View Full Version : RIFT VR Settings and Lessons learned.

19-09-2016, 18:06
Had this in another thread but I didn't want to HiJack.

My experience using Debug tool settings and AA for pcars with
GTX 1070 i5 4760 at 4.3 16gb ram Simvibe TX458 wheel and 8020 rig.

I can play 4k maxed no problem in monitor. DS2X was best combo of FPS and I was 70 at low and mostly over 90-100FPS 4x I was 50-60
VR of course was a different animal

At first I had things maxed out 4x,6x and 9x all ultra and game was playable, so I thought, and the starting grid looked great but, once in motion the jaggies started and the FPS impact was more of an issue then actual IQ but I mistook the FPS drop as IQ issues and started cranking settings up more. Ghosting, tears, missed frames all made things look blurry,double images etc. The 1070 maxed out sits at 22-30FPS so overall it was playable I was tweaking a never ending battle. Stuck below 45FPS.

So beware, check your Debug tool and enable performance menu. For me I was happy with solid 45FPS re-projections. Looks great and the feeling of cars moving is fluid and adds to the immersion. Dipping below that, maybe at starting grid (40-45) is ok but after a few minutes you can see/feel it and it will give me headaches and ruin the immersion experience. So I found less is more and as I dialed the settings down to get a solid 45FPS which provided much better gaming and graphics experience.

Settiungs other then AA
Post process
I turned sunflare to subtle because it was too much at full. It might have some FPS impact but feels to good when driving at dusk on mazda to turn off and seeing the sun cast on the road ahead.
Others I left at my choice since did little to impact game. I turned dirt and water drops off.

I played with all combos of things until I realized that Low-High on most settings is not an increase in texture or graphic quality as much as it is the Draw distance for the LOD. On a monitor its great leave it max since you an see those effects at distance and it looks insane. But in VR I didn't see any more IQ improvement since the VR is the limiting factor. Other then a 100yds ahead the rest can be truned down or off since you will never see it on VR until it pops up.

Off for shadows and motion blur. Doesn't add much in game feel and shadows add jaggies bad.
Reflections and Enviro are low. I did find on larger tracks enviro MED does help draw distance. IE like windmills in zolder. I think it has some FPS hit but I have left it at med for now.
Particles: Low and Particle density Medium. : Again particle level at low is the draw distance for how many cars will get particles around you. I only need the 1-2 in front to have it to feel the immersion. The particle density does help with immersion for me. Low looks like puffs. Med looks good and smoke,dirt have good volumes with minor puffs. High/Ultra still have puffs just more of them at FPS hit. So med was fine.
Textures High and 16x little to no FPS impact but improve IQ.

AA Settings (for 15 car race no weather) no debug tool
I played with 2x,2M, 4x, 6x without debug tool first and of course more is better but at 4x-9x no debug I was sitting at 22-35FPS no matter what. Grids look great at 6x-9x. 4x seems to be ideal but 1070 cant run. I did see an improvement of 2M over 2X but not worth the FPS hit.

AA add debug
Adding debug was more beneficial then the extra AA. I tried adding debug with 2x,2m,4x,6x and didnt notice extra AA adding more pop then the debug did but still huge hit to FPS
Debug settings. 1.48 was lowest setting that still adds IQ for me. 1.75 was highest with no returns above that. Couldn't tell the difference in IQ.

6x-9x were always below 45FPS so non playable.
4X-no other cars and 1.30-1.45 can have solid 45 around track but quality was no different then debug+ 2X-2M in game
2M can be played with 0-5 cars and maintain 45FPS below the 1.48 but like 4x no IQ gain.

2X at 1.48: I am solid 45FPS at grid start (15-25 cars) and in the 50-70 FPS most of time with cars and even weather. IQ looks better then 2X alone esp. at grid and really 2M-4X all start to look the same once out in the Track.
2X at 1.72 (I played 1.8-2) with no IQ difference. 1.72 at grid start cars look like monitor quality ultra. or it feels that way and once in the track you feel the same AA quality as the cars pull up to you. Tailights are visible from a distance.
FPS wise with (15-25 cars) grid time 42-45 but will sit right at 45fps solid with some dip. I wanted to test the limits. it looks great and has some wow factor here. I dialed the grid down to 2 cars and it is much better and sits at solid 45FPS.

Working back with grid size and IQ around 1.65 seems the same as 1.72 and 10 cars had solid 45FPS but no more.
1.48 and large grids IQ right at bottom where there is no difference between Debug on/off with 2x. But at 1.48 I could easily play 15-20 cars and weather and be fine 50-60FPS thru the tracks and over 45 at grid.
1.56-1.63 is another slight bump in IQ with some FPS hit. 10 cars good weather
and over 1.64-1.72 all look same but better for hot laps and 1-5 cars.

So POST effects: subtle and rest up to you
Visuals: Cars/Track High rest low/off
Enviro/Particle Density bump to med if you can.

Safe play all
Debug 1.48 2X AA
Better IQ 1.55-1.58 2X AA
Best hot laps less then 5 cars 1.66-1.72. 2X AA

20-09-2016, 02:54
You sir have saved the day!! I have no idea how, but my lowly GTX 970 just ran a 15 car field, at night in a thunderstorm at spa flawlessly. And the visuals, WOW!

20-09-2016, 12:53
Awesome, So 2x AA Debug 1.48 and you get a solid 45FPS with 970?
Cars/Track = High rest low?

Man that's great, I have to try that track race and see what happens.

20-09-2016, 13:42
I'll double check all my settings and post them tonight. 45FPS? You sure you don't mean 90FPS? That's what the Rift needs to run properly according to my research, and I was holding close to it most of the time using the debug HUD.

20-09-2016, 13:48
I have the 1070 and only way I maintain 90FPS is AA off.
I think via steam or oculus it re projects so it updates the world at half the rate of native 90FPS. But it is a controlled cap so graphics losses is controlled and appears smooth. Native 90FPS+ is ideal of course but re projection really has very little if any negative impact. 90FPS might appear slightly more fluid.

If your getting 90FPS with AA 2X and all the settings above with Debug too then I need to return my 1070 LOL

20-09-2016, 13:53
I had a 970, prior to rift, and when I switched to 1070 my frame rates more then doubled! I was all ultra at 2xAA and getting 38 in busy times with 44 for non busy track times never spiked over 50, Looked awesome and played well.

Same settings with 1070 I was 80s at busy time and over 100 most of the time and fluid motion was a game changer. I cranked things up to 4x and wow looked insane and I was still in the mid 50's-60's 6x was even playable around 40FPS and 9x was around 25 FPS 6X-9x I didn't notice much more IQ over 4x. I was DSR at 4k too. I bet with a 4k monitor it might make a difference.

20-09-2016, 14:11
Hmmm, are you using the HUD from the Oculus SDK to monitor your FPS, or another application? I'm really new to this, so it's very likely I did something wrong. This is how I checked mine.


20-09-2016, 14:15
Yes I used that and alt-tab to turn HUD on/off.

Did you also use the debug settings? DIdi you see a IQ diff from no debug to debug? What AA setting where you using?

20-09-2016, 14:23
Yes, I did the PPDPO in the SDK, but if memory serves I had to turn mine down to around 1.2 when running the 15 lap night race in the rain or I'd get frame drops and stutters. I do notice a difference in IQ with the dubug tool, and I was running the DS2X AA setting. I'll get screen shots of all my settings tonight and post them up. It's also very likely the ATW that's keeping me rolling along.

20-09-2016, 14:32
What is PPDPO and ATW?
so at 2x AA and 1.2 in rain/night you were getting 90FPS?

Mine sits at 45 flatline when reprojection. I do load the game thru steam which has reprojection. How do you play? Oculus, Steam or just direct?

20-09-2016, 14:58
What is PPDPO and ATW?
so at 2x AA and 1.2 in rain/night you were getting 90FPS?

Mine sits at 45 flatline when reprojection. I do load the game thru steam which has reprojection. How do you play? Oculus, Steam or just direct?

PPDPO is the SDK tool's pixel per display pixel override setting. ATW is asynchronous time warp. With ATW each frame is rendered for the left and right eyes and is processed by ATW before it is displayed. If the rendering is complete it is displayed as synchronous timewarp, but if not and a frame misses the VSync deadline then the previous render is reprojected, shifted for position. I load through Steam as well, which is why I mentioned it's very likely ATW doing the work.

20-09-2016, 15:48
AH yes, I load thru steam and there is a re-projection option is enabled by default.

Wha I notice when it is working:
1: The game play is smooth
2: the FPS on the HUD is flat lined at 45 no movement.
3: If not flatlined it will dip up occasional into the 50-90FPS but not down.
4: Rarely dips below at 45 just sits there and bounces up only.

21-09-2016, 00:43
I'll get my settings posted tomorrow, overclocked my card tonight, really happy with the gains. Between that and uninstalling all the Nvidia bloatware, it's night and day, more than double the performance on my benchmark tests. About to go fire up Elite Dangerous for the first time with some friends.

21-09-2016, 13:01
I tested some more on my side. So Spa, Thunderstorm, 1AM, 15 cars GT3.
2xAA Debug 1.55

It bogged at grid sat at 35-40, I was scared lol, but once race started flat lined to 45 and thru most of the back half of track it was 50-60.
This is all cockpit view, I did try your hood view and it bumped the FPS up 5-10FPS.

Rain looks cool, but I think night time effect looks odd in VR, so washed out and jaggy and flashes of lightning.

Maybe because I have shadows off is why it looks odd, I can flip them on and see if things improve.

I definitely felt the rain effects were too much (looked good) but distracting after a minute of racing, (hence the point of the sim) but for VR I would rather have the FPS.
I will flip shadows on and turn effects off. Since I was already at Low/Med.

FOr otehr races I tried Nurburing,Oulsten, Road America and Debug 1.66-1.71 I was a solid 45FPS+ with 15 cars multi class daytime races.

I do think setting Haze at 4pm race time and sun on subtle (or full) is an awesome exp in VR. Better then rain.

21-09-2016, 14:25
I'll have to see what I get when I get home today. I only ran the hood view in the replay, just for kicks. I turned my exposure compensation down to .80, as in the Rift everything looked washed out, even in the daytime. I love thunderstorms in real life, and the challenge of driving in those conditions in the game. Straing to make out the brake lights through the spray while the car behind you's headlight glare is bouncing all around the cockpit all while trying to hit you braking / turn in points is intense, as it should be IMO. I'll give the haze / sun a shot too.

Something I read, is to not launch Project cars in Steam VR mode, which I never have as I hate the Steam VR interface. You simply go to your games library, right click, and launch in Oculus mode. There is no re-projection if done this way.

21-09-2016, 17:58
That makes sense, I wonder if Steam VR hurts FPS?
But I think I might have tried that. I have found once you launch a game in VR SteamVR automatically opens

21-09-2016, 18:11
That makes sense, I wonder if Steam VR hurts FPS?
But I think I might have tried that. I have found once you launch a game in VR SteamVR automatically opens

Weird, mine does not do that if I launch via the right click method. Nor does my research state that it would. This is how it should break down on both devices.

Case A: pCars on Oculus Home + Rift -> will run natively
Case B: pCars on Steam + Vive -> will run natively
Case C*: pCars on Steam + Rift + launched as Rift app -> will run natively
Case D: pCars on Oculus Home + Vive -> won't run obviously
Case E: pCars on Steam + Rift + launched as SteamVR app -> will run via SteamVR

It's really just a matter of ATW vs re-projection. At the end of the day, I tend to prefer ATW based on my reading and research but I could be wrong.

21-09-2016, 20:18
How do you run VR from the Pcars64.exe app?

21-09-2016, 20:25
I do the right click method from Steam as mentioned, but I need to get around to doing this.


22-09-2016, 00:11
Wow what a difference in IQ and framerate with Rift Mode!!!
IQ is smoother less ghosty. Now I wouldn't recognize it in SteamVR if I didnt have Rift mode to compare. Not huge but noticeable.

FPS is more solid. Not as jumpy 45-90 but sits at solid numbers and I gained some FPS too. I tried 6x-4x at 1.71 and it looked great and playable. Grid time 30s but stayed around 45

dropped to 2M not 2X and I ran 1.65 and it is solid 45 I mean all the time and will bump up to 50-60 and looks awesome.
I haven't dropped back to 2x yet. This was no OC either on my GPU so I probably could play 4x at 1.5 but 2M looks about the same.

22-09-2016, 00:23
Told ya, now that beast of a card of yours can really stretch it's legs. I fixed my desktop shortcut too.

22-09-2016, 00:49
Thanks, what shortcut? I just right click steam and run simvibe after game starts.

Have you found an explanation of the VR menu settings?
It has exposure FOV. Clipping, full screen startup?

22-09-2016, 02:29
It was in the link I posted, that way, you just launch Rift mode from your desktop shortcut.

Try deleting the pCars shortcut and adding a new one from the steam library. Right click the new shortcut -> properties and then select the Web Document tab.

In the URL field delete:


and change to:


Make sure the Oculus program is running (store/library software) and in the HMD you can see Oculus Home. Then try launching the shortcut.

Are you referring to settings in Steam, or Pcars?

22-09-2016, 11:44
Yes that is what I meant. I would like to get it all to launch thru Simvibe after I open oculus home.

22-09-2016, 12:16
I've never messed with simvibe, so I can't really help you there. Found a program called fraps that will log your FPS and log it to a text file afterward, much better than having it up onscreen, at least for me. Gives your max / min / avg also. Got Elite Dangerous averaging 89.4FPS with settings on high graphics, couldn't be happier for the hardware I have. I'll benchmark Pcars tonight, it was getting late.

23-09-2016, 22:21
What is IQ? To be honest th game feels washed out and blurry. I like Ac better for VR unless ak doing something wrong any suggestions

23-09-2016, 22:21
What is IQ? To be honest th game feels washed out and blurry. I like Ac better for VR unless am doing something wrong any suggestions

23-09-2016, 22:44
IQ is image quality. In Pcars, turn your exposure compensation down to .80, fixes the washed out look.