Skip to main content

How well does your system handle VR? Nvidia’s FCAT VR benchmark will tell you

Best VR Headset
Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends
Nvidia is joining the likes of VRMark and VRScore in helping virtual reality fans around the world figure out just how capable their system is at handling consumer-grade virtual reality. The new version of its Frame Capture and Analysis Tool (FCAT) is catered specifically to virtual reality, and will go deeper than just spitting out a score, helping to give a better picture of what VR performance might actually be like on your system.

The Nvidia FCAT tool has been around for a while now, offering users an insight into aspects such as frame pacing and micro-stuttering to help determine the consistency of the gameplay experience, which can’t always be quantified in a score or average frame rate. That deeper look at how a game might perform is what Nvidia is hoping to offer to consumers with the FCAT VR tool.

Much like its non-VR predecessor, FCAT VR is analyzing frame data at a low level. That means that it can measure the time it takes for a frame to be rendered, how often frames are dropped for being rendered too slowly, and how well native reprojection within the headset is operating. All of that information is much more important within VR, as it can tell you just how smooth the gameplay experience is. That’s better than just letting you know the average is hitting the 90FPS minimum required for consumer-grade VR headsets like the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Get your weekly teardown of the tech behind PC gaming
Check your inbox!

While this sort of data was technically available as part of the original FCAT release, what Nvidia has done with its latest rendition is make it more easily accessible. There’s a new UI to play with and a new results screen that spits out stats and graphs in an easy-to-read manner. There’s even an in-game VR overlay that lets users wearing the headset have a better idea of how the system is performing on the fly, according to RoadtoVR.

This is all very useful for those looking to tune their systems for virtual reality gaming. While it may not be too difficult to reach the 90 FPS minimum, especially when using safety net features like reprojection, space warp and time warp, not every user wants to make use of those features.

Knowing how often your otherwise-capable system makes use of them is important and something Nvidia hopes will help separate its benchmarking tool from the alternatives.

FCAT VR will become available for general use in mid-March.

Editors' Recommendations

Jon Martindale
Jon Martindale is the Evergreen Coordinator for Computing, overseeing a team of writers addressing all the latest how to…
What is Nvidia Reflex and how do you enable it in 2023?
Seer shooting an airborn robot.

In competitive games, sometimes it's who pulls the trigger first who wins. But sometimes it's the person who's PC reacts fastest. Finding out just what kind of input lag you're dealing with is the first step to eliminating it, and Nvidia Reflex is a great tool for the job. In some games, it can even go further than measuring latency -- it can help reduce it.

Once you have a high-performance gaming CPU and a powerful graphics card, the best way to make your PC more suited to competitive play is to shave off a few milliseconds in input lag. Here's how to use Nvidia Reflex to do just that.

Read more
New leak reveals exactly how Apple’s VR headset will work
A man using a virtual reality headset with controllers.

Apple’s forthcoming Reality Pro headset hasn’t even launched, yet it’s already been plagued by negative stories and general skepticism about its prospects. Yet a new report claims Apple is going to come out swinging with a full gamut of blockbuster apps and games for its high-end device, all in an attempt to win over wary customers.

First reported by Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, Apple is apparently building a host of apps and experiences that will entice people to shell out around $3,000 for the mixed-reality headset. These will include games, workouts, collaboration tools, and much more, with a mixture of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) options.

Read more
Leak reveals how Apple VR headset’s hand tracking may work
A rendering of an Apple mixed-reality headset (Reality Pro) in a gold color seen from the front.

Apple’s secret mixed-reality headset -- dubbed Reality Pro -- is due to launch imminently, but the way you’ll use the device is something of a mystery. Sure, rumors have pointed to some form of gesture control, but that’s a pretty vague description. Fortunately, we might now have a better idea of how it will work.

That’s because Apple has just been granted a patent outlining how you might be able to use a special ring to control objects while using the Reality Pro headset. The idea is that, with this ring on your finger, you’ll be able to perform various gestures that will let you open apps, scroll webpages, and more.

Read more