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VR-Ready Computer – Build Vs Buy

vr-ready computer

VR-ready Computers to Enjoy Oculus Rift or HTC Vive


Now that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are available, you may be wondering what you need to do to get an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive up and running at home, office or studio. The short answer is you need a VR-ready computer. Read on for more details.

There’s been plenty of advertising and promotion of the two new VR headsets, but not quite as much detail provided on how you can begin your VR journey.

Well, this post will hopefully change that and give you an idea of the technology you should be investing in if you want to get into VR.

What You Need

First, you will definitely need a powerful computer.

There’s a whole host of pre-built options available from computer manufacturers such as Alienware, Asus and MSI.

These are generally certified as being VR-ready by Oculus and HTC meaning they meet the minimum standards required to use each company’s VR headset.

Here’s five of the best selling pre-built and VR-ready computers.

Alienware Area-51

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MSI Nightblade MI2

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HP Envy 750st

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ASUS Oculus Certified Gaming PC

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Cyberpower PC Gamer Supreme

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What if you want to build your own?

As you can see above there’s a whole host of pre-built computers available that you could invest in.

However, there is another way.

If you’re comfortable putting computers together, you could opt to build your own VR-ready computer.

Before you reel back in terror – wait! It doesn’t have to be hard.

There’s a whole range of videos, tips and guides available at our sister site Building a Gaming PC.

Build It!

So what do you need if you’re going to build a for a VR-ready computer?

For starters you need a single CPU (central processing unit), at least one video card, memory, a motherboard, case, power supply unit and hard drive.

Oculus and HTC have issued recommended specifications for CPUs and video cards that are required to use their VR-headsets.

The minimum Intel CPU is an i5-4590, while AMD suggest a minimum of an eight-core FX-8350.

Memory demands for the VR-headsets are slightly different. Oculus recommends a minimum of 8GB of RAM, while HTC says the Vive will run on 4GB of RAM.

Both Oculus and HTC recommend a Nvidia GTX 970 or above, or an AMD R9 290 or above video card.

The Oculus Rift requires two USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI 1.3 video port, while the Vive needs a USB 2.0 (or greater) port, and a HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2 port.

Oculus and HTC both say the operating system  for your VR-ready PC should be  Windows 7 SP1 or later.

If you build a computer using these components you shouldn’t have any problems getting set up to enjoy virtual reality.

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