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Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

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Pioneer

Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

I have purchased an Alienware laptop to run my Vive headset in a larger room. I moved from a PC with a i5 processor and GTX980, to a laptop with an i7 and a 1070 video card.

But the experience seems to be worse and I am now suffering slight nausea effects.

I detect there is a slight movement in the image when I move my head - a movement in the same direction I move! Then it seems to move correctly, though I see occasional glitches when the image jumps slightly. I believe this is what is causing the nausea symptoms.

But why should it be a worse experience when I have, I believe, improved the computer?

The only problem I had when setting it up, was it said the base stations were too far apart. But only breifly and I haven't seen that indication since.

Anyone know what might be making this faster computer  seem slower.

Nigel

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Builder

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

@nandrews

They must be rock steady! Whatever you do make sure they are not moving while vibrating. And in my understanding that's very possible to be the cause of your issue. Currently in my set up one of the stations is sealed to the ceiling, while the other one is on a tripod, which is a cheap one and not premium quality which I can tell from the not straight position of the leading pod. And yet it does it job at holding the base station without moving. So... yeah try to adjust your tripods somehow so you make sure there is no any movement on the stations. Tracking issues can lead to lag as well, so so far that's the first thing to consider. 

 

 

22 REPLIES
Builder

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Hi, @nandrews!

 

I'm not a specialist, but sounds to me that it sound a bit like you might have some tracking issues. Since you mention, that there was a statement during set up. Try measure the distance between the base stations. Officialy they are saying the distance between the stations should not be more than 5m. Although I saw somewhere someone who actually pushed that limits further and had no issues. I think that's where you should start. 

 

Good Luck ! 

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Thanks for that. I was going to get out the supplied lead and connect the base stations, to see if that made a difference. Then I read that if the stations don't have sync then the light changes. I haven't noticed any change (tho' of course in use I can't see them).

It's an easy change to make, so I will try the lead next time.

I thought it was down to the computer, since I have also seen more brief flashes of the inital Vive screen in the middle of games and on occasions it 'staggers' when it is obviously loading a new scene.

Nigel 

Builder

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

@nandrews

It makes sense what you are sayin, but according to my logic/understanding, the fact that the bases are synced does not exclude the option of tracking loss, as I imagine the two stations with their (at some point limited) FoV, they are synced but still if too far away from each other there might be some zones which are out of reach/tracking. I'm not a specialist neither working at HTC or Valve, it's just the way I understand how the technology works, but ofcourse there is a big chance I'm mistaken. Smiley Happy

 

 

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

I appreciate that and I will give the lead a try later.

It's not a very obvious problem and the first time I tried the headseet on the new laptop I just thought it was my reaction on that day. But the second time I noticed how it was jumping and moving and I think the most subtle things can throw your balance and bring on a feeling of nausea.

I will let you know here how the cable effects it.

Nigel

Contributor

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!



 ... in a larger room...

Elementary dear Watson...

 

No, but seriously. If you've moved your setup to another room, be very wary of windows or mirrors or other items causing reflections that can disturb your VR experience.

 

I hope you find the culprit. Smiley Happy

 

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

That's useful info.

I have connected the wire between the base stations. But I've yet to try it to see if it'll work.

 

Nigel

Vive Staff

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Have you checked to see if you're getting any frame drops? The behavior you describe sounds like a framerate issue to me. You can check by going to Settings > Performance and click Display Frame Timing in SteamVR. This pops up a window showing some performance statistics.

Also, confirm your PC is properly setting SteamVR/Vive to Direct Mode. It should be defaulting to it, but laptops can be weird about it for some reason. Easiest way to check is to create a system report (click the dropdown in Steam VR, click 'Create System Report'). Look for a line that says 'Display Mode' and it should say either Direct Mode or Extended Mode. If in Extended Mode, go to Settings > Developer and click Enable Direct Mode (then check again if it's in Direct or Extended mode).

 

If it's still in extended mode, your laptop likely is using the motherboards onboard GPU instead of the dedicated Nvidia one. There's two ways to check for this, either try using another HDMI port (if available) as sometimes one port is for the on-board GPU and another is used for the Nvidia GPU, or telling the laptop to always use the Nvidia GPU via the Nvidia Control Panel settings. Instructions on doing this via Nvidia Control Panel are below:

 

Open the Nvidia Control Panel and in the Manage 3D Settings (Global Settings tab) make sure you set the Preferred Graphics Process dropdown to the Nvidia GPU (might be listed as High-Performance NVIDIA Processor). Next, go to the Program Settings tab and select SteamVR from the drop down and do the same thing. I would also recommend setting the Power Management Mode options to Maximum performance (both under Global Settings and for SteamVR in the Program Settings). You may need to do this for each VR game/app you use, but it shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully that helps!

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Wow!  So much there for me to check.

I will have a look at each tomorrow and reply back.

Thanks v-much for your help.

 

I tried the existing setup (with the base stations linked by cable) earlier. But the effect I was getting before was pretty much unchanged.

Thanks all.

 

Nigel

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Seluecos,

Thanks again for you suggestions.

I couldn't wait to try them tomorrow, so I looked at them tonight!

I have run the Steam VR Display Rate, though I'm not sure what that's telling me.

After starting VR it shows a scrolling graph with a slightly varying green area upto 1 on CPU and 1.5 on GPU. But if I select Show in headset I don't see anything new in the headset. So is this telling me anything?

I looked in the Steam VR system report and Displays shows Direct Mode

with Display 0 GTX 1070, Monitor PnP Monitor and Display 1 NVIDIA Direct Mode

Which I assume is showing the VR is using the graphics card correctly.

 

Tho' I did look in the Nvidia Control panel, but I couldn't locate the Preferred Graphics process under the Global tab and when I went to Program settings the drop down didn't list Steam VR.

But maybe as the Steam VR report seems to show Direct mode maybe the rest is academic.

 

Thanks for your help

Nigel

Vive Staff

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

It doesn't sound like dropped frames then from the info you posted, but I don't want to take that possibility off the table quite yet. In the Nvidia settings, did you find a setting for Power Mangagement Mode? Make sure it's set to 'Maximum Performance' for SteamVR and your VR apps in the Program Settings tab.

 

Alternately, you can set the the Power Management Mode settings in the Global Settings tab to 'Maximum Performance' and ensure the VR programs (your VR games, SteamVR, etc) are set to use the global settings in the Program Settings tab. Doing it this way will make sure any program set to use the global settings (which should be the default for most programs) should use your GPU properly.

If that's not solving it, it likely isn't related to your settings or the GPU not being utilized by the PC properly when running VR. While you double check those settings, I'll do some more research and see if I can come up with any other suggestions.

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Thanks again for your continued support.

I will work through your previous again and your latest message tomorrow.

I will let you known what I find.

 

Many thanks.

Nigel

New Arrival

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Alienware laptop you say? In the latest Dell ad I saw, it deceptively says VR ready but means you have to buy the additional 'graphics card amplifier.' Even the older PS4's need a boost to run VR.

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/alienware-graphics-amplifier/apd/452-bcfe/gaming

Pioneer

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

Thanks for that. Yes it is slightly concerning. But the Alienware promo said it was suitable for VR and also the independant online/magazine reviews suggested the Alienware was more than capable of running current VR headsets.

I have the Alienware 15 R3 with an i7 and a GTX 1070, so I am fairly comfortable that it should be sufficient - and even an improvement on my desktop (i7, GTX 980) which ran the headset OK.  

But isn't the the Dell Graphics accelerator just a way to change the card without opening up the laptop (which maybe impossible anyway)? So what card you put in the Accelerator becomes the only graphics card and the card is in the laptop is bypassed?

Nigel

Highlighted
Builder

Re: Upgraded computer but a downgraded experience!

[ Edited ]

Hi again, @nandrews.

 

i7 and GTX 1070 can handle pretty good any VR games and apps at this point.  If I were you, if none of the previous suggestions helped, I would format and make a new clean installation of everything.  Of course, if there is nothing else to try. 

If you had a laptop with good i7 CPU but not good enough GPU, the accelerator would help, but right now you have the second fastest mobile GPU on the market, so you don't need that.

The last thing you should try is to take your VR equippment to test it somewhere else on a laptop with similar specs. Maybe some local PC store or a friend. That's how you would know if there is some issues with your VR or laptop.