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Guest post: Getting the best bang for your buck with VR – Literally!

Virtual reality. A concept once found only in the pages of science fiction books, is now an actual reality.

Just as smartphones changed the communications world, this infant tech is going to revolutionize the computer experience as we have never experienced before.

Offering uses that span the whole spectrum, from entertainment to commerce, virtual reality is indeed the future of the computing experience.

There are many uses driving the virtual reality boom, but none is quite as powerful as the entertainment sector.

In terms of entertainment, the technology encompasses everything from watching movies in a virtual theatre, to fully immersing yourself in the newest VR games or indulging your naughty side with state-of-the-art VR porn.  As it stands, VR gaming is leading the way, with VR pornography not far behind in terms of consumer market share.

However, it is known that the porn industry has long been a major driving force for the adoption of new technology.  For example, the porn industry backed the adoption of the VHS video cassette over the competing Betamax technology, and look how that turned out.

What’s more, viewing statistics released by Pornhub in 2016, showed that over 500,000 VR porn videos were being watched every day on their website alone.

That is an incredible number and is perhaps why many hardware and software developers are placing a huge amount of importance on having their products bring the very best in ‘virtual reality porn experience’ to their customers.

We’ve been asked repeatedly by our readers about what kind of hardware components and budget are required to view VR porn properly.

To answer this question, we sat down with Mike Hartman from VR porn tube site, VRSmash.com (!!!WARNING: NSFW / ADULT CONTENT!!!) to discuss what he feels is required to get the best out of the VR porn experience.  We have summarized his recommendations in the “recommended builds” section below.  But first, a little background information…

What is required to operate VR?

To immerse yourself in virtual reality you’ll need a few things. These include a way to run the software, a way to monitor the video output, and a way to control input. Computers are by far and away the best choice as a platform.

This is because VR is quite an advanced technology and requires a lot of computing power. This necessary power is not quite yet offered by mobile technology.
For the monitoring aspect one uses VR headsets. Currently, the best VR headset options are either the HTC Vive, or Oculus Rift.

Most VR headsets come with controllers and base station sensors that can be used for gaming controls. Typically, keyboard and mouse are still best used for web browsing and anything that isn’t game control.

Building yourself a VR ready machine

Being virtual reality compatible, or VR Ready, as the marketing term is known, is mostly reliant on having a modern, powerful graphics card (GPU or Graphics Processing Unit).

This GPU is the engine that allows such large amounts of high definition visual information to be displayed through the headset in a realistic resolution, in real time, with high enough frames per second to feel real. To be able to fully utilize such a powerful graphics card and not create a data bottleneck, one also needs a quality chipset (CPU or Central Processing Unit).

Although the CPU is not as crucial as the GPU to the virtual experience, beefing up both components will yield the best viewing results. With all the choices and issues finding the right balance of computer parts versus budget can be a daunting task that keeps many from entering the wonderful world of VR.

Here are some recommended builds based on price points:

Hardcore VR Build ($2,500+)

This build will put users into the top tier of VR ready machines, using the best parts currently available, with the aim of keeping your machine future proof.

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K

GPU: GTX 1080 Ti

Motherboard:  Gigabyte Z370 AORUS Gaming 7

Ram: 32GB DDR4-3000

Storage 1: Samsung 960 PRO 512 GB NVMe m.2

Storage 2: 2 TB Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 7200 RPM

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 850 GOLD

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i Hydro Series V2

Case: Thermaltake View 71 ATX

Operating System: Windows 10

Solid Build ($1,500+)

This build is recommended for users who demand quality, definition and FPS on a reasonable budget. AMD is a good choice for mid-range computing builds and sticking with Nvidia for the graphics, we are recommending the GTX 1070, as it gets you great VR bang for your real-life buck.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 1600X

GPU: GTX 1070

Motherboard:  Asus ROG B350

Ram: 16GB DDR4-2400

Storage 1: Samsung 960 EVO 250 GB NVMe m.2

Storage 2: 2 TB Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 7200 RPM

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650 GOLD

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 SE AM4

Case: Enthoo Pro M

Operating System: Windows 10

HTC Vive Recommended Specs Build ($850+)

This build uses the components that the major VR headset companies recommend you run in your system. Do not let that sound like a compromise, this is still a great rig to enjoy all of the VR titles and programs available to you.

CPU: Intel Core i5-7500

GPU: GTX 1060

Motherboard:  Asus Prime H270 Plus

Ram: 8GB DDR4

Storage: 1 TB Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD 7200 RPM

Power Supply: EVGA 500 B1

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R

Operating System: Windows 10

Any of these builds are able to run VR at a mind-blowing pace and in full 4K resolution. The time has come to take the leap and invest in this amazing technology.

What was once the thing of fiction has now become reality.  The future of technology has virtual reality in mind…

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