Meta Quest 2 gets a performance boost

TO UPDATE
Meta Quest 2 is getting a performance boost - just like that

Image: Meta

logoTO UPDATE

Meta Engineer Neel Bedekar explains how the higher clock speed affects VR apps (see below).

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Update from December 22, 2022:

Neel Bedekar’s team was instrumental in the development of this performance upgrade. In a Twitter thread, Bedekar addresses developers and explains exactly what the higher GPU clock brings and how developers can make the most of it.

Bedekar clarifies that the 7 percent increase in GPU performance is only used when the VR app in question cannot achieve a stable frame rendering rate. In this case, users can expect a slightly improved frame rate.

VR apps that are consistently stable won’t take advantage of the higher GPU performance. The developers have to load the system once more.

Bedekar recommends two ways to do this and take advantage of the extra GPU power. Here’s how:

  1. Increase the render scale (eye buffer resolution) slightly to 1.05 or 1.10.
  2. If there is still power left, then: Increase the complexity of the shaders, for example with higher-resolution textures.

Bedekar adds that the performance increase will only be activated by default with the next software update (version 49). Until then, users will need to hit Meta Quest 2’s power button twice in a row, so Bedekar recommends rolling out the app tweaks after the update’s release.

This confirms that the higher GPU clock limit is applied system-wide and no developer action is required for Quest VR apps in general to benefit. This is good news for Meta Quest 2 users.

Original article from 12/21/2022:

Meta surprisingly increases the GPU clock of the Meta Quest 2, getting more performance out of the two-year-old VR headset.

The GPU of the Snapdragon XR2 now clocks at 525 instead of 490 MHz, which increases the available GPU computing power many times over about 7%.

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“We’re excited about the impact this improvement will have on our app ecosystem, and early experiments strongly suggest that increasing GPU clock speeds by 7% will provide a better experience for both you and your app’s community will provide,” Meta writes on his developer blog.

The announcement comes as quite a surprise and as far as I know it did no precedent since the release of the first Meta Quest in May 2019.

What are the effects of the higher GPU clock speed?

The higher clock rate does not necessarily mean that all VR apps will automatically run better. There is probably a reason why Meta is aimed at the developers and not at the gaming community.

As I understand it, the increase in clock speed primarily means that developers can now access 7% more GPU power for their VR apps and optimize them accordingly by adding better graphic effects or enabling higher resolution. Or they don’t change anything and the VR app in question gets a larger GPU buffer.

According to Meta, no integration is required on the part of the developers. “The dynamic clock system automatically increases the frequency when it detects that your app would benefit from it,” writes Meta.

It is unclear whether developers first have to activate the additional performance for their VR apps or whether they will automatically benefit from it. In the first case, the improvement would not have an immediate impact on VR apps and users. I hope Meta will sort this out soon.

The performance boost will probably come with Update 49

At least for developers, the performance boost will be activated automatically when they launch a VR app in the next Quest update. That much is clear from the article.

Foveated rendering with Meta Quest Pro will also benefit from the increased GPU clock. “GPU performance boost is also automatically built into dynamic foveation if you have it enabled in your app. With an increase in computational demands, the GPU maintains higher visual quality for as long as possible by first increasing it from 490MHz to 525MHz, rather than increasing foveation,” writes Meta.

In the blog, the company encourages the developer community to optimize their VR apps for the new GPU clock and provides documentation.


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