Want to get ready for the upcoming crazy VR storm in 2016? I have followed Oculus Rift and VR for years now and can give you an official VR PC recommendation approved by Riftinfo AND Nvidia.
(Update (June 2017): – There is an updated VR PC article to check out!
(Update (June 2016): – Changed graphics cards)
Building a proper virtual reality computer is crucial for a good experience in the VR world. Have something less, and headache kicks in. That is how it works for now. VR doesn’t settle for anything less. We need to be ready for this wave of new games with VR support, especially when triple-A titles start to enter the area.
With these hardware parts you will not have to upgrade your components for years to come. You will be future proof with this beastly power till another generation of Oculus Rift (review) and HTC Vive devices rise to surface. Even then it’s questionable if change is needed.
Before my recommendation, here is a really easy, step by step guide on how to build and install components. Even I used it myself for some clarification:
Here is My VR Hardware Recommendation
|Component Type for Budget VR PC||Recommended place to check out on Amazon|
|Graphics Card for VR||GTX 1050ti|
|CPU for VR||FX-8350|
|MOBO for VR||MSI 970 GAMING DDR3|
|RAM for VR||Corsair Vengeance 16GB|
|Storage Device for VR||Samsung 850 EVO 250GB|
|Power Supply for VR||EVGA SuperNOVA 650 G1|
*Update Good VR Graphics Card – GTX 1070
Time has come. GTX 1070 came out recently, and it’s nothing short of amazing. Before virtual reality companies were advertising GTX 970 as the cheapest GPU doorstep to VR, but now, with GTX 1080 you will have BETTER performance than with Titan or GTX 980 ti (which was THE best VR graphics card just a few months ago). But now you don’t have to spend as much money, and you get a top tier performance.
Even though game performance has been upped this time by quite a lot, it’s not where is shines the most. Pascal family (GTX 1070 and 1080) are made with VR in mind. That means you will get double the performance compared to previous generation in virtual reality games.
Although it’s not as good as GTX 1080, you will absolutely have no problems with any game that is out or will come out with highest settings. I would dare to say that if you don’t have an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you can enjoy the 1440p gaming with 60+ fps in almost all games.
GTX 1070 is really good, and leaves you a lot of room for overclocking if it’s needed in the future. So if you are on a budget and can’t afford GTX 1080, then 1070 will not disappoint you.
Buy it: On Amazon*
*Update Best VR Graphics Card – GTX1080
Boy oh boy is this a power beast! And the best part is, it costs almost 50% less than Titan X, and it performs 2x better in virtual reality. Keep in mind that Titan X was THE BEST GPU in 2015. That’s how good this new GTX 1080 is.
GTX 1080 just came out (May 27th 2016), so it’s understandable why it’s that much better. NVIDIA releases a new GPU family tree every 2 years, and now it’s time for the Pascal family to shine (More about Pascal and VR here).
I was actually watching the announcement on twitch, and when Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of NVIDIA, showed us the chart for performance, people were quite surprised as to how good it was. Of course, presentations tend to shine light only to good stuff, but it actually does manage to perform as well as it’s presented to us.
And not only that, GTX 1080 is EXTREMELY overclockable. Since it needs less power, it creates less heat, and since it creates less heat, you have TONS of room for overclocking, should you you decide to make it perform even better.
Right now, GTX 1080 is a clear winner. What’s even more awesome, GTX 1080 is made with virtual reality in mind. That means it performs much better with Rift and Vive games, AND leaves some space for developers to make prettier VR games knowing that frame rate wont drop anytime soon.
I ordered this card myself.
Buy it: On Amazon*
Good VR CPU – Intel Core i5-4590
Although VR games do not depend on CPU as much as on GPU, having a good process does not hurt in the long run.
i5-4590 does everything that you ask him of. All the current VR games are bottlenecked by GPU and even bad CPU’s do the job correctly (mainly because they almost do nothing within VR games).
However, latest news are showing us that multiplayer aspect will become more and more accepted as the way of playing VR games. We all know that MMO games depend heavily on CPU, and now that we heard multiplayer is going to be extremely popular within VR community, having a beefy CPU should be a requirement.
i5-4590 was officially recommended by Oculus as the best low-priced CPU. And given how low the cost is for this one, buying i5-4590 is a good idea.
Cheapest Place To Buy: On Amazon*
* Ships everywhere
Best VR CPU – Intel Core i7-6700K
However, if you want best of the best, Intel Core i7-6700K is my personal recommendation.
This one has been praised by lot of critics, mainly due to such a good performance in all games. On top of that it’s extremely overclockable, so we could safely consider it as one of the fastest CPU’s for gaming. Everything else is overkill.
Now that we are aware that Gameworks VR takes off the pressure from GPU and distributes it to CPU, and also adding to the fact that an upcoming DirectX12 splits processing duties between your GPU and CPU, having an equally good processor has to be a top priority after getting a graphics card. We can call it a future investment.
i7-6700K with its higher stock clock speed, hyper threading support, and allowance for multi GPU’s makes it a juicy option for VR enthusiasts. Combine this CPU with GTX 1080 and should never see any performance issues within this, and the next VR generation.
Best Place To Buy: On Amazon
RAM – G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB
As with the CPU, RAM amount is not a deciding factor for VR. However, getting a 16GB data storage is recommended for modern day games, and now that we see games that use almost 8GB of memory, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest some money into it.
What kind of RAM sticks to buy isn’t really important, as the speed of random access memory is never important. Much more important is its size. Also when you buy it, be sure to check its compatibility with your motherboard.
However, by looking at result, one of the best RAM sticks is considered G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB which makes you immune to game stuttering for a certain period of time (who knows when even 16GB will be too low). And stutter is another thing that is horrendous in VR games. Dealing with it as soon as possible is recommended.
Cheapest Place To Buy: On Amazon
Everything else doesn’t really matter. If you have a proper computer, all of these components are going to fit in.
Gamers probably already have a gaming setup ready to go, and with VR there isn’t much to add to the collection aside from the things above.
Just be sure that you have
1) One of the mentioned Graphics Cards
2) One of the mentioned processors
3) Good amount of RAM
4) Windows 10 for the future
5) Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
6) 3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port
If you have any questions to ask, feel free do so in the comment section below: