The Final Oculus Rift Will Need An $US800 Gaming PC

The Final Oculus Rift Will Need an $US800 Gaming PC

We've always known that good virtual reality wouldn't come cheap. From the beginning, Oculus used beefy gaming PCs to show off its VR headset. Now, the company is revealing the specs you'll need to get those experiences on the final Oculus Rift — and it looks like you'll be spending $US800+ just for the desktop computer.

This post was originally published on Gizmodo Australia.

Oculus says these are the recommended specs "for the full Rift experience":

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

Honestly, that's not too bad — considering that Oculus also just revealed that the final Rift needs to push 400 million pixels per second. With two displays inside running at a combined resolution of 2160 x 1200, refreshing 90 times per second, plus some additional headroom (so you can move your head around without seeing things that haven't loaded yet), Oculus says the Rift requires approximately three times the GPU performance you normally need to play games at 1080p.

But that means you'll be paying quite a bit if you want to jump in. I just whipped together a quick PC system build at PCPartPicker with some of the cheapest (yet tried and true) components you can get, and it added up to just over $US800 after discounts and rebates.

Yeah, yeah, these are Oculus' recommended specs, not absolute requirements, so you could probably go cheaper if needed. (Also, prices may come down by the time the Rift ships.) But remember that virtual reality has way less wiggle room for performance to dip. If a traditional video game drops under a certain amount of frames per second, oh well. If a VR experience drops frames, it can totally destroy the illusion or even make you sick. Powering the Rift [Oculus]


    just put together my rig for VR

    titan x
    32GB DDR4
    256gb evo pro
    1TB evo

    now waiting for the headset

    Last edited 16/05/15 9:12 am

      What do you run that needs 32GB ram? Im hard pressed to use the 16Gb I have, until Im running VMs.

        Sometimes I just need to play 32 copies of WoW at the same time.

          Or it could be useful for delaying the standby set on ram from clogging up the system after playing games like starcitizen for hours on end.

          Last edited 18/05/15 10:48 am

      OK, so you've got a lot of money to spend on your PC, but by headset do you mean the Oculus Rift, or a horrible sounding pair of sub-par headphones with a rubbish included mic?

    I knew my 770 wouldn't handle it, but the rest of the rig smashes it. Meh, im not sold on VR for anything other than on-rails on in-cockpit games anyway. I can't look behind me on the couch comfortably enough to actually shoot at stuff.

    I'll just go without till a couple of gens (of the oculus) in and have built a new rig.

      Had a go of it at the IRL Expo in Brisbane around a week ago now. All I can say is it sold me completely. I can definitely see the benefits of it in gaming. Most definitely getting one. Now to try to improve my pc *sigh*

    Total price of his build comes to $842.10 USD (I'm assuming it's in USD). Just built a PC on using the same parts (or very similar where I couldn't find exactly the same), and it comes to $1382 AUD. Bit of a difference.

      Yeh, i was like 800... WOW... then i saw U.S price and even then buying parts from MSY would still probably bring it a little over 1k.

    I'm running my occulus on a similar setup.

    It gets by fine, but i believe VR will be perfect if the screen resolution was much higher. That way my eyes wouldn't strain so much every now and again. Pushing a screen so close to your eyes, you tend to notice the pixels a lot more. So I can only play it for an hour or so intervals, maybe a bit less sometimes. Then again, most games aren't really optimized for it anyway.

    Elite Dangerous works wonderful, but there are still times where i will prefer to play it without the headset, because it looks a lot crisper on a screen. If the new headset is a little higher resolution than the DK2, it would be glorious.

    Last edited 16/05/15 9:31 am

    Yeah, but how much will those parts cost when the final version of the Oculus Rift is actually released?

    That's not too steep. Aside from the graphics card those specs are pretty standard these days.

    The 970 honestly isn't enough, and that is on my current DK2, at higher resolutions, I can't see it being a fun experience.
    I now have a Titan X and the rift finally feels as immersive as it should, I think if you want a decent experience, and remember this will be in 12 months time, that the performance required will likely be that of a Titan X.
    Hopefully by then graphics cards will have advanced somewhat and that performance will be more affordable.

      Oooh Titan X... yeh with the 970 there are moments for me where the framerate would dip for me and it is totally jarring. Leaves me disorientated to no end. At the resolution the DK2 is now, i guess a 970 can get by. But honestly, the future is with higher resolutions and I agree, a card like the Titan X would be much more viable. 4K RIFT PLEASE!

    i am basically pushing my current system as far as it can go so that i can upgrade around the time of the rift. unfortunately i struggle with current release games now.

    with any luck the cpu requirement wont increase too much in the coming years and i can just begin the cycle of upgrading the gpu every couple years

    Jeez, I'm running a 290X which is just a sliver above required specs, 8gb ram, but I'm a little concerned about my CPU. Have an FX8370, will that handle it?

    wait...wait., wait If i am reading this right the CV1 has a lower resolution than the DK2, Therefore more screen door. 1080x600 per eye where the Vive is 1200x1800 per eye, thoroughly disappointing. At this resolution it is below HD per eye. Think i will be going for the Vive.

    Intel Core I7 4770k + GTX 780Ti should do the trick :)

    I will be buying whatever is necessary to ensure the best Rift experience.

    I see no problem here, if you spent less than $800 on a gaming pc then it's probly not worth it.
    I spent around $800 on my pc in 2011(not including cd drive/monitors) & only now games are starting to lag, guild wars 2 for example (though that might be a connection thing)

    It's possible to build the Rift PC for around $750 and prices should keep falling.

    With the CPU and GPU set by Oculus the places to save money are the motherboard, RAM, case and storage.

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