Best Desktop PCs for Windows Mixed Reality

What are the best pre-built desktop PCs for Windows Mixed Reality?

Now that Windows Mixed Reality (WMR) is here and making waves in the VR world, you might be considering jumping in. If you don't already have a PC compatible with WMR, you're probably wondering where to start. Pre-built desktops are a quick, simple, and often cheap solution to properly running WMR. Let's take a look at the best pre-built PCs suitable for this task.

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Best Windows Mixed Reality PCs

These PCs are designed to hit a lower price point and still deliver an acceptable WMR experience. From Microsoft:

Windows Mixed Reality PCs will consist of desktops and laptops with integrated graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 60 frames per second.

These are the best pre-built desktop PCs for regular WMR:

HP Pavilion 570

HP Pavilion 570

HP's Pavilion 570 (about $550) is a relatively compact tower PC with an Intel Core i5-7400 processor (CPU) and integrated Intel HD Graphics 630. It includes 12GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB 7,200RPM hard-disk drive (HDD), and the ports required for regular WMR. It has three USB-A 3.0, two USB 2.0, one USB-C 3.0, and HDMI 1.4 to connect your headset. Bluetooth 4.2 allows you to connect your motion controllers, and included in the package are a keyboard and mouse. If you're a fan of HP, this is a relatively low-cost solution to run WMR.

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Dell XPS Tower 8920

Dell XPS Tower 8920

Dell's XPS Tower 8920 (about $700) has a bit more going for it, including an NVIDIA GT 1030 GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. This doesn't quite hit the requirement for WMR Ultra, but it will deliver a satisfying regular WMR experience. Also included in the tower is an Intel Core i5-7400 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM (upgradeable to 64GB), and a 1TB 7,200RPM HDD. As for ports, you have everything required, including seven USB-A 3.0 and HDMI 1.4. Bluetooth 4.2 allows for quick pairing of your motion controllers.

There are upgrades available to the GPU that would turn this into a WMR Ultra machine, and prices do remain relatively low. If you love the XPS line but would like a lot more power, have a look at the XPS Tower Special Edition 8930.

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Acer Aspire TC-780

Acer Aspire TC-780

For those on a tight budget, the Acer Aspire TC-780 (about $480) can run regular WMR without issue. The tower is nothing flashy, but it has inside an Intel Core i5-7400 CPU, 12GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 2TB 7,200RPM HDD. For graphics, you're hitting the minimum requirement with integrated Intel HD Graphics 630 with an associated HDMI 1.4 port. You also have three USB-A 3.1 ports to connect your headset, and Bluetooth 4.0 to connect your motion controllers. If you need a WMR PC for less than $500, this is a great choice. Included in the bundle are a keyboard and mouse.

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Best Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs

Unlike standard WMR PCs, Ultra PCs should deliver the absolute best experience. From Microsoft:

Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs will consist of desktops and laptops with discrete graphics. When plugged into these devices, our immersive headsets will run at 90 frames per second.

These are the best pre-built desktop PCs that will run WMR Ultra and beyond.

Alienware Aurora

Alienware Aurora

Alienware, Dell's gaming line of pre-built PCs, has some Aurora desktop models with a ridiculous amount of power. Prices rise accordingly, but the best power for price point, especially for WMR Ultra, seems to be with $1,100 model. It's sporting an eighth-generation Intel Core i5-8400 CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM (upgradeable to 64GB), a 1TB 7,200RPM HDD, and an NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM. All the ports you need for WMR Ultra are here, plus Bluetooth 4.1 lets you pair your motion controllers without a dongle. The silver tower is designed to give you easy access to your hardware, allowing for easy upgrades down the road.

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ASUS ROG GR8 II

ASUS ROG GR8 II

ASUS loves making compact, powerful desktop PCs, and their GR8 II (about $1,200) is a further step in the right direction. It's only about the size of a gaming console, yet it has inside an Intel Core i7-7700 GPU, a 512GB SSD, and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. For graphics, you're getting an NVIDIA GTX 1060 with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM, more than enough to power WMR Ultra. Bluetooth 4.2 lets you quickly pair your motion controllers, and plenty of ports, including two USB-A 3.0, two HDMI 2.0 and one DisplayPort 1.2. All this is contained in a sleek tower with RGB lighting and styled design. If you're interested, be sure to check out our review for much more information.

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Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710

Lenovo IdeaCentre Y710

The IdeaCentre Y710 from Lenovo (starting at about $750) has a cube-like design with a handle on top for easy transportation and accessible upgrades down the line. You're still getting sixth-generation CPU options here, but they'll have no problem with WMR Ultra. Also inside, get up to 16GB of DDR4 RAM, up to an NVIDIA GTX 1080 GPU with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and a 1B HDD coupled with a 128GB SSD. HDMI 2.0 and USB-A 3.0 ports allow you to connect your headset, and Bluetooth 4.0 takes care of your motion controllers. If the Y710 is appealing, be sure to have a look at our review for more information.

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CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme

CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme

This PC from CYBERPOWERPC (about $700) was designed from the ground up to deliver a solid VR experience, including WMR Ultra. Inside is an Intel Core i5-7400 CPU, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB HDD. For graphics, you have an AMD Radeon RX 580 with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM with HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.4 ports. The tower is lit with plenty of red LEDs and has a clear cutout on the side, really giving this one a premium look. A matching mouse and keyboard are included in the package.

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