Before you can actually use the consumer Oculus Rift, you’ll need a computer beefy enough to run it. Unfortunately, it looks like the old machine in your basement isn’t going to cut it. You probably knew that already, but if you plan on picking up the company’s VR headset when it launches next year, you should start building a custom PC now.
According to Oculus, below are the recommended hardware specifications you’ll need in order to run the VR headset:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ of RAM
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture
Oculus Chief Architect, Atman Binstock, explained that these specifications are recommended for optimal VR graphics performance. In order for VR to work as Oculus intended, graphics are increasingly paramount for a smooth and convincing experience, contributing to raw rendering costs, real-time performance and latency. Without those three features working together, VR just doesn’t work. Or, at least, it’s not quite the experience we saw at CES earlier this year.
Binstock says that the final consumer Rift will be pushing around 400 million shaded pixels per second, which is about 3x the GPU power of 1080p rendering. So, yeah, graphics are important, which is why the listed specs above have been recommended for the best possible performance. Because if there’s one dropped frame, it’ll be immediately noticed by the wearer, breaking that VR wall.
Computer parts have become increasingly cheap over the years, though the average consumer probably won’t build a PC just to use the Oculus Rift. And it looks like console gamers are out of luck, though PS4 owners have Morpheus to look forward to.
We got to try out the latest developer version Oculus at CES earlier this year, which you can check out below.