Valve Introduces Automatic Resolution Rendering For SteamVR Based on GPU, Headset

by Jamie Feltham • March 14th, 2018

SteamVR 2.0 may still be a ways off but Valve is introducing a new innovation on the software side today that should help VR owners get the most out of their headset.

The company’s Alex Vachos today introduced automatic resolution rendering for SteamVR Beta. It’s a simple idea that will help VR users push their performance a little further or get even better quality visuals. Essentially, it allows SteamVR to measure the speed of a user’s GPU and the display resolution of a given headset. If these checks find that VR apps aren’t fully utilizing your GPU, then SteamVR will automatically up-res the app for better-looking VR.

On the other hand, if the checks find that your GPU is struggling to render at the native resolution of the headset you’re using then apps will use a lower resolution, allowing for better performance. You can of course make your own settings manually.

The update comes just as VR headsets are starting to branch out in terms of resolution; the new Vive Pro will offer a 3K resolution, for example, beating the optics on the original headset and the Oculus Rift and matching some of the new Windows VR headsets. This update will apply to all of these headsets and will save developers time having to check resolution against each individual headset.

In a blog, Vachos explained that the update will also alleviate concerns about having to buy a new GPU to accommodate a Vive Pro. “All GPUs will be set to render at an appropriate resolution for the attached headset based on the GPU in their machine. So if you already have a “VR Ready PC” or a “VR Ready GPU”, that hardware will work fine even with the newest high resolution VR headset on the market,” he said.

To access the Beta you need to find the SteamVR tab in Tools in your Steam Library. Right-click it, head to Properties and then select ‘beta’ from the betas tab.

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What's your reaction?
  • dan bryant

    Sounds like a great idea hopefully oculus will follow suit

  • Another Opinion

    Is the Vive Pro likely to be announced at GDC?

    • drd7of14

      Announced? Do you mean the release date?

      It was announced back at CES in January.

      • Another Opinion

        Sorry yeah – released, or a release date announcement

  • HomosDeusVR

    This is a great idea.

  • Crunchy005

    OOO, going to have to install the beta and try this out. I won’t be getting the “better visuals” as I am on a 970, but could see if it helps with performance in general. Would be interesting to see how much it helps something like a 1070+ or vega 56+ that’s above min spec

  • nipple_pinchy

    Love it. Jumping into SteamVR beta now. I have a 1080Ti so I don’t know what benefits I’ll get but it can’t hurt to try!

    • koenshaku

      This does sound interesting I will enroll in the beta to see if they have the scaling also. It would be interesting to see if they do anything with my WMR HMD.

  • koenshaku

    I wonder if this could be a bad thing for my tpcast stream which already struggles from time to time.

  • Raphael

    I’ve played Elite Dangerous and the new steamVR beta is pretty amazing. There is a marked leap in image sharpness even on the main hanger screen in the game. Performance is excellent and everything is sharper than I’ve seen before in this game with my GTX 1070.

  • superg05


  • HybridEnergy

    Seems all over the place to me. Games require different levels of SS, you can’t just pick one general settings and also some games have in-game SS already. Luckily, there is a manual option.