Alienware Aurora R11Source: Dell

Best Desktop PCs for VR Windows Central 2021

To fully enjoy your VR experience, you need a computer with powerful hardware, like one of our best desktop PCs for VR picks. If you don't want to go through the hassle of building an entirely new PC to get there, we've rounded up some tremendous pre-built desktop PCs, like the Alienware Aurora R11, which is built from the ground up with performance and unique design in mind, making it your best bet for an ultimate VR desktop.

Best Overall: Alienware Aurora R11

Alienware Aurora R11Source: Dell

There are quite a few configuration options available for the Aurora R11, with a high-end model sporting up to an RTX 3090 GPU with 24GB of GDDR6X VRAM, a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900KF processor (CPU), 128GB of HyperX FURY DDR4-3200MHz RAM, and a 2TB M.2 PCIe solid-state drive (SSD) coupled with a 2TB hard-disk drive (HDD). A Wi-Fi 6 adapter can be added for blazing wireless speeds, and you can even add water cooling with a 1,000W PSU. This is no doubt some serious overkill, even for a stellar VR experience, and a mid-range option is in your best interest.

Spending about $1,088 will get you a PC with 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10400F CPU, NVIDIA GTX 1650 Super GPU with 4GB of GDDR6 VRAM, 8GB of dual-channel HyperX DDR4-2933MHz RAM, and a 1TB SATA HDD. That's significantly cheaper than the high-end model, and you're still going to get a killer gaming experience that will get VR off the ground. Of course, you can always jump up to an RTX 3070, 3080, or 3090 for more power and a more streamlined VR setup.

The hardware is all contained in a unique case available in two colors, and it still has a PSU swing arm to allow easy access for upgrades and tinkering. There's a boatload of ports for easy connectivity, including on the front are three USB-A 3.2, USB-C 3.2, and 3.5mm headphone and microphone jacks. The rear has plenty more, including six USB-A 2.0, four USB-A 3.2, one USB-C 3.2, RJ45 Ethernet, and many audio inputs and outputs for setting up surround sound. Customizable lighting on the outside of the case accents the lines and gives you some extra style to boot. This PC is also among our picks for the overall best gaming desktop PC available today.

Pros:

  • Powerful configurations available
  • Tool-less access
  • Has the right ports for VR
  • Programmable lighting
  • Sturdy, unique chassis

Cons:

  • Can find cheaper alternatives

Best Overall

Alienware Aurora R11

Style, power, and ports

There are plenty of configurations that will handle VR content, and no matter what you choose inside, it all comes in an attractive case.

Runner-up: HP OMEN 30L

HP OMEN Desktop 30LSource: HP

You'll often pay more for the luxury of having your PC built for you, but in the case of HP's OMEN 30L, it's no doubt a close call. The introductory model has a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10600K CPU with liquid cooling, 8GB of HyperX DDR4-3200MHz RAM, a 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD, and NVIDIA's RTX 3070. Considering what standalone stock looks like for these cards, this might be the way to go if you want to get your hands on a 30-series GPU. That's enough performance to get any VR headset running at a good clip, but there are plenty of opportunities from HP to upgrade.

AMD models are also available, with up to an AMD Ryzen 9 3900 CPU with 12 cores, 32GB of RAM, a 2TB M.2 PCIe SSD coupled with dual 2TB hard-disk drives (HDD), and an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti GPU with 11GB of VRAM.

Everything is contained in a redesigned 30L tower with a white rhombus logo (gone is the red tribal mask) and a streamlined design with a brushed aluminum finish. It's quite fetching, and it's not nearly as over-the-top as the Alienware option we love, which is preferable for a lot of people. Add Wi-Fi 6 for a few dollars more, and take advantage of many ports for easy connectivity.

Have a look at our HP OMEN 30L review for way more information about this awesome pre-built PC.

Pros

  • Optional Wi-Fi 6
  • Powerful, varied hardware options
  • Redesigned tower looks great
  • Plenty of ports
  • Reasonable price for what you're getting

Cons

  • Can still find more affordable options

Runner-Up

HP OMEN 30L

High-end performance without overspending

The redesigned HP OMEN 30L is a beautiful gaming PC packed with premium hardware for VR and otherwise.

Runner-Up: Lenovo Legion Tower 7i

Lenovo Legion Tower 7iSource: Lenovo

Lenovo's Legion Tower 7i is a high-end pre-built PC that is absolutely dripping with RGB lighting. The 34L case, which has a tempered-glass side and grille front, includes liquid cooling, multiple case fans, and even a carrying handle for easy transportation. If you're looking for a pre-built with tons of style, this is what you want. And Lenovo has made it easy to upgrade in the future.

The model on offer here includes a 10th Gen Intel Core i9-10900K CPU with 10 cores and a boost clock up to 5.30GHz, 32GB of DDR4-2933MHz RAM (dual-channel with two 16GB sticks), a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD coupled with a 1TB HDD, and an NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super GPU with 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM.

Extra features include Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, 7.1 surround sound, and tons of ports, including USB-C 3.2, three USB-A 3.2, four USB-A 2.0, Ethernet, and six audio jacks. If you're looking for a high-end PC that's not totally priced at an unrealistic level, definitely give this one a second look.

Pros

  • Powerful CPU and GPU
  • Competitive price
  • RGB-infused case
  • Easy upgrades
  • Tons of ports

Cons

  • Nothing in the budget range
  • Not as many config options

Runner-Up

Lenovo Legion Tower 7i

Tons of power and great looks

Dripping with RGB and packed with performance hardware, Lenovo's Legion Tower 7i gets the VR job done in style.

Great Value: CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme

Cyberpowerpc Gamer Xtreme PressSource: CyberPowerPC

Gaming PC prices, especially those for VR, can quickly get out of hand. If you're on a tight budget, something like CyberPowerPC's Gamer Xtreme delivers a lot of hardware for the asking price. While you can still find cheaper alternatives out there, the combination of performance and add-ons makes this PC a great value.

Inside is a 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10600KF CPU, an NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super GPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB HDD coupled with a 240GB SSD. That's some decent entry-level performance to get VR off the ground, plus it all comes in a fancy black case with glass paneling and RGB lighting. If you need more power, upgrade to a Core i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM, and RTX 2060 GPU. To add to the value, the PC includes a keyboard and mouse to help get you started.

Pros

  • Great price for the hardware you're getting
  • Plenty of storage
  • Includes keyboard and mouse
  • Fancy case with RGB lighting

Cons

  • Hardware isn't customizable

Great Value

CyberPowerPC Gamer Xtreme

Lots of power at a reasonable price

It's not the absolute cheapest PC out there, but the complete package is overall a great value if you need an entry-level PC for VR.

Best Customization: MAINGEAR VYBE

Maingear VybeSource: Dan Thorp-Lancaster/Windows Central

If you're looking for a PC that comes built but feels like you built it, MAINGEAR's VYBE should satisfy. Several pre-configured performance stages are available, but there's also a custom build option that lets you design a PC from the ground up. Choose case and paint, Intel or AMD CPU, RGB lighting, GPU, motherboard, RAM, storage, cooling, PSU, and more. As long as the budget allows, you can keep adding hardware to create something that will crush anything you throw its way.

The builds are clean with proper cable management, and there's always the option for user upgrades in the future to keep the PC relevant. The case has a glass cutout on the side to show off hardware and any optional RGB lighting, and there are plenty of ports on the back for connecting all your accessories, including VR. For more information, have a look at our MAINGEAR VYBE review.

Pros

  • Clean build
  • Awesome case design
  • Tons of configuration options
  • Excellent performance

Cons

  • Stock fans can be loud
  • Wi-Fi doesn't come standard

Best Customization

MAINGEAR VYBE

A pre-built PC that feels like you built it

The Maingear Vybe offers a ton of customization with a relatively low starting price. If you want a custom PC, this is a great option.

Bottom line

When it comes to getting the best PC for VR, sometimes you don't want to build a new one from scratch. Luckily, there are plenty of pre-built PCs on the market that can handle the power of VR. You generally need a great gaming PC with a powerful GPU ⁠— like one from our roundup of the best graphics card options ⁠— a mid-range processor, at least 8GB of RAM, and enough ports to handle the headset and any sensors.

The Alienware Aurora R11 has plenty of VR-ready configuration options up for offer, all contained in a stylish chassis with enough ports for all your headsets and sensors. You get a sturdy warranty, and support is available if needed.

There is a budget option available for around $1,000 that will get VR off the ground, but we recommend a mid-range configuration for a much smoother experience. In any case, you'll be able to upgrade the PC to keep it relevant long into the future thanks to an easy-access case and unique PSU swing arm that leaves plenty of room for tinkering. It's all contained in a redesigned chassis that is sleek and undoubtedly unique. For more options, check out our collection of the best gaming desktop PCs.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Cale Hunt is a staff writer at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on PC, laptop, accessory coverage, and the emerging world of VR. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.

Daniel Rubino is the executive editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft since 2009, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, HoloLens, Xbox, and future computing visions. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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