Image: Guy Godin
A new Virtual Desktop feature lets you bypass SteamVR and get more performance out of many PC VR games. The latest update also improves support for Quest 3.
VR games based on the OpenXR can now use a new, highly optimized runtime: VirtualDesktopXR or VDXR. It bypasses the SteamVR runtime and saves processing power. According to the developer of Virtual Desktop Guy Godin, this results in about 10 percent higher PC VR performance.
Note that all SteamVR features are disabled with VDXR. Half-Life: Alyx is also not based on OpenXR and therefore cannot use or benefit from VDXR.
You can choose from three options in the Virtual Desktop menu: Automatic (default), SteamVR, and VDXR. If you choose Automatic, SteamVR is used for most VR games, with the exception of Microsoft Flight Simulator, DCS, and Vail. More titles will be added to this list in the future. In the case of SteamVR or VDXR, the respective runtime will be used for all OpenXR titles.
VDXR was developed by Matthieu Bucchia, is open source, and is now an official part of Virtual Desktop. A link to the project can be found under sources at the end of this article.
Meta Quest 3 gets more improvements
The last Virtual Desktop update added support for Meta Quest 3, allowing the headset to use the higher quality AV1 codec (Nvidia 4000 and AMD 7000 series graphics cards only) and display a higher resolution and 120 Hz frame rate in all virtual environments.
The new update improves Quest 3 support: The maximum resolution of the streamed desktop is now 3,840 x 2,160 pixels (4K), up from 2,560 x 1,440 pixels, while the optimal resolution has been increased from 1,920 x 1,080 pixels to 2,560 x 1,440 pixels.
PC VR game streaming is also improved, with the maximum bit rate of the H.264+ codec increased from 400 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Image clarity at the edges of the field of view and Synchronous Spacewarp quality have also been improved. Quest 2 and Quest Pro benefit from the latter as well.
Finally, the update fixes an issue with VR games from the Rift Store. These should now stream flawlessly with Virtual Desktop. You can read about these and other improvements in the full release notes on Reddit.
There, Godin promises that multi-monitor support will be available later this year. A feature that users have been waiting for a long time.
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