Virtual reality is the next big thing when it comes to entertainment; everyone knows about it and people can’t wait to experience it. If you want to experience the grandeur of virtual reality, you may want to make sure your PC can handle it to give you the optimum experience. With the right tools, we can assure you the best virtual reality experience.
In this article we will be looking into the minimum specs required to run virtual reality on your PC. We are here to address the question on your mind: “How do I know if my computer is VR ready?”
What Makes a Computer VR Ready?
Virtual reality is very resource intensive on your computer, considering the render resolution is much higher than 1080p displays used by most PCs today. Not to mention, VR must also be rendered in 3D with high frame rates anywhere between 80hz to 144hz, all of which puts a massive load on your computer’s hardware.
Many laptops and desktops are being slapped with the ‘VR ready’ label these days. But what does this tag actually mean? When talking about the VR technology, most of us simply look at the specifications of the virtual reality headsets. The refresh rates, pixel density, precision of movement, etc. We often tend to forget the system setup required to run these high-performance headsets.
For many people, virtual reality is still the stuff of science fiction. Very few mainstream consumers have a system powerful enough to run VR right from the word go. If you’re looking for a vr laptop or a good desktop that can run virtual reality effortlessly, you need to make sure it has the right specifications.
So, what makes a computer VR ready? There are a few things to look out for in your PC if you want to have the most realistic virtual reality experience. Most virtual reality headsets require a constant 90FPS to work their VR magic. Not having the recommended hardware specifications would mean that your consistent FPS requirements are not being met, leading to a very uncomfortable and laggy VR experience that can also make you motion sick.
1. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The GPU or video card( aka. Graphics card) is the most important factor to consider in your computer if you’re looking to run a virtual reality programme on it. A graphics card is responsible for rendering images on your screen. Without a powerful graphics card it is not possible for the system to produce high-end graphics
satisfactorily. A good graphics card will allow you to enjoy your virtual reality experience with an ideal pixel ratio and good frame rates above 90hz.
A NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD radeon RX 480 is the minimum recommended graphics card to run most of the virtual reality headsets out in the market today. To ensure that your virtual reality software runs at its maximum potential a good graphics card is key.
2. Random Access Memory (RAM)
For working with virtual reality, you will need your computer to have a solid configuration. The recommended minimum RAM to run most virtual reality softwares is 8GB. Having a lower RAM will make your experience laggy. A good RAM will allow for faster processing of your softwares.
3. Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The minimum recommended CPU specifications by most virtual reality companies is an Intel i5- 4590 processor or AMD Ryzen 5 1500x or greater. A powerful processor is required for a smooth and premium virtual reality experience. A fifth generation or greater Intel processor should give you an immersive VR experience.
4. Other factors affecting VR Performance
The motherboard of your PC will indirectly control the quality of your VR, since the motherboard determines what components (RAM, GPU, CPU) can be added to your PC.
Storage can also affect your VR performance to a certain extent. Having an SSD ( solid-state drive) will allow you to move large files with much more ease. SSDs are faster, more durable and use less energy as compared to hard drives, making the overall interface of your PC smoother.
Overall PC Requirements
Below is a PC setup that will allow you to have a seamless virtual reality experience with most VR headsets. However, it is important to keep in mind that this is a general guideline and each headset has its own specific requirements.
CPU : Intel I5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
Graphic card(GPU) : NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or greater
Memory (RAM) : 8GB RAM or greater ( Some VR headsets can work on 4GB RAM as well)
Operating System : Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10
Virtual reality is making its mark in every field from movies and games to education. If you want to experience the magic of virtual reality, you need to have the right hardware specifications on your system.
Virtual reality headsets are a bit expensive, so before investing, it is important to make sure that your computer can deliver to you the optimum VR experience.
The harsh truth is that virtual reality is still inaccessible to the majority of us due to the high system specifications it requires to function. However, times are changing and many ‘budget friendly’ PCs these days are ‘VR ready’. A lot of VR headsets are also available these days that are easier on the pocket. It is only a matter of time before VR becomes more accessible to everyone.
As with anything before investing in VR, make sure you do a little research to ensure that you can get the most realistic VR experience.