Nvidia introduces GameWorks for VR

3 min read


For many, Virtual Reality is still a gimmick – but those who’ve actually gone eyeballs on with the technology have a different idea, and are saving away all of their spare cash to ensure they’re able to jump in to hyper, virtual reality once the tech sees a consumer release. We already know that the tech will require beastly hardware specs – with a GTX 970 quoted as the minimum spec – to deliver the optimal Virtual Reality experience. Nvidia is trying to make it easier for developers to make games to run to that spec – though it’ll likely be controversial. NVidia’s introduced GameWorks VR.

According to Nvidia’s Gameworks VR is a suite of tools to help VR games run better, using technology available to those with the latest Nvidia cards.

  • NVIDIA Multi-Res Shading (MRS) — An innovative new rendering technique for VR. With NVIDIA MRS, each part of an image is rendered at a resolution that better matches the pixel density of the final displayed VR image. This technology uses the multi-projection architecture of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti GPU to render multiple viewports in a single pass. The result: substantial performance improvements for VR games.
  • VR SLI — Provides increased performance for VR apps. Multiple GPUs can be assigned a specific eye to dramatically accelerate stereo rendering. With the GPU affinity application programming interface, VR SLI allows scaling for PCs with two or more GPUs.
  • Context Priority — Enables control over GPU scheduling to support advanced VR features such as asynchronous time warp. This cuts latency and quickly adjusts images as gamers move their heads, without the need to re-render a new frame.
  • Direct Mode — Delivers plug-and-play compatibility for VR headsets. With Direct Mode, the NVIDIA graphics driver recognizes the headset as a VR display rather than a standard desktop monitor, providing a more seamless user experience.
  • Front Buffer Rendering — Lets the GPU to render directly to the front buffer to reduce latency.

MRS makes it so that the GPU does less work to render scenes by cutting out, or placing less processing emphasis on the rubbish that you don’t really see because of how your peripheral vision works. There’s a pretty nice article about it over on PC World. Direct mod is interesting too, though all it does is what it says on the tin, as does VR Sli – which allows each card to render the scene per eye. It should make VR games a little easier to get working, though it could come at a cost penalty to AMD users.

AMD, on the other hand, has its own set of tools to better the VR experience – and its impending new enthusiast card, the R9 390X is said to be made with VR in mind.

Last Updated: June 1, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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