Valve have just released a new tool to determine if your gaming PC is up to the task of running SteamVR experiences unlocked with the HTC Vive. But, buried in the code of the tool lies some interesting glimpses of experimental demos from the Half Life and Left 4 Dead universes.

Valve have just released a new performance test tool to ensure that your machine’s GPU and CPU are up to the task of taking on the significant demands of rendering high quality VR visuals. The SteamVR Performance Test is available for download via Steam now and includes a small snippet of the now famous Aperture Robot Repair demo, used to wow people during demos of the first SteamVR hardware to arrive to market, the HTC Vive.

steam-vr-performance-test-1The performance test app is just under 2GB to download, and once launched, runs for several minutes and includes heavily edited version of the robot repair scene, excising everything bar the robot entrance and subsequent exploded repair view. After running, the tool provides a summary of your machine’s performance, breaking down the hardware components that meet the recommended specs and those that don’t.

Seems the tool isn’t quite infallible yet however. Although the test ran swimmingly on our Road to VR ‘Exemplar’ Ultimate benchmark PC, my particular test run noted my operating system as incompatible at Windows 10, before immediately recommending I upgrade to Windows 10.

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If you hit ‘Show Details’ the tool will give you a timeline which showing how Valve’s Source 2 engine was able to render the scene using your PC’s hardware. Again, a flawless performance here from our test PC, but note the fidelity tiers running between Very High and Low detail. The tool notes frames rendered under the HTC Vive’s (and Oculus Rift’s) maximum refresh rate of 90Hz/FPS. Maintaining a consistent frame rate that matches or exceed the host VR headset’s display is important for eliminating judder and other unsettling VR performance issues.


Those Valve-obsessed folks over at ValveTime have taken to digging into an earlier build of the SteamVR Performance Test as well as a series of “quietly leaked” full Aperture Robot Repair demos, and discovered a few surprises lurking therein. Seems Valve left in a few more scenes, possibly also to be utilised for a similar performance testing purposes.

Among the Easter eggs discovered, is a spaceship hangar and cockpit sequence, complete with a very fetching space vista.

What looks to be a near complete version of the exterior environment from the full Aperture Robot Repair demo. Note the level of attention to detail lavished on this vast space which is seen for only a short while from a static location towards the end of that demo.

There’s a Left 4 Dead warehouse complete with weapons and med packs.

An isolated scene, again from the full Aperture Science demo, where you briefly become a malevolent deity to tiny officer workers inside the draw you’re asked to open.

Head crab shooting gallery anyone?

You can grab the new SteamVR Performance Test from Steam for free right now.

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  • Sky Castle

    My average videlity came in at 10.3 (very high) as well. I’m running a 980ti, i7 5820k, and windows 10 pro, but it only read it as windows 10 except mine said everything was compatible. Can’t wait for my Oculus Rift pre-order and HTC Vive. I also pre-ordered Immersit for the most complete immersive VR experience.

    • Peter

      Very nice. Does it matter much what kind of 980Ti you have? I have seen a lot of them for sale ranging from 700 euro’s to 1100.