“Never buy pre-made VR PC’s”
- Benjamin Franklin
This is the logo, the 10th testament, for us, gamers. Let me pick the VR PC parts for you that is not only affordable but can stand its ground against others.
Don’t know how to build a computer?
It’s actually not that difficult and can save you hundreds of dollars. See this video once you bought all the necessary parts for your virtual reality machine:
Budget is important for many of us, and we don’t want to spend enormous amounts of money on something that we don’t know if we’ll like.
Luckily, entry-level to VR in terms of money has been lowered quite a lot over the years. Before we had to spend upwards of 1,500 dollars before we could even get a taste of mediocre VR.
Now, much has changed.
Are you looking for the best budget VR PC that is currently available? I’ll show you that, but keep in mind that this build below will not be the cheapest Budget VR PC build, you can check this article for the cheapest VR PC build. No, this article only focuses on the best budget VR PC.
How Good is This Budget VR Computer?
I never like to use computer components that are using old technology. I always want to have something that is affordable, powerful, and at the same time can withstand the test of time.
The PC build I am going to present to you below will be handpicked and thorough in every possible way to be extremely compatible, future proof and most importantly, be powerful enough to play any Oculus Rift or HTC Vive game without breaking a sweat.
If you have any questions about it, leave it down in the comments and I’ll answer to you as soon as possible.
So let’s start with the components you need to buy. Each part will have an explanation as to why I picked it and how good it is.
Best Budget VR PC Components to Get
CPU – Ryzen 5 2600
I would say that currently, this one is the best value processor there is. Considering how well it performs, the fact that you can get one 160 bucks is mindboggling.
I actually used this processor for one of the builds I made for a friend. He used a 3570K before that, and the moment I tried out this CPU, I couldn’t believe my eyes how well it ran. Not a single VR game was causing issues and the fact that a 160 dollar CPU didn’t differentiate from my 300 dollar one really surprised me, in a good way.
He told me the difference in framerate skyrocketed. He was sure he was GPU bottlenecked.
The way it helps VR: Since this CPU also has 6 cores, it bodes well for future-proofing since more and more games and applications are starting to use all CPU cores. That is also true with VR games since an enormous amount of VR games are build on Unity, and Unity is recently really getting into multithreading.
Intel is really good at squeezing out power from a single core, but right now, I think AMD is really starting to regain the throne of value/performance charts.
Unquestionably an important part of this VR PC budget build.
Motherboard: ASRock B450M Pro4
This is an amazing motherboard that offers so many things that one has to wonder how it all fits inside such a price.
In short, it has 4 RAM slots (for 64GB of DDR4 RAM), M.2 SSD slots (one that can be used for the newest NVME SSD’s).
The way it helps VR: Having support for 64GB of DDR4 RAM helps you to multi-task more easily. DDR4 is a lot better than DDR3, and 64GB is more than you even need right now. Still, it’s a good “future-proofer” right here. More on that in the “Memory” section on the build.
However, I would add that since it has an M.2 SSD slot available, you can use it to connect the latest NVME SSD’s there that everyone talks about. With NVME, you won’t really notice a huge difference in everyday tasks like loading OS or opening files. You will, however, feel a tremendous difference when installing a new Oculus Rift or HTC Vive game, or if you are transferring a huge file from one place to another. That’s where NVME SSD’s shine the most.
On top of that, it has a slot for five USB 3.0 connections, two USB 2.0 connections, HDMI, VGA and so on. This helps with connecting many different.
The way it helps VR: You can connect more devices to your computer without worrying about running out of UB slots. The current trend in VR right now is using many sensors, and they all require USB slots. The more, the merrier. You can read on how to set up your VR sensors the best way here.
So this motherboard will serve your VR build well.
GPU – XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition
RX 580 is a decent card that can play all VR games with a good framerate. You don’t have to spend too much money on cards that are overkill for VR. Most virtual reality games that are out there are made with minimum requirements in mind.
Which means, RX 580 delivers it, and then some.
This version is chosen specifically because it has more video memory, running at 8GB instead of 4GB.
The way it helps VR: Having more video memory will help the game store textures. The more RAM, the higher resolution of textures is supported. Some games nowadays list 8GB as minimum requirements even. So having more memory equals better storage options, decreased texture resolution render times and improved antialiasing. The last one is specifically useful in VR since it basically eliminates the jagged blocky lines we see when looking at objects that are very thin.
RX 580 can be compared to GTX 1060, while at the same time be 2/3 of the price. It’s also newer by a year and if you have a freesync monitor, you’re in luck. You will basically get G-sync functionality. It’s something that NVIDIA users have to pay a premium for their monitors. In some cases, it adds even 300 dollars extra.
With this build using AMD, you get this feature almost for free. What does it do?
Although FreeSync doesn’t necessarily affect the VR gameplay, it does become useful when you play regular games. It removes the choppiness and artifacts you get from dramatic FPS drops so the gameplay is super smooth and uninterrupted.
RX 580 supports that by default. So, unless you are a huge NVIDIA fan (spoilers: I am also), get this graphics card. Despite my fanboyism for NVIDIA products, I can appreciate results from competitors when they are good.
And the results I get for RX 580 for VR are very good.
Memory: G.Skill, 16GB, DDR4 3,000MHz RAM
There isn’t really much to talk about here. RAM isn’t exactly the most important part of this VR build, but it does contribute at least a small role.
If you were to pick a DDR3 RAM that many low budget builds run with, then chances are that you will notice the difference. Let’s not neglect the power it has.
It has 3,000MHz and uses DDR4 technology.
The way it helps VR: DDR4 RAM doesn’t really help VR in a way that you will notice a huge difference compared to older DDR3 technology. However, you might notice a slight increase in loading speed. See, RAM is basically a short term memory for your computer. It stores information and lets you get it incredibly fast.
I would say that the biggest plus of DDR4 is that it’s cheaper. If you have seen the prices of DDR3 and DDR4, you might say I am wrong, but we have to look at it from distance. The newest CPU’s that are currently out don’t even support DDR3 anymore and considering that you might want to upgrade your VR PC sometime in the future, you will be annoyed that you have to spend an extra 100 bucks just for that.
That ‘s why all the parts in this budget VR PC build are picked with future in mind. The RAM sticks that I picked are really good, perform well, are reliable and people have been saying great things about them. They are also easily overclocked, so don’t forget to do that! The motherboard that I picked allows you to do that quite easily in BIOS; Just search for DOCP, EOCP, XMP, or something along the lines. You will really benefit from that extra speed, especially with Ryzen builds (that this build is).
Storage: 256GB SSD and 1TB HDD
I think we can all agree now that SSD is already a standard in the gaming industry. What you do is install Windows on SSD, and all the other stuff you store on HDD. Of course, with some games, you might want to have a bit faster loading time, so feel free to install them on SSD, but generally, only the OS is used for that in budget builds.
SSD is becoming quite cheap, but it’s still nowhere near as cheap as HDD. If you want, you can go and buy a 512GB SSD and not even bother with HDD.
At the end of the day, it’s kinda your preference and what you want to do with your computer. Since we are building a virtual reality machine, I would recommend having more space through hard disk drive so you won’t have to worry about deleting other VR games to make space for new ones.
These are the parts I recommend you to get:
Power Supply – EVGA W1 500W
Now, this is so you can power all the parts we have listed above. Most power supplies will do, we just have to make sure that it gives enough voltage, is reliable, and fits with our picks.
The one I am recommending is one of the top choices for PC builders around the world and it doesn’t cost much, If you want more power, you can pick something else. As this part isn’t really as essential as other ones, it isn’t really important. In my own current VR build that isn’t exactly cheap, I am using a PSU that has been in my computer for almost a decade and there have no problems. I will probably change it soon just to be on the safe side, but the point is that most power supplies can do the job without interruption.
Case – Micro ATX
I left the last one to a part that puts it all together. Choosing a case has almost no effect on how powerful your VR setup is going. You can go with a cheap one, or you can choose a flashy transparent look, with neon lights everywhere.
If you still want to keep a low profile and go with a budget option, you can look around Amazon’s Best Sellers and choose for yourself:
Choose the one that is fairly popular among gamers, has a good reputation, and most importantly, is cheap. This build that I suggest can fit inside Micro ATX cases, but if you want, you can choose something bigger.
Everybody has their own taste so this choice falls down to you.
Additional Things (Optional)
Depending on whether you already have Windows or not, you may want to get a bootable Flash drive.
Games, including the VR ones, are starting to run on Windows 10 better since most games are made with Windows 10 in mind. Windows 7 can do well, but why use that when most have already transitioned to the newest operating system.
I’ll make a comparison of 7 and 10 for VR in the near future, but in the meantime, I’ll make it short for you.
So, that is it. If you have any questions regarding this build, let me know in the comments. This budget VR PC build has a lot of power and is fairly future-proof so you won’t have to worry about upgrades for many sweet years!
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