset over the DisplayPort connection. The HDMI works just fine we’re told, but quite a few people have complained that it just doesn’t work when run over DisplayPort.
The main video source for the HTC Vive virtual reality (VR) headset is over HDMI, which is what the majority of VR enthusiasts have been using. However, for those running the new GTX 1070 and 1080 cards, where there is only a single HDMI, this has caused some to favor the secondary mini-DisplayPort option on the Vive instead.
But they’ve found it unusable. Threads complaining as much appeared on Reddit and the Nvidia forums in early June, but not much seems to have been done about it, even though Nvidia did acknowledge it was investigating the issue.
While you could perhaps chalk this up to a handful of people without much tech expertise running into a problem they can’t solve, Tom’s did its own experiments to confirm, and indeed found that the DisplayPort does have compatibility issues when used with the GTX 970 and 1080. By all accounts GTX 970 and 980 cards had no such problems, despite the same connector layout.
One solution suggested by some commenters has been to get an adaptor that converts the Vive’s HDMI connection into a DisplayPort. We tried something similar when we first received our Vive and weren’t able to make that configuration work, but some seem to have had success with it, so it is perhaps dependent on the adaptor.
Most likely though we’ll need a permanent fix for this from Nvidia. Although the graphics giant did comment on the original forum thread and said that it was investigating the issue, that was over a month ago and it hasn’t mentioned it since.
If you haven’t purchased a 10 series GPU yet and have been put off by a potential compatibility problem with your Vive, do bear in mind that the ASUS STRIX GTX 1080 has a pair of HDMI ports instead of the singular one, so that is a possible solution.