Oculus VR today announced the recommended specs for your PC to play nice with the Oculus Rift. If your PC is a little old you might want to start thinking about upgrading now.
For the “full Rift experience” Oculus recommends the following set-up:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or better
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or better
- 8GB+ RAM
- HDMI 1.3 video output
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
READ MORE: Nvidia GTX 970 vs AMD 290Oculus claims that this set-up will ensure all games and apps will deliver a great experience, and that’s important:
“Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.”
There’s a good reason the Oculus Rift needs all that power. A normal game running at 60Hz 1080p needs 124 millions shaded pixels per second. The Oculus Rift runs at 2160 x 1200 (across both eyes) and at 90Hz to reduce that queasy feeling you’d experience on the older prototypes. All those pixels at such a high refresh rate hike up the power demands – around 400 million shaded pixels per second or three times the requirements of a traditional Full HD monitor.
So how much will a new PC to support the Oculus Rift in all its glory cost you? Here's a rough estimate based on current prices in the UK and US.
Nvidia GTX 970: £275/$330
Intel i5-4590 and compatible motherboard: £235/$320
8GB DDR3 RAM: £40/$50
Assuming you can salvage an old case and hard drives the new components will set you back £550/$700, that’s on top of the cost of the Rift itself, pricing for which has not yet been announced. Start saving now.
You’ve got a bit of time, though. Oculus are planning to launch the Rift Q1 2016. At least now you know what to ask for Christmas. You better start being nice.