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Oculus Rift PC specs announced, get ready to upgrade your PC

evan kypreos


Oculus Rift

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 290

Oculus 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.


May 15, 2015, 4:58 pm

or £240 for amd 290. that'll be £130 by the time of release.


May 15, 2015, 9:33 pm

Well that fad ended fast. not going to be worth it Who has a PC with a card these days.
We all have laptops.


May 15, 2015, 10:54 pm

As an alternative, you could just not buy an Oculus Rift. Wait 6 months and you will be paying 10 bucks for a used one. This will be the biggest bust since the Wii.


May 15, 2015, 11:35 pm

2160 x 1200 is split between each eye, so the effective resolution is 1080 x 1200 @ 90 Hz. This is not much better than the DK2 which is 960 x 1080 @ 75 Hz. Text was already hard enough to read in most DK2-supported games so this is barely any better. Try downgrading your current games to 1080 x 1200 and see how they look. What a complete disappointment that they lowballed the specs. I guess there's always Rift v2.

mark choletti

May 16, 2015, 1:44 pm

Until the Oculus Rift is a self-contained system, I can't see it being a major seller. Only the techie-loons will buy it.

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