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SteamVR’s auto resolution knows what your GPU can handle

This could make VR more accessible to the masses with lower-performance graphics chips.
David Lumb, @OutOnALumb
March 14, 2018
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Valve updated SteamVR today with a new feature that automatically adjusts your headset's resolution up to what your GPU can optimally render. This should function like autofocus, taking the decision-making out of the user's hands and reassuring developers that their content is being enjoyed at the best resolution. But it could also make VR more accessible, since it also auto-selects settings on lower-performing GPUs, letting experiences run more smoothly on more affordable machines.

Whether boosting or lowering resolution, the process is simple, according to Steam's blog post: SteamVR runtime measures your GPU's speed and instructs applications to render at a resolution appropriate to its power. For users with graphics chips that can't render their headset's native resolution, SteamVR will down-res it (but not lower than the Vive or Rift's native resolution).

It's good to see SteamVR moving past adding digital tchotchkes to improving features, like adding support for Windows Mixed Reality headsets and a YouTube 360 video app. The new autoresolution is live in beta, so you'll have to opt in (find SteamVR under Tools in the Steam Library and right-click to find 'beta' in properties).

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