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Problem: Works perfectly one day, Unplayable the next (Pulsing Pixelation)


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Here is something that may help some people.

If you are on a GeForce GPU, open your NVIDIA Control Panel.
Select "Manage 3D Settings" in the left pane.

Find "Virtual Realite Pre-Rendered Frames" and ensure it is set to "Use the 3D Application setting."
This may smooth our your frame times

I've found that the wireless adapter adds a couple ms of frame time on the CPU side, and if frame times get high, the pixelation will occur, regardless of CPU and GPU usage. Pixelation can be triggered by doing anything that raises frame time really high, say, above 20ms. The high frame time isn't caused by the wireless adapter itself, usually, but it responds to the high frame time by pixelating the image, I assume in an attempt to reduce the overhead and get the frame times a bit lower.

Here is a checklist to go through as well to ensure maximum performance.
1: Set SteamVR super-sampling to 100% to ensure lowest possible frame times.
2: Close out all background applications that have notable CPU usage.
3: Check for thermal throttling on your CPU, GPU, VRM, and wireless adapter. Checking CPU and GPU temperatures will be easy, wireless adapter temperatures are a bit more challenging (There is a log file that shows the temperatures,) and VRM temperatures will be the most difficult. If your VRM is overheating, they will dial back the power they send to your CPU, which will lead to instability or low clock speeds.
4: Use a frame-time monitoring application like FPSVR to track CPU and GPU frame time in realtime while in VR, to help you pinpoint issues.
5: If issues continue, switch to wired and see if you get the same frame-time spikes that are triggering the pixelation while on wireless.

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Thank you for suggesting this. I'm out of options at this point so I'll try this, but I can't help but think a couple points I mentioned are being overlooked:


Point 1: I have and can play at 200% SS for HOURS PERFECTLY some days.

Point 2: Other days, the pulsing pixelation happens when the computer is cold and just booted - instantly as soon as steam vr loads. The very first second it's pixelated. It doesn't even have a chance to get hot. How can that be?

Point 3: As I've mentioned, I've turned SS down to 20% (and any other quality setting). It makes absolutely no difference in the pixelation. It's still there.


Also, usually happens after I tried to start Steam VR once, and it says it can't find the headset (even though the Wireless app detects the headset and has 4 bars). Then I restart the computer or steamvr and sometimes it might see the headset and then there's the pixelation as soon as it turns on.


I think we can find a solution together (Steamvr / HTC / Community) and to do it, please keep in mind those 3 points.



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Another thing you can try is switching the VIVE Wireless to a different channel. Using the VIVE Wireless app, switch between channel 1 2 and 3 to see if it improves anything. 60GHz should be pretty interference free, but its possible something specific to your location may be causing interference one a specific channel at specific time intervals.

Sorry if I appear to have overlooked parts of your post - My post is more aimed at anyone having issues with the wireless. I don't know anything else besides these things to help with wireless issues. Have you tried pluggin in wired to see if you get the same frame time spikes? You won't pixelate at high frame times in wired mode, but if the frame spikes are still happening, you need to diagnose that issue first, which would then most likely resolve the pixelation. Pixelation occurs at high frame times regardless of wireless signal strength/bandwidth, so if there is something else in the system causing that, you'll see pixelation in wireless.

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I apprecieate your help. Thank you for responding and offering ideas. I hope we get to the bottom of it.

I have tried changing the 3 wireless channels many times. No effect.


I will be trying to switch the 3 in 1 cable next time it happens just in case, but again last night, it worked perfectly for hours. Usually then the next time I go to try it (a day or so later) it will be pixelated).


It has never done the pixelation when wired. It seems directly related to wireless - like it can't compress/decompress fast enough even though the CPU and GPU are not maxed out. It's like the way it loaded up that time, it's trying to do something extra by accident. Like it's doing something twice.


Yes, I'm ready to diagnose the pixelation, but how else?


Support wants me to swap my motherboard, but it's brand new  and more than adaquate, so that seems like a "I don't know, try this" type of repsonse. This is my daily work computer also, so I can't just rebuild it just to try that. Espescially, when it does work perfectly for hours some days and other days it's pixelated instantly when nothing else is running. It doesn't make sense that the motherboard is going bad.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Started out great fun to play. About a week and a half past the return date the vive stopped working. We did all the trouble shooting on steam and htc's sites nothing helped. Contacted HTC Tec support they gave a few others to try but they didn't work. Sent the head set in for repair. HTC is telling me to pay $270.00 for the repair. they say its water damaged. How can you make something that gets strapped to your body (head) and not make it water (sweat) proof. I own watches and phones that are water proof. And for the head set not to be is a manufacturer flaw. Also HTC changed the wording of their warrantee from does not cover water damage other than perspiration to does not cover water damage. So now I'll have to contact a lawyer , BBB and consumer protection agency

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Update: I am acrtually having my motherboard and video card replaced with the same ones - just another set of new parts. We'll see if that solves it and I will report back.


No, switching modes on the Vive Wireless app makes no difference with this problem.


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  • 2 months later...

OK, I had the video card replaced with the same card - except it was a Founder's Edition just because it was available AND the motherboard. Now it works great. I think it was a faulty video card because the last time I was playing VR the video was glitching in a really weird way. So, if you get the pulsing pixelation, just change your video card even if it's new. That's my advice.

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