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A high-end PC will be needed for the best Oculus Rift experience

By Shawn Knight ยท 36 replies
May 15, 2015
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  1. Oculus VR on Friday revealed the recommended hardware specifications needed to deliver the best experience when using its upcoming virtual reality headset.

    The company notes in a blog post that presence is the first level of magic for great VR experiences. Comfortable, sustained presence is what provides the feeling that you’ve been teleported somewhere new and creating that requires a combination of the proper VR hardware, the right content and an appropriate system.

    As such, here’s what Oculus VR recommends using with the Rift:

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

    Oculus VR says all of the games and applications created for the Rift in-house will provide an excellent experience on this level of hardware.

    The big takeaway here is that most consumer desktop users, and even some serious gamers on a budget, probably won’t get a great experience on the hardware they’re using today. 8GB of RAM is commonplace in desktop systems these days but I suspect many will need to upgrade both their graphics card and CPU or simply overclock existing hardware to fill the void. We also learned that the Rift will run at a resolution of 2,160 x 1,200 at 90Hz split over dual displays.

    In related news, Oculus VR also released the latest version of its SDK, Oculus PC SDK 6.0. Major changes include compositor service, layers, removal of application-based distortion rendering and simplification of the API.

    Do you have any interest in picking up an Oculus Rift when it launches early next year? Let us know in the comments section below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 492   +422

    I don't get it? It's supposed to be peripheral device. like an LCD screen, just with inbuilt mouse pointer. What does your PC specs got to do with performance, other than necessity to setup the resolution for inbuilt displays? What does it mean 'games and applications created for the Rift in-house'? Does it mean it will require custom games and applications, no support out of the box for existing games? If that's the case, their VR is gonna die faster than 3D. Please tell Me I'm mistaken?

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,640   +735

    Sweet! Looks like all I have to do is upgrade my video card.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    @noel24 I agree.

    If Oculus Rift doesn't run on hardware equivalent to current gen consoles, I'm not sure how well received they will be.
  5. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    Uhh, heck yeah!

    Combo systems at that spec are, what, about $850? (Minus monitor, keyboard, etc.) That doesn't seem to be outside of a game system budget, and my desktop's 3 years overdue for a replacement. I just need to squirrel away $150 a month until the Rift is out, to cover the system plus the Rift VR.
  6. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    I haven't looked into this much - but I feel like the neck strain is not worth putting a cell-phone sized screen 4-inches from my face that is plugged into my PC. What am I missing? Why is this so great?
  7. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,710   +1,946

    I think you're missing the point. It runs at a resolution 2160X1200@90hz. It is essentially a high resolution monitor that is attached to your face. If you want to power a high res display you have to have high end hardware.

    This is going to be an expensive niche item to start out with, that's just how it's going to be. Expensive to buy and expensive to power. I don't understand why this is a difficult concept.
    trgz likes this.
  8. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,137   +1,402

    p0rn, duh!

    Seriously though...it's capable of response and refresh that's fast enough that you won't get motion sick and it literally tricks your brain into thinking you're somewhere else. Looking down off a cliff will make you feel like you're going to fall, and something flying at the screen will trigger your reflex to duck.

    Your PC will need to render all that information. In order for VR to be believable the resolution needs to be very high and refreshed very fast. I'm not surprised you need a top-end PC, I'm surprised it's running off USB and not through Display Port.

    Current games probably won't have support unless there's something built in to provide peripheral scenes. Maybe like eye-finity support or something, I don't really know, but I expect VR would have like 180 degrees of vision, while your normal game only provides like half that or less maybe.
  9. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,035   +1,444

    I have the computer to run this, but at this stage of the game and looking at this with the same skepticism I did with Google Glass. If it's still going strong in a couple of years and people are actually using it - I'll consider it then.
    trgz and hahahanoobs like this.
  10. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    Ok - but my current PC (OC'ed, custom-water cooled 2x R290X's) runs my games at 1080p on a BenQ 27" monitor at 144hz refresh rate at >100 FPS for all but the most demanding games. The best games immerse me anyway... (at least until RL calls again...). This doesn't sell me, personally.

    I guess if I wanted to get physically hurt playing a game, Ill break out the Wii :)
  11. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,254   +512

    Having used the OR since the first batch of DK2s were released I'd be surprised if "most" games play perfectly with this hardware. There are titles I have issues with while using SLI 970s / 2600k @ 4.6 / 16 GB. If you've ever tried building anything using the Unreal Engine 4 (which looks best for VR worlds atm imo) then you'll know that you can fairly quickly reach a point where it's hard to hold even the 75fps necessary for the DK2 - and that was only at 1080p. I was already spec'ing out a new build with a 5960X + SLI 980Ti (my employer will fund this purchase) simply for VR development with the OR CV1 in mind.

    Retrofitting older games to work with the DK2 has been pretty good and much less demanding on hardware while at the same time drastically increasing the immersion in the game. It's amazing how much difference it makes just adding support for this type of device makes.

    As long as the newest bells and whistles of UE4 are not used I think you may be able to get away with the hardware specified, but I find it hard to imagine that developers won't try to use these new features as they are easy to implement and are stunning to view in motion.
  12. Dimitriid

    Dimitriid TS Booster Posts: 38   +37

    Think of it as a 4k monitor: you need good hardware for it to look good at a high resolution AND high framerate since a lower framerate would affect VR a lot more
  13. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,710   +1,946

    >SLI 970's

    well there's you're problem. Even my 3770k @4.5 is starting to show it's age.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,873

    You can't be serious suggesting there is a huge gap in performance between the last four i7 generations.
    SantistaUSA and trgz like this.
  15. Vocnar

    Vocnar TS Rookie

    My question is can my FX8320 runing at stock 4.0 GHz PC w/ 16 GB 2400 MHz ram on a MSI 970 MB with a Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290X OC 8 GB card be enough to run good with this device? a lot of games I am only getting from 5 FPS to 40 FPS like in War Thunder on only med settings im only getting 20 FPS. I think its because im using AMD & NOT Intel. But I really want it for Skyrim since im a junkie.
  16. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,427   +594

    You have a good enough gpu but cpu no.

    That FX chip will probably have to be running at 5Ghz.

    You should have went with a 4GB 290x and nonover priced 2400 mhz DDR3 memory.

    The savings there would have been enough to go haswell i5.
  17. yRaz

    yRaz Nigerian Prince Posts: 2,710   +1,946

    Not a huge one, but certainly a noticeable one.
  18. Axle Grease

    Axle Grease TS Booster Posts: 127   +48

    I'm very well covered as far as hardware requirements go, but what about that resolution? Is 1080x1200 in each eye enough to not notice pixelation?
  19. Filip B

    Filip B TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +9

    That is actually pretty worrisome. I do own a 1200p monitor and it's not ideal, 4k is the best for PC gaming, however, having a 1200p display strapped to each eye must seem like minecraft, I might be mistaken there's a lot of optical tricks they can achieve with great software and also lenses.
  20. Dookii

    Dookii TS Rookie

    Because of a number of reasons.

    one of them being that there are 2 seperate angles to be rendered for each each,

    Look at something like a candle and close your eye and have a look (dont move your head) now close that eye and open the other one. Is the candle still in the same place? If so go see a doctor >:)

    Both eyes see from a different persepective and this needs to be simulated in the rift and thus it needs to render 2 seperate images for each eye.

    then second of all if the game is running at a low framerate of say 30FPS it is simply not enough in the case of a VR helmet. You will be more prone to nausea and you will believe it less.

    Other factors why they say their own apps created for VR will have optimal effect is because there are a lot of things that need to be taken into acount as a developer once you switch to VR, things most people wont even think about but you will be sure to notice if it is not done well.

    In VR with the 2 images right infort of your eyes there are a lot of things most rendering engine are not setup properly for and you will get things like texture shimmering that once again will reduce the believability, other things are things like how well it is able to place you into the enviroment, lets say a FPS one , do you see a body and limbs when you look down or not ? if not , that will be weird and unnatural , the same goes for arms, you see arms, but you see them go through walls if you get to close ,etc

    This is why you will also get the depth effect we see in real life and in 3d movies.

    Just enabeling the oculus in lets say BF4 will not result in a enjoyble game, how the game is controlled while using a oculus would have to be thought out well as goes for many other games.

    Back to the framerate, it would be best if you could maintain a framerate of 60 FPS or higher if we are looking at just sheer minimum reccomended performance for the most enjoyable experience in VR.

    That is why amongst a few other things.
  21. Dookii

    Dookii TS Rookie

    1 word, pixel density. So yes it is closer but the pixel density is also higher so that means much much smaller pixels in the first place. How well it will cover pixelation in the release version we can only speculate but for now the upped the resolution to pretty high specs for something like this so unless you want to wait another 2 years , this will easily suffice im sure.
  22. Dookii

    Dookii TS Rookie


    I forgot to mention headtracking and the latency here in and between the oculus and your system. A too low specced system will have considerable latency/lag durung the experience wich in turn will also possibly give you nausea and for sure reduce believablility and comfort.

    GTX 960 and upwards do have special hardware support that already reduces the latency between it and the oculus,.
  23. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 492   +422

    Well. I'm not sure what's the state of 3D gaming right now, but the technical challenge is similar, isn't? 120fps must be drawn by graphic card, with 60 for each eye with 6 degrees difference? And I saw some article few years back on playing GTA4 in 3D (on a laptop?, if memory serves me right). Don't remember the outcome though, but I think VR would be perfect for older, less demanding games like Borderlands or COD. Anyway. lost interest for 3D as I wear glasses, aside from the ridiculous price for 120Hz monitors, and if new technology is both more xpensive than decent gaming panel, has no everyday use while gaming or watching movies like on a 60inch plasma and doesn't support cheap prescription lenses, than I'm out, and so some decent amount of geeks and gamers who lost their sight while staring on 15inch CRTs 15-20 years ago.
  24. Dookii

    Dookii TS Rookie

    What you are reffering to is shutter glasses wich is a totally different ballpark with much less challenges. The occulus btw should pose no problem for your glasses btw so no worries there. Unless you have really really big glasses >:)
  25. Dookii

    Dookii TS Rookie

    Also lowering GFX quality on lower GPU's remains a option just the same as it is now on our regular monitors.

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