So my Reverb arrived today but my upgraded card (I am on a budget so am only upgrading to a 1080) hasn’t so I thought it would be interesting to give some feedback on performance with this old GPU which, to be fair, has served me really well with my current Samsung Odyssey as well as several other “Generation 1” Mixed Reality Headsets.
For the purposes of this review I am going to compare the Reverb with the Samsung Odyssey on the same desktop PC (an old Core i5-3470 CPU / 16GB RAM /SSD). My next post will cover the same ground but with the 1080 GPU installed. I will focus just on the experience through the lenses rather than the relative comfort and ergonomics of the two headsets.
Initial Impressions of running on an NVIDIA 1060
The Cliff House
So I really started to appreciate what you can do in the default MR environment when I started pinning some of my own photos to the walls – the clarity of the images and any text is nigh on perfect and certainly as big a jump clarity wise as going from the original Rift to a Gen 1 mixed reality headsets. I made a personal note to investigate if it might be possible to pin my own stereoscopic photos to the wall like this – I suspect not although that would be very cool!
I started off in the default Mixed Reality room – it looks stunning and the text is super-clear and 100% without those fuzzy edges of the first gen headsets! But to give the headset it’s first challenge I loaded up one of the early Mixed Reality experiences from Microsoft: “HoloTour”. I headed to Rome (I am lucky enough to have had the chance to go there since I last visited it in VR!). Those of you who are familiar with this app will know that it uses a clever merging of 3d objects in the foreground and a virtual 360 video for everything beyond, in this case, the famous “Piazza Nirvona”. The first thing I noticed was the absolute clarity of the foreground 3d objects, noticeably better than with the Odyssey, even running on this old GPU! But – the foreground objects are now so clear the limited resolution of the 360 video surrounding** them shows up – not so much to spoil the experience but enough to show the visual advantage that this headset has over a generation one device.
** Thats’ not to say it is a low resolution video by any means but clearly Microsoft were pushing the limits of what they could capture when this experience was put together.
In a sense the Reverb is getting us closer to the holy grail of complete immersion. I have been very impressed by what the 1060 is giving me here although I am conscious that I have deliberately not pushed it too hard in this “first run”