The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset is expected to ship in early 2016, making it one of the first high-profile VR devices that doesn’t use your smartphone as a display.

But the Rift is just a headset. You’ll need to connect it with a computer if you actually want to play games, watch immersive videos, or find other ways to explore virtual worlds.

What kind of computer? One that probably costs at least $800 and possibly much more.

oculus rift

Oculus has released some recommended specs for “the full Rift experience.” Basically, you’ll want a machine that has the following:

  • Intel Core i5-4590 Haswell or faster processor
  • NVIDA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon 290 or faster graphics
  • At least 8GB of RAM
  • HDMI 1.3 video output with support for a 297 MHz clock via direct output architecture (not typically available in current laptops)
  • At least two USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or later (OS X and Linux development are on hold for now)

Put all of those pieces together and you’ll have a computer that costs around $800 or $1000, depending on who you ask. And that’s not counting the cost of the Oculus Rift headset itself, which could cost as much as $400.

Or you can just strap a phone to your face with a piece of cardboard or spend a few bucks on a kit so you don’t have to cut the cardboard yourself.


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One reply on “Oculus Rift VR headset will work best with expensive gaming PCs”

  1. Dual USB means they ship with external sensor.
    The PC specs are not that high to be fair, the CPU is not that fundamental to gaming so you likely can go with a high clocked dual cores for the most part. 8GB of DDR3 are 50$ more or less and 8GB is not much nowadays.
    Next year we get GPUs on 16nm so a barely good enough GPU will be
    200-250$ and that’s midrange gaming so not terrible. They do need to
    reach 60 to 90 FPS so the screen is likely 1440p.
    The bare minimum GPU works out well enough, you can do 4k and kinda survive at or above 30FPS on a monitor or 1440p Oculus high FPS.
    It is not ideal that those GPUs will be a bit weak for what is needed (assuming they are going with 1440p screen).

    Edit: The screen is actually 2160×1200 at 90Hz, as per official info so those GPUs should be ok.

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