How To Check If Your PC Is VR Ready

by David Heaney • May 8th, 2019

The Oculus Quest standalone headset is getting a lot of attention this year, but PC-based VR is still where you’ll find the best graphics and biggest VR games.

If you want to get a PC VR headset like Oculus Rift S, Valve Index, or Windows MR headsets here’s how to check if your PC is capable.

NOTE: this article only applies to desktop PCs. Laptops are not guaranteed to work with VR.

Oculus Rift S

oculus rift s

Minimum Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel i3-6100 / AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti / GTX 960 / AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
  • RAM: 8GB+
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort (or Mini DisplayPort)

Recommended Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / GTX 970 / AMD Radeon RX 480 / R9 290 or greater

To ensure that your PC meets the requirements, you should run the Rift Compatibility Checker (ocul.us/compat-tool) before buying:

download

Note that Rift S requires your motherboard to have a spec compliant USB 3.0 chip. The Oculus compatibility tool will check for this. If that check fails, you’ll need to purchase a PCI-E USB 3.0 card.

Valve Index

Valve Index Set Full Kit Controllers Base Stations Headset

Minimum Specifications:

  • CPU: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480
  • RAM: 8GB
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Ports: 1x USB 2.0 + 1x DisplayPort

Recommended Specifications:

  • CPU: Quad Core +
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort

To enable the camera passthrough mode of the Index you’ll need to connect it to a USB 3.0 port, rather than just USB 2.0.

To ensure that your PC meets the requirements, you should run the Index Compatibility Checker before buying:

index are you ready

Note that the Index also needs 3x power sockets in total. One next to your PC for the headset, and two in opposing corners for the base stations.

Budget Windows MR / Samsung Odyssey+

Recommended Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD RX 470/570 or greater
  • RAM: 8GB
  • OS: Windows 10 October 2018 or newer
  • Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort + 1x USB 3.0 port
  • Bluetooth 4.0

To check that your PC has a compatible USB and Bluetooth chip, you can use the Windows MR Compatibility Checker:

windows mr pc check

Note that the checker will only test for the bare minimum. If you plan on gaming on SteamVR, you should meet the requirements stated above.

HP Reverb

hp reverb vr headset front facing

“Recommended Minimum” Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 equivalent or better
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 equivalent or better
  • RAM: 16GB
  • OS: Windows 10 October 2018 update or newer
  • Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort 1.3

With its dual 2K panels, the HP Reverb has the highest PC requirements of any commercially available VR headset. HP does not recommend buying the headset unless you meet these requirements.

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