So earlier today I was browsing threads and I came across one asking what he would need for 16k vr gaming. He posted a link with AMD stating that 16k resolution (likely per eye) is whats needed to replicate retinal resolution. I had time to kill so I thought I'd do some math and rough estimating.
(I might try to make a tldr version but then I leave out a lot of data benchmarks. If I had more benchmark data I could make better estimations for future fps scaling) The tables got screwed up. I'll have to edit.
Low Quality 2k x 2k per eye (4k total) vr gaming doable with 4x 7970's in crossfire for a game similar to Bioshock Infinite
Low Quality 4k x 4k per eye (8k total) vr gaming doable with 4x 980 ti's in sli for a game similar to Bioshock Infinite. (I need more data to confirm. I can't find enough people doing 4k benchmarks with their 980 ti in lowest settings.)
Low Quality 8k x 8k per eye (16k total) vr gaming doable with 4x theoretical N500's (see bottom thread) in perfect sli for a game similar to Bioshock Infinite in year 2020.
The game i'll use for my benchmark examples will be Bioshock Infinite because it was a decent looking game that was not heavily cpu dependent. Using a 7970 right off the bat the game gets about 294 fps at a resolution 1920x1080 low quality settings. Now i'm going to scale this all the way up to a 16k resolution.
Bioshock Infinite Low Quality
Below is projected numbers based on above data.
As you can see, with 1 7970 at lowest settings you could achieve non vr 4k(ignoring vram) but after that the fps plummets below acceptable thresholds. At ultra settings + DOF with a 7970 at 2560x1440 you will get an avg of 42fps compared to 178 with low settings. At 4k resolution with ultra settings you would net about 20 theoretical fps (compared to the similar 280x that gets 22 fps real benchmark data).
In quad crossfire 7970 at 7680x4320,lowest settings, and with 100% performance ratio per added card you get 91 theoretical fps. I use 100% because i've seen benches of cards getting almost double performance in sli with current software/drivers. That's 4k x 4k per eye for vr on lowest settings with last gens hardware. Optimized for VR you could possibly see higher fps but low settings already cuts out a lot of stuff. I believe 90 fps is the current target for CV1 so that would net you 4k VR gaming though there would be dips since the avg fps is 91 but the lowest possible fps based off benchmarks could put you at nauseating 71fps dips during action.
So, with a 7970 x4 + directx12 + low settings + perfect crossfire performance ratio's per card you could achieve somehwat playable 4k vr gaming in non intensive scenes. 2k x 2k would be a safe bet.
Now lets talk 8k - 16k and moving over to the green side for these next benchmarks cause i'm not biased :P. Over the past years for Nvidia, the performance increases avg out to around 25%+ every year over the past 6 years for their gpus. I believe there is diminishing returns showing but i'm just going to be hopeful and do these next projections at 25% increase per year on avg for the next 5 years. (It'll likely be less unless we see some nice boosts from going to 14nm-16nm,revamped architecture, etc)
Bioshock Infinite Benchmarks at 1920x1080 Ultra Settings.
March 26, 2010
November 9, 2010
March 22, 2012
November 7, 2013
Projected at a 25% increase per year.
Bioshock Infinite - Ultra Settings + DOF
Real bench data
1920x1080 - 166 avg fps
3840x2160 - 52.46fps
At 3840x2160 with 4 980 ti's in a realistic sli scenario you would achieve almost 90 fps. (2nd card 40%+, 3rd +20%+, 4th +5%) That's 2k x 2k VR gaming with Ultra settings. Considering the frames that real bench data showed earlier for a 7970 at lowest settings which is more suited for vr in its infancy you could be looking at 3-4x performance increase at those settings. Its almost safe to say 4k x 4k vr gaming would be doable with 4 980 ti's with current sli performance gains + low quality. If software/driver improvements + directx12 and other methods could be implemented to increase sli % + per card to a 1 to 1 ratio you could just achieve 8k x 8k at this point.
16k VR Resolution
Bioshock Infinite Ultra settings
Quad Sli low settings Perfect Sli
Projected Bench Data
In the year 2020 with the projected Nvidia N500 GPU in Quad SLI with a perfect 1 to 1 performance ratio for each extra card added you would be able to achieve a total 8k resolution (4k x 4k per eye). Today's sli limitations would put 8k closer to 54 fps instead of the perfect sli 122.99 fps. Lowering settings to lowest would achieve 3-4x increase to 150-216 fps with the realistic starting fps being 54 . 16k resolution at low settings at perfect sli would be about 54fps abest realistic scenario. Perfect scenario would be 92.25-123 which would be 16k gaming (8k x 8k per eye) at lowest settings in a game not designed for vr.
Well I tried to keep all my thoughts coherent but i'll probably make a quick tldr at the top summarizing everything I typed out. If we can get perfect sli/crossfire scaling with other goodies by 2020 we could see 16k VR in low settings or 8k in higher.
EDIT: I left out foveated rendering but if this was implemented we could definitely see 16k VR by 2020 if we had the screens. Five years is a short time with screens just reaching 4k now so 8k is what I expect around then.
Ordered: November 9