SteamVR beta version currently includes performance enhancements for the Valve Index, as well as fixing support for the asynchronous Spacewarp 2.0 Oculus Rift.

The most recent build, 1.7.6, was released on Saturday. Among the changes – motion smoothing no longer regulates applications that are mostly CPU-related (for example, No Man’s Sky). Motion smoothing is a Valve motion extrapolation technology similar to Facebook’s asynchronous Spacewarp. When an application does not support the frame rate, SteamVR can cause the application to drop to half the frame rate when synthesizing every other frame.

Motion smoothing is available on the Valve Index and HTC Vive. Valve did not provide detailed information in the change log about exactly what they changed, but this should lead to better performance if your processor is causing poor performance, not the GPU.

In particular, for AMD equipment, the update fixes “the problem of planning a GPU with motion smoothing, which caused motion smoothing to turn off after a while due to poor performance.”

An earlier build 1.7.2, which has also not yet been released from the beta, says:

“Fixed depth to the Oculus runtime from applications that provide it.”

Passing depth at runtime to Oculus is how applications support asynchronous Spacewarp 2.0. ASW 2.0. It is based on ASW by including depth, which allows you to extrapolate the movement of the head, not just the movement of the scene and rotation of the head.

In addition, the assembly introduces a new updated look for the SteamVR user interface, more in line with the recent Valve style.

Like all beta software, you should use it at your own risk, as this can lead to errors and crashes when playing in VR. Based on Valve’s past release dates, we expect these changes to take effect on a stable build in a few weeks.

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