Oculus founder says no Mac is powerful enough to run the Rift

Scorpus

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

If you're wondering why the Oculus Rift only supports Windows PCs at launch, Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has the answer: the current crop of Macs simply aren't powerful enough to deliver a good virtual reality experience.

Speaking to Shacknews, Luckey said that to introduce Mac support for the Oculus Rift, Apple must first release a computer with enough graphics horsepower for VR. "If they ever release a good computer, we will do it," he said.

Luckey went on to state the reason why Macs currently aren't up to scratch for VR. It basically comes down to the fact that Apple "doesn't prioritize high-end GPUs", so even when you buy a $6,000 Mac Pro with AMD FirePro D700 graphics, "it still doesn’t match our recommended specs".

Due to a lack of high-end GPUs in Macs, Oculus doesn't want to support the platform as customers wouldn't be able to play the majority of VR titles at a respectable level of performance. However if Apple decides to integrate high-end GPUs "like they used to for a while back in the day", Oculus is more than happy to support Mac.

This isn't the first time Luckey has aggressively stated that low-power PCs are not suitable for VR gaming. Earlier this year, he said that "your crappy PC is the biggest barrier to adoption" of virtual reality technology. Until high-end graphics hardware gets cheaper, it will be very expensive to set up a high-end VR experience like the Oculus Rift provides.

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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
A $6,000 Mac Pro can be had with dual AMD FirePro D700.

Pathetic excuse to save on development for Mac OS, or for political reasons.

By the way, Oculus founder may have had one good idea, which he sold to become a billionaire. So now he is stepping into Bill Gates shoes, who made many stupid statements back in the earlier days of Microsoft.
 
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Tekkaraiden

TS Evangelist
A $6,000 Mac Pro can be had with dual AMD FirePro D900.

Pathetic excuse to save on development for Mac OS, or for political reasons.
True but the vast majority of mac users use a macbook or macbook pro and their integrated graphics are not going to cut it. So why spend the time and effort if only a very small percentage of mac users could potentially take advantage.
 
T

teddy

He is wrong, bc apple is the best there is in the world. nothing can beat it. or something ;)

vitalyt, you are talking about 1 part of hardware in the machine. what about the rest ? 1 single piece isnt enough to make mac powerful.
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
True but the vast majority of mac users use a macbook or macbook pro and their integrated graphics are not going to cut it. So why spend the time and effort if only a very small percentage of mac users could potentially take advantage.
Macbook Pro comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X these days. Mine from late 2013 came with nVidia 870 or something like that, plays well most of the games.
 

Greg S

TS Evangelist
Mac users are such a small percentage and the percentage of mac owners that are gamers is extremely small. I'm guessing less 2% of mac owners are gamers and only a very small fraction of that 2% is willing to drop $2k on gaming accessories like the Oculus Rift.
 

psycros

TS Evangelist
If not even a Mac with an R9 can handle it then neither can 90% of those "crappy PCs"..in which case VR is even more DOA than we originally anticipated.
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
A $6,000 Mac Pro can be had with dual AMD FirePro D700.

Pathetic excuse to save on development for Mac OS, or for political reasons.

By the way, Oculus founder may have had one good idea, which he sold to become a billionaire. So now he is stepping into Bill Gates shoes, who made many stupid statements back in the earlier days of Microsoft.
You only need 640k of ram... ;)
 
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p51d007

TS Evangelist
Ok, I'm a PC guy, but come on, unless you are talking about tablets, or laptops with integrated video, that's stupid. Mac's to a lions share of the CGI in the movies.
 

schuck6566

TS Rookie
U people seem to be confusing MOBILE grapics with Desktop Graphics.e.g. "Macbook Pro comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X these days. " Here's what THAT equals.Radeon R9 M375X 4GB Features a GPU Codenamed Venus XTX which is a First Gen GCN GPU and is identical to the Cape GPU used on the Desktop Radeon R7 250X.
Venus XTX has 10 Compute Units Unlocked and thus offers 640 Shader Processing Units, 40 TMUs and 16 ROPs.http://www.game-debate.com/hardware/index.php?gid=3225&graphics=Radeon%20R9%20M375X%204GB
Finally here's a side by side of the mobile gpu from the macbook,and MY gtx970 that IS Oculus able with my system(i7 @3.4,16Gb ram,64bit Win 10,GTX970 with4GBram) NOTE the sheer overpower in the numbers 2-3 times faster in somethings(memory bandwidth 4 example)5x the actual shader performance.the mobile chip only meets the recommended requirements of 1outta 10 games listed,& it's an ON LINE GAME. Mobile ISN'T in the same league as Desktop.So until apple starts offering Desktop GAMING cards(there IS a difference betrween gaming and cards made for running autocad,ect.directx and shaders come to top of list in drivers)Oculus is quite right to limit support for a company that can't use them. lol Here's the independant comparison of 970 and mobileR9 M375X http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=3225&gid2=2488&compare=radeon-r9-m375x-4gb-vs-geforce-gtx-970-msi-gaming-4gb-edition
 
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Technician

TS Addict
This is the kind of statement that show that the developer of the Rift doesn't have a clue about computer technology. You can build a hackintosh just as fast and powerful as any PC if Mac is your thing.
It makes no difference, he is cutting his own throat not the customer that can see the partnership he made with PC manufacturers for what it is.
 

schuck6566

TS Rookie
U people seem to be confusing MOBILE grapics with Desktop Graphics.e.g. "Macbook Pro comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X these days. " Here's what THAT equals.Radeon R9 M375X 4GB Features a GPU Codenamed Venus XTX which is a First Gen GCN GPU and is identical to the Cape GPU used on the Desktop Radeon R7 250X.
Venus XTX has 10 Compute Units Unlocked and thus offers 640 Shader Processing Units, 40 TMUs and 16 ROPs.http://www.game-debate.com/hardware/index.php?gid=3225&graphics=Radeon%20R9%20M375X%204GB
Finally here's a side by side of the mobile gpu from the macbook,and MY gtx970 that IS Oculus able with my system(i7 @3.4,16Gb ram,64bit Win 10,GTX970 with4GBram) NOTE the sheer overpower in the numbers 2-3 times faster in somethings(memory bandwidth 4 example)5x the actual shader performance.the mobile chip only meets the recommended requirements of 1outta 10 games listed,& it's an ON LINE GAME. Mobile ISN'T in the same league as Desktop.So until apple starts offering Desktop GAMING cards(there IS a difference betrween gaming and cards made for running autocad,ect.directx and shaders come to top of list in drivers)Oculus is quite right to limit support for a company that can't use them. lol Here's the independant comparison of 970 and mobileR9 M375X http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=3225&gid2=2488&compare=radeon-r9-m375x-4gb-vs-geforce-gtx-970-msi-gaming-4gb-edition
One last thing, here's the apple desktop card mentioned(firepro d700) compared to my gtx970 by game-debate.they show the mem,rops,everything AND the games the cards actually meet. Notice the 970 scores 94% more powerful gaming wise? enjoy. http://www.game-debate.com/gpu/index.php?gid=2488&gid2=2113&compare=geforce-gtx-970-msi-gaming-4gb-edition-vs-firepro-d700
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
This is the kind of statement that show that the developer of the Rift doesn't have a clue about computer technology. You can build a hackintosh just as fast and powerful as any PC if Mac is your thing.
It makes no difference, he is cutting his own throat not the customer that can see the partnership he made with PC manufacturers for what it is.
Nobody cares about hackintosh. They are not going to waste time supporting 3 people that have it.
 

CrisisDog

TS Booster
Macs suck for gaming. I own a "classic" Mac Pro, and over the years threw on a Nvidia GTX 670, 770, and 970. Each card only achieved about 75 to 80% of the performance that would have been obtained on Windows. It's Apple's implementation of OpenGL that's killing it. Thus all the big push for the new "Metal" graphics API. But so far even that hasn't looked too promising yet.
 
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Hexic

TS Evangelist
I can't blame him - he's correct that the market that Mac has with legitimate 'powerhouse' GPUs is significantly smaller, if truly there at all, compared to PCs.

A closed hardware/software environment naturally does that, no surprise. If I was a Mac user, I wouldn't be upset, or even surprised by that statement - because it's true. You know what you're buying when you buy a Mac, along with the bags of money you're throwing at it as well.
 

EClyde

TS Evangelist
Mac's aren't worth owning if ya wanna have fun. If ya wanna think yer cool...get one. Same for linux.

I would really like to try one of these gadgets maybe play some Brutal Doom
 

Darth Shiv

TS Evangelist
This is the kind of statement that show that the developer of the Rift doesn't have a clue about computer technology. You can build a hackintosh just as fast and powerful as any PC if Mac is your thing.
It makes no difference, he is cutting his own throat not the customer that can see the partnership he made with PC manufacturers for what it is.
Mac has a tiny fraction of the desktop marketplace. Hackintosh? Ha.

You want to be a serious gamer, desktop PCs have had that cornered for a long time. The best bang for buck / ROI for them is desktop PC for their system requirements. Otherwise they are spending a lot on r&d and no-one to buy. Nothing more.
 

EEatGDL

TS Evangelist
A $6,000 Mac Pro can be had with dual AMD FirePro D700.

Pathetic excuse to save on development for Mac OS, or for political reasons.

By the way, Oculus founder may have had one good idea, which he sold to become a billionaire. So now he is stepping into Bill Gates shoes, who made many stupid statements back in the earlier days of Microsoft.
A lot of wasted FP64 compute performance for gaming, it's like trying to game with two Quadro M4000. Why spend so much when you can go straight for FP32 raw compute power like high-end GeForce or Radeon? And OK pal, I'm not calling names, but this is your second not-so-well-thought comment in a row, after having no idea what adaptive refresh rate is all about.

First of all: OpenGL in Macs is not that well optimized since they don't care, it's not their target market -at some point, since they wanted to be seen as all business; DirectX has years of development and improvements behind it.

True but the vast majority of mac users use a macbook or macbook pro and their integrated graphics are not going to cut it. So why spend the time and effort if only a very small percentage of mac users could potentially take advantage.
Macbook Pro comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X these days. Mine from late 2013 came with nVidia 870 or something like that, plays well most of the games.
Second: they're asking for a GTX 970 or similar in performance -at minimum-, since it must drive 1080*1200 @90 FPS average -assuming almost-identical images on both screens don't mean double the work for the GPU-, with minimum FPS not so far behind that average. Not even a GTX 970M is close to that; with mobile Maxwell being the generation with the narrowest gap between mobile and desktop same-tier performance, so not a chance with older mobile generations. Mentioning the R9 M370X shows at least a lack of research on your side; you'll be lucky if that can play the latest titles @30 FPS with medium-high settings -a far cry [pun intended] from the average 90 FPS-, in a laptop with very high chances of throttling and worsening things up.

Third: even if you could find a Mac-based system suitable in performance -assuming you don't care about price-performance ratio at all- you should have available, just for the Oculus, 3 USB 3.0 and 1 USB 2.0 ports. That would "eat" all the Mac Pro USB ports and say goodbye to any other peripheral, for example. Let's say for the sake of discussion that a Thunderbolt-to-USB hub solves that problem; there's no word of the potential latency introduced by such hub.

So in conclusion, sir: don't go so sure you're putting person A in person B shoes, when you may as well be getting in person B shoes.
 
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Technician

TS Addict
Mac has a tiny fraction of the desktop marketplace. Hackintosh? Ha.

You want to be a serious gamer, desktop PCs have had that cornered for a long time. The best bang for buck / ROI for them is desktop PC for their system requirements. Otherwise they are spending a lot on r&d and no-one to buy. Nothing more.
They are already building a system that only the top 2 or3 % of PC owners can use
 

Tuxie

TS Rookie
Macbook Pro comes with AMD Radeon R9 M370X these days. Mine from late 2013 came with nVidia 870 or something like that, plays well most of the games.
The question is, does it also play them at 2160x1200 with 90 stable FPS? That is what you need for a good Vive/Oculus Rift experience.