The Oculus Rift Experience – Here’s What Your PC Needs

At this time, it looks like more people are talking about the Oculus Rift than those talking about Leonardo DiCaprio making it to the list of Oscar winners. The reason is the impeccable PC specs required for running this Virtual Reality (VR) gear. So if you have been looking up the internet for the requirements of your PC to run the Oculus Rift, the answer may not be as pleasing as the specs themselves. You need a very powerful gaming PC to provide the high frame rate which makes your VR experience one of a kind.

You may either have to look at an upgrade of your graphics card or you may have to invest in a complete new PC that suffices the requirements of the Oculus Rift. So what are these fascinating specs really that have created a new hype among gamers?

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 – anything that is equal to this or greater.
  • Intel i5-4590 or higher
  • 8gb RAM or more
  • A HDMI 1.3 compatible output
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or higher

The requisites are powerful but not quite over the top. To think of it, you should be able to build a PC fulfilling all these requirements in about $1000 which is almost the same amount that you would spend in a new laptop meant for heavy use. It is also expected that eventually, the price of putting together a PC like this may reduce, so if you would like to wait it out, you may be able to put together a PC worthy of running the Oculus Rift at a lower price.

The reasons why we have such outstanding requirements for the Oculus Rift is that the headset offers an incredible resolution which is 2160 x 1200 at 90Hz. At the same time it consumes around 400 million shaded pixels per second. Your average computer may not be able to weigh up because it requires on 1080p resolution and has a consumption of 124 million shaded pixels per second.

This reiterates the fact that the graphics card in your machine plays a pivotal role when it comes to running the Oculus Rift. You need a PC that has the right amount of speed and power to make your experience enjoyable. Another thing that is of high importance is the fact that your machine should have a compatible output or else, the entire experience will be ruined.

GPU laptops are being ruled out when it comes to the requirements of the Oculus Rift because you must plug in the HDMI cable of the Rift directly into the graphics card. At this time, almost no Laptop is capable of doing it. While the Rift may inspire laptop manufacturers to explore such capabilities in laptops, for now they may not be your best pick for the Oculus Rift.

Now talking about the CPU performance, the i5-4590 is considered to be a decent choice, but the i5-4590K is better. The reason is that it performance a lot better at approximately an extra $40 to $50 more. The symbol K denotes that it is unlocked which allows the CPU to gird up for more power, but you have to remember that too much of power packed to your machine can be a reason for your machine’s instability.

So it is most likely that you may have to upgrade your PC to throttle the kind of power it needs to run the Rift. And if you are more of a laptop person then running the Oculus Rift will involve you moving to a computer system that you are not quite enthused about. Another thing to remember is that Oculus is yet to create the Rift experience for OSX and Linux users, so you may have to be good with Microsoft Windows if you are looking forward to use the Rift.

To make things easier for you, Oculus has partnered with a few PC manufacturers to bring Oculus Ready PCs to you. Along with the purchase of Rift, Asus offers its Oculus ready PC starting at $949, while Alienware and Dell have put the starting price at $999 with the purchase of Rift as per Oculus’ website.

The PCs bundled with Rift are available for pre-order on BestBuy, Amazon and the Microsoft store and the lowest pre-order price for the bundle is $1,499 after a pre-order discount. The expected release date of the much awaited, much talked about, Oculus Rift is April 23rd, 2016. Enjoying the VR experience is not going to go light on your pockets after all.

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