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Quest 2 versus Rift CV1 performance benchmarks for PCVR

Volunteer Moderator
Volunteer Moderator

I've seen people claiming lately that using a Quest 2 for PCVR comes with a massive performance cost compared to PC-only headsets. Some posted benchmarks in the Index thread implied that the Index ran 30% faster than the Quest 2 when using similar settings. This didn't seem comparable to my own experience, so I thought I would do my own benchmarks to see how my Quest 2 compares to my Rift CV1.


I tested both headsets using OpenVR Benchmark through SteamVR. I did my best to match pixel count between the two headsets, and ran the test at low res (Rift 100% in SteamVR), and high res (Quest 100% in SteamVR, using 1.7x resolution in the Oculus app). I tested the Quest with AirLink (dynamic bitrate up to 200 Mbps), tethered Link at default bitrate, and also with bitrate raised to 350 Mbps (the point at which I don't notice any compression artifacts).


EDIT: I ran the tests with Virtual Desktop, and those results exceeded both Link and Rift. I don't know why VD performs better in SteamVR, but I've added the results below. In VD I used the Ultra setting, which gave me similar resolution to Link at 1.7x, and a bitrate of 150 Mbps (the highest setting VD).


Here are my low res results:


Rift at 100% (2.15 million pixels per eye):

CV1 100.png


Quest 2 at 30% (2.21 million pixels per eye)


Q2 30 al.png

Tethered Link, default bitrate:

Q2 30.png

Tethered Link, increased bitrate (350 Mbps):

Q2 30 hb.png


The Quest 2 is pushing slightly more pixels (3% more), but it was the closest I could get with the way SteamVR adjusts resolution. So looking at these results, the Rift does run a little faster, but not anything near 30%. Airlink runs at 94.5% of Rift's framerate, Tethered Link is at 93.0%, and increasing the bitrate dropped it to 92.6%. So overall, a 6 to 7% performance hit when running the Quest 2 at default Rift settings. That doesn't seem too bad.


Edit: Virtual Desktop at 30% (2.24 million pixels per eye):

Q2 30 VD.png

Virtual Desktop ran 8.6% faster than Rift, and 14.9% faster than AirLink!



Here are the high res results:


Rift at 344% (7.40 million pixels per eye):

CV1 344.png


Quest 2 at 100% (7.40 million pixels per eye)


Q2 100 al.png

Tethered Link, default bitrate:

Q2 100.png

Tethered Link, increased bitrate (350 Mbps):

Q2 100 hb.png


The Quest 2 is again pushing slightly more pixels, but there was less difference than the low res tests. Looking at these results, the Rift still runs a little faster, but with even less advantage. Airlink runs at 95.1% of Rift's framerate, Tethered Link is at 98.1%, and increasing the bitrate dropped it to 95.2%. So overall, a 2 to 5% performance hit when running the Quest 2 at maxed settings.


Edit: Virtual Desktop at 100% (7.48 million pixels per eye):

Q2 100 VD.png

Virtual Desktop ran 15.5% faster than Rift, and 21.4% faster than AirLink!


Obviously results will vary depending on many factors--I'm using a current-generation GPU that may be more efficient at encoding than older cards, and I have more RAM in my system than the PC used for tests posted in the Index thread. Be that as it may, I started using Quest and Quest 2 for PCVR when I was using a GTX 1080, and although I don't have benchmarks for that setup, I never noticed any performance hit that felt like 30% loss.


I would be interested in seeing other people's results with different hardware, if anyone cares to do some comparative testing. OpenVR Benchmark is free utility on Steam.


On a side note, I haven't used my Rift in quite a while, and OH MY GOD does it look blurry and low-res compared to my Quest 2. Whether comparing them at low or high resolution, the Quest 2 image looks so much cleaner and sharper, while the Rift looks so blurry that I have a hard time reading text in menus, even at 344% super-sampling. It was a great headset in its time, but I could never go back to using it now.


TLDR: On my PC, Quest 2 performance overhead ranges from 2% to 7% compared to my Rift CV1, with less performance loss at higher resolution. AirLink versus tethered Link made little difference.


EDIT: Virtual Desktop ran 9% to 16% faster than Rift, and 14% to 21% faster than AirLink in SteamVR! I will try to do some testing in a game that uses native Oculus drivers to see how Rift, Link, and Virtual Desktop compare in that environment.

i7 5820K @ 4.25GHz | RTX 3080 Ti FTW3 | Gigabyte GA-X99-UD4 | Corsair DDR4 3000 32GB | Corsair HX 750W
SSDs: Intel 660p M.2 2TB, 3x Samsung Evo 1TB | Startech PCIe 4x USB 3.0 | Startech PCIe 2x USB C 3.1 gen2


Level 15

Btw, just for the fun of it, I just tried to run the Index using Rift CV1 SteamVR res 100% - and compare with Nalex' results:


Nalex (RTX 3080 Ti) - Rift CV1 SteamVR res 100% =2.15 mill pixels:

CV1 100.png

Index (RTX 3090) using same res - 2.16 mill pixels:


This is a 30% difference - so similar to the 30% seen in other similar comparisons, where Index is compared to hmds not using native SteamVR drivers.


This may indeed be Valve's hidden advantage of the Index, making their own hmd perform the best, and crippling other hmds (or maybe Valve can't do it better - but they did offer native Steam driver support for HTC's Vive and Vive Pro hmds, but not the Vive Pro 2). 


If some may think it's due to the different cpus - it really is not, Nalex' cpu can perform at least 115 fps in this benchmark (105 fps are below that), and Nalex might find out when he becomes cpu bottle-necked setting SteamVR global res to 20%, and then setting OpenVR Benchmark res to 20% - now the benchmark should become cpu bottle-necked as the gpu may be able to render 1000 fps, lol - see what happens if I do that with the 10900K



I would not be surprised if Nalex can do about 200 fps, maybe even more like 240 fps - in the game tests I've seen, the 10900K is only about 20% faster than 5820K. 


Drivers and refresh rates also mean nothing, I get similar results using Nvidia 471.11, 512.15 and 522.25 - in 80, 90 and 144 Hz (the OpenVR Benchmark deactivates vsync to show the real performance differences therefore refresh rates do not matter). 


Now could test my own CV1, but removing the Index is a hassle, as deactivating the Index several times has led it to be identified as a second monitor - so need to unplug the cables and connect it while Stream is running etc - and I'm too lazy for that. My 3090 is using Silent Bios and thus uses lower clock speeds than when enabling the Performance Bios, so should be close to plain vanilla 3090 - and 3080 Ti is same speed as 3090 - thus will not explain a nearly 30% performance difference:


Valve Index & Oculus Rift CV1, Asus Strix OC RTX™ 3090, i9-10900K (5.3Ghz), 32GB 3200MHz, 8TB
"Ask not what VR can do for you, but what you can do for VR"