Meta Quest 2 Update Lets Devs Overclock The GPU For A Free Performance Boost
The most popular virtual reality headset on the market—Meta's Quest 2—is getting a little bit faster, and that applies to current owners as well. That's because the speed boost doesn't come by way of a hardware revision. Instead, Meta is pushing out an update that allows developers to overclock the VR headset's GPU to make it easier to hit target frame rates.
Don't worry though, it's not such an extreme overclock that the GPU is going to melt or cook your eyeballs. If developers choose to enable the feature, the GPU will increase in clock speed from 490MHz to 525MHz to "maintain higher visual quality as long as possible." That amounts to a 7 percent overclock, and it also automatically integrates the headset's dynamic foveation feature (so that it will push the clock speed instead of increasing foveation).
"We’re excited about the impact this improvement will bring across our app ecosystem, and early experiments strongly suggest that a 7% increase in GPU clocks will provide a better experience for both you and your app’s community," Meta states in a blog post announcing the clock speed jump.
Meta points out that developers need not worry about any special coding or integration to tap into the higher clock speed. The headset's dynamic clocking system automatically increases the GPU's frequency whenever it detects an app will benefit from it. There is a required step, though, at least in the current build.
"On the current v47 OS build, either a doff/don or sleep cycle (clicking the power button twice) is needed before the added GPU frequency is granted to the device. Starting with v49, the additional compute power will be available immediately and will not require additional steps after firing up your headset," Meta states.
This amounts to a free performance boost for users, and it comes less than five months after Meta levied a $100 price hike the Quest 2. Back in August, Meta adjusted the MSRPs to $399.99 for the 128GB model and $499.99 for the 256GB model so it could. Citing rising costs to make and ship the Quest 2, Meta said the new MSRPs were necessary so it could "continue to grow our investment in groundbreaking research and new product development that pushes the VR industry to new heights."
Even so, it's still one of the best values in VR. Additionally, you can actually grab a Meta Quest 2 128GB bundled with Resident Evil 4 and Beat Saber for $349 on Amazon.