The Oculus Rift VR headset will need a high-end Windows PC for the best experience

Oculus VR has revealed the recommended PC hardware specifications that will be needed to run the upcoming consumer version of its Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. As expected, it will need a pretty high-end Windows rig to offer the best VR visuals.

Here's the breakdown of what Oculus recommends for a PC to have inside for the best experience with the Oculus Rift:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

The company added:

"The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration by default. We believe this "it just works" experience will be fundamental to VR's success, given that an underperforming system will fail to deliver comfortable presence."

The blog notes that at the moment almost no current laptops have the GPU performance needed for a solid experience with the Oculus Rift, but added that might change with future mobile chips. In addition, Oculus has decided to concentrate its efforts on the Windows platform and has made the decision to put its OS X and Linux development plans on hold.

The consumer version of the Oculus Rift headset will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016. Pre-orders will begin later in 2015 but a specific price has not yet been revealed.

Source: Oculus VR (opens in new tab)

122 Comments
  • Where is Daniel rubino..?
  • He is enjoying his life man ! ;)
  • You could've actually replied to that guy instead of making an entirely new comment
  • Lol
  • That would have been too mainstream
  • Ask him to delete his comment and reply to above comment......
  • The comment quality has somehow degraded on the articles, its either fanboyism, or off topic bull shit. Keep comments under two sentences and add something meaningful NOT +666 -69. OP was fine imo.
  • The +{your number} is to mean you agree with that persons statement, and its worth knowing.
  • Zack, I don't mind if it follows a comment but having it stand alone just makes me scroll longer to find the next useful comment. +920 on your thought.
  • Yes, if its just a general comment, not a reply, it shouldn't be there, that's annoying.
  • Well yeah, you'll have to be able to output dual 1080p screens. But, I'm sure you can settle for less.
  • Hashtag lame...
  • Have you seen the anime Sword Art Online?
  • Nope, but I've seen Death Note.
  • I love ryuk and the shinigami concept xd
  • Yes if they could have pulled another 13 episodes or pulled a sequel that would have been awesome Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Every gamers dream in an anime
  • Protip: Watch Accel World. It's by the same author, but actually a published work instead of SAO, which was posted on his website because he couldn't enter a contest with it.   Its key technology is essentially a version of Hololense that has day-long battery life, can be worn in the shower and allows you to enter true VR at any time. You may dislike the drama between protagonists, but I felt it really made them feel like actual whiny teenagers. Was kinda nostalgic in that regard.   For other uses of Hololense, look at Fractal. Be mindful that the show itself is mediocre, though.
  • It's by the same author? That's awesome. I watched Accel World and there was this little Easter egg (?) where they showed the nerve gear headset. I was like "WOOOAHH, SAO REFERENCE. THAT'S FREAKING AWESOME!!" Lol :P I do love me some Accel World and Sword Art Online. I hope there is a season 2 for Accel World.
  • Yepp... Just into Death Note
  • Not a bad show made me think of digimon a little bit
  • Is Beyblades considered an anime?
  • if the animated content produced in japan then it an anime. P.S. RWBY is not a anime cause its U.S production
  • Well... SAO is a little bit different where they didn't use audio visual to create the VR realm. They actually intercept the player's brain signal to deliver the sense data. Which also made the brain command passed to the game rather than their actual body.
    That's why the players are advised not to play while alone at the house/apartment or at least secure their room before playing any VRMMO. Those who read or watch the GGO episodes should know what I mean.
    Although it's cool, it's kinda creepy. :3
  • Well the specs are a given due to the graphical nature of VR and draw distance required to make a immersive environment. Hopefully they are able to figure out away to reduce the cables to a single wire - maybe usb-type c?
  • I don't remember anyone announcing laptops with USB C. Hopefully they start soon and become the new standard
  • Apple, lol.
  • I don't think any Video cards have usb-c output so far. I would think Widi would work great for this, unless there is lag or issues doing 2 1080P streams.
  • Well that completely rules out Mac compatibility.
  • That's a given
  • C'Mon bro lol
  • Sorry, I just find it amusing.
  • I disagree... Where is iPad Air2 when you need one...
  • I'll just get a HoloLens, thanks though Oculus.
  • +1
  • Two different things.....
  • Thing is, I and many other consumers are not going to have the raw power in our PCs for the Oculus gear. I am not going to drop $300-600 on a headset that I need to upgrade/replace my PC by $600-1000+ for it to work properly. If Microsoft releases the HoloLens at a reasonably approachable price point ($200-600), I for sure will pick one up if reviews show that it works as described and demoed. BetaMax/VHS LaserDisc/DVD FireWire/USB Mac/PC CDMA/GMS HDDVD/BluRay PS3(4)/XBox360(One) Rift/HoloLens    See the pattern? Consumer adoption.
  • Hololens will not be anywhere near $200. It is a computer that has more advanced Kinect sensors on it after all.
     
  • If this is for real I'm going to be the first who gets it!
    But you know...this is business...if it is only a Kinect sensor after all,it still wont make it that cheap!
    I'd say it will be at least 600$...
  • He said it will not  be near $200. It's a kinect sensor with several processors and many sensors.
  • Pretty sure he edited that :D
    The "after all" sentence confirms that :P
  • You got me on that point...but I meant how they are used is completely different,one is a vision through virtual world,the other brings the virtual to the real world
    The rift will most be used for gaming,hololens is for many other things
    But on the comparison point you got me real good!
  • They haven't stated exactly how much, but Hololens will likely be in the $600-1000, probably closer to $1000.
  • I predicted 600$ :D
  • $600-$1000 is slightly lower than what I was thinking. Maybe like a higher end desktop $1000 - $1400.
  • It will probably be around the $1000 mark, which puts it in the niche range. They are probably looking to sell the Hololens to specific industries that can really make use of them initially. Maybe v2 this will become a more mainstream device at a more economical price.
  • I also assumed they were aiming for different sectors like health, engineering, construction etc. They have more work to do on Holos field of view, maybe increasing its processors and even raising the price up higher
  • Wasn't Google Glass, or whatever, more than that? HoloLens will probably launch at $1999 and be aimed at institutions and industries.
  • @ xerox13ster:  You don't seem to do much computer gaming. What you described is common for PC gaming. It's a niche market, and that's what this is targetting. The nVidia 970 cards is going for $330 right now. There is a small group that will spend that much on just the video card. If the requirments are too high for you, then you are not the target for it. 
  • Oculus rift and hololens aren't even competing with each other. Virtual reality and augmented reality are two different things.
  • Why are you telling me this :D
    That's exactly my point and I'm trying to explain it to him...
  • Kind of AR can replicate VR. VR cannot replicate AR.
  • I'll stick with my opinion..two different things,no one can replicate the other...
  • Pretty sure it can't. You'd still see the light from the real world.
  • I'll get both... Very different use cases
  • Looks like a great opening for Hololens
  • well, considering the Unreal 4 demo they had a CES, I'm thinking SLI'ed 970s or Titan Xs.... I can't see a single 970 pushing the giant mech destroying a city demo they showed.
  • And then there's HoloLens with all necessary components in the headset. Though I'm guessing the extra horsepower is needed for the immersive experience and higher resolution.
  • Yes unfortunately the HoloLens is a Letter box like experience, with a very narrow field of view with current technology.
  • Pretty high specs for roller coaster rides and porn :P
  • Well I have a laptop with 2 gb ram with AMD dumb processor *_*
  • Umm, my laptop blows away these specs. I have am i7, 32gb ram, and a dual 970m, which clocks faster than a single 980 desktop. And once win 10 comes out and dx12 allows for ram stacking and on board Intel GPU assistance, it will be even better.
  • Lucky you since your wife lets you play games on your high end PC. But I also see you have a nice daughter in your picture, Lucky you 2 times. I hope my wife could see you as an example and could let me spend my money on powerfull desktop for games.
  • "let me spend my money" - wtf dude, it's your money - spend it how you want! (after bills & financial obligations are taken care of, obviously). I never understand people who need 'permission' to spend their own money.
  • You do know that in a marriage, couples share money, right?
  • Of course, and when you earn the money you are entitled to spend it how you please, as long as your responsibilities are taken care of first. I've never asked my wife for permission and I never will - but then again, I'm not an idiot when it comes to spending.
  • For small items, there is no need for permission. For expensive items, I would at least inform my wife. A marriage is a partnership and you have to keep your partner informed of any decision that could effect your finances. #1 reason for divorce is finances. It's what starts many arguments.
  • Exactly right - inform them, ask for their opinion if it's appropriate, but not 'ask permission'. There is a difference between "I am buying a new laptop tomorrow" and "can I please, please, have some money to buy a new laptop?". 
  • That's not how it works.  You can save up that $1,000+ and keep using your PC that "works fine" instead of upgrading to a comparative monster PC just to use a gaming headset with it.  You can put it in your kid's college fund.  You can put it towards a new car, or towards repairs on an existing vehicle.  You can remodel a room in your house.  You can buy a new television set that everyone in the house will benefit from, not just you. A lot of spouses with new families would readily object such a purchase, unless they have quite a lot of disposable income - and that's the exception, not the rule.  Responsible adults don't put gaming ahead of family, planning for the future, or increasing the quality of life for those other people.  Entertainment doesn't come first, ever, for most people. "A happy wife is a happy life."  That statement exists for a reason. And the same goes for women with their husbands.  I'm sure many wouldn't appreciate their wives going out and buying $500 handbags with their only rationale being "I have a job, I make money.  Issues?"
  • Well yeah, it depends on how much money you have and how wasteful you are with it generally. I totally agree with the sentiment of what you're saying - it's all a part of being financially responsible, living within your means etc. I laughed at the 'college fund' thing - in normal countries higher education isn't ridiculously expensive (sometimes free) and overpriced like it is in the US. I paid for university myself, and my future children will do the same. I wouldn't mind if my wife bought $500 handbags, as long as it's not every week and she's not blowing all her income on it and then saying she can't pay bills or contribute to the household. There is nothing more annoying that people who waste their money and then complain they don't have enough for bills etc.  I guess I don't understand why people would need to 'ask permission' as I wouldn't even think about buying something unless there is a definite need (or strong 'want' haha) and I knew I could afford it already. If you need to ask someone for approval then you probably don't need it or can't afford it anyway. I used to always have a solid amount of savings, but then the whole concept of savings went out the window when I got a mortgage. I put almost everything I earn on my mortgage, and use the redraw facility for anything I need to buy. Technically I could buy a new Ferrari tomorrow with the amount of redraw I have on there, but instead I drive a 12 year old car. I certainly don't waste money - my 30 year mortgage will be paid off in 11 years (3 years to go!), so I've got that going for me which is nice :P
  • @schlubadub LOL, that's not how it works. Going down the "it's my money, I'll spend it however I want" route is a great way to cause unnecessary problems down the road. When you are married, there is no such such thing as my money versus his/her money, otherwise you're asking for trouble from your spouse, especially when kids are involved.
  • @ladydias - I am married and I don't ask permission to spend my/our money. I could understand if it was a major purchase like a car or a boat, but we're talking about a laptop... which he can either afford or he can't. I bought a surface pro 3 in January and the wife only knew about it when I brought it home. Why do I need to discuss it with her when all of my financial obligations (mortgage, bills etc) are taken care of? I don't need to justify my expenditure when I work hard for the money. It might be different if I was reckless with money, but as I'm not I spend as I please (which isn't very often, as I loathe shopping haha). It's true that having kids may change that aspect, but I always live within my means. I've never budgeted, and don't see any need to, as I always know what I can or can't afford and have always maintained healthy savings since I was a child. My 3 credit cards are always on $0 owing, and I never live in debt - my mortgage being the only exception these days.
  • The only time I don't tell my wife my spending is when I go to night clubs with my friends on guys night out, otherwise I have given her my mint credentials to see everything in one place. Sometimes its good for your wife to share the financial stress :p
  • I don't hide my spending, my wife just doesn't care :P It would be nice to share the stress, especially around tax time!
  • Married? Surprised me, I was thinking "single and living at home." My guess was way off.
  • Married for 3 years, and owned my own home for 8 years. I'm financially responsbile, hence there is no need for 'permission' to spend my money. I don't buy things I can't afford or don't need. I think it's a sign of immaturity, financial recklessness, or lack of balls that would require someone to have to ask to be 'allowed' to buy something.
  • Now, I'm really going with "single living at home, and a poser on the internet. ”
  • Oh fuck off. You're either trolling or butthurt because you're one of the dickless who grovel to their wives to spend their own money.
  • You sound like a well adjusted adult.
  • At my house it is called the approval committee. Anything personal purchases more than a couple hundred bucks needs to get approved.  That is just the way it is at my house.
  • It was purchased mainly for work (I do vfx for film and tv) but it serves a dual purpose as a killer gaming machine.
  • Those specs are highly unusual though: 8-12 GB RAM is pretty standard for gaming PC's. Mine only has 6, although it's a couple of years old now
  • I only commented because the article said there are currently no laptops that can handle those specs. Not true.
  • Fair enough, I think I skimmed over that point. It does say "almost no current laptops" which is still correct as those specs you quoted are extremely unusual, beating even the Alienware gaming laptops.
  • Lol, a 970M "dual" is not faster than a real 980. Nice try though.
  • do some research a dual SLI 970m smoke the 980.
  • Hololens...not oculus vr
  • Wow! What a shocker! :P
  • I was hoping to purchase the Lenovo Y50 for christmas this year but since it has Nvidia GTX 860M it doesn't meet the requirements of Oculus Rift. I guess Oculus is just for high income people and gamers. If Microsoft doesn't make this error with HoloLens, and requires much less hardware to run smoothly, it will be a big success.
  • Well, the HoloLens comes with its hardware built in. No high end PC required. And this story shows just why HoloLens is not a competitor to Occulus or other VR devices despite the attempts by lots of folks to already decide which product is "the best." They are different products with different use cases. The only competitors to HoloLens in the AR field we've seen yet are Google Glass, which was withdrawn to be reconceived and the Magic Leap which no one has actually seen but some folks already believe to be the killer product nevertheless.
  • This is how to kill the product before release :-)
  • The biggest problem I had with Rift was low resolution. I'm sure they fixed that but I want to know the specs before I get ready to but into it
  • This is why those morons claiming Project Morpheus is going to destroy Xbox makes me laugh. PS4 can barely run 1080p 30fps on a pretty game. It will never have the grunt for a proper game using vr..
  • SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 was designed to natively support 120 FPS games, he added, something we’d not heard before, and also has the ability to upscale 60 FPS games to 120 FPS. Yoshida said Morpheus has a 5.7″ 1920×1080 OLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate and 100 degree field of view.
  • It may be able to do all of that, but with the sacrifice of downgraded visuals.
  • Do you have any idea what "downgraded" visuals would be in this situation?   Because I dig me some prettified Wipeout HD or Super Stardust HD for VR. Those games were already plenty beautiful on the PS3 and ran on 1080p 60FPS back then.   Now, obviously, closed world games like these two have an easier time being pretty with weaker hardware. But even then, we can get Uncharted-level graphics.
  • Lol I  should have scrolled to the bottom before I commented... My thoughts exactly!
  • Doesn't this throw lots of doubt over the feasibility of ps4s project morpheus? I mean, don't they sell that like it can run on ps4? Have they demoed it actually running on a ps4? The ps4 is nowhere near those specs! ​
  • Project morpheus as more money and a better team building it 
  • The games will just downgrade the visuals to below PS3 visuals. The experience should still be quite amazing.
  • Hmm... The HDMI 1.3 might screw me over. The rest seems fine though.
  • What about the gtx 980m ? Isn't that powerful enough?
  • It'll probably be good enough, but its not recommended.
  • There's no system requirements for this thing apart from having a HDMI 1.3 port, for your PC this is nothing more than a regular 1080p monitor, only difference here is that it is strongly recommended to be able to output 60fps constantly
  • Have to render two separate 1080p screens, double the amount of work needed than just one monitor. Or two 1080p at 30fps but then motion sickness kicks in.
  • Good my PC is still considered high end after 2years lmao
  • What about i5 2320 3.2GHz, GTX 295 1.8GB, 8GB RAM?
  • If you can lower the graphic settings so that you get smooth 1080p 120 fps then yes.
  • Well ... who would've guessed ...
  • In other news, water is wet.   People, this system requires a framerate of at least 90FPS stable and outputs at a resolution that is roughly in the ballpark of 4k. It also has to do funky things to reduce the bottlenecks that would cause latency for the head tracking to jump beyond 20ms. How in the hell could anyone think that the minimum requirements would be anything below high-end?   Anyway, I'm glad that OR is using a reference system. This basically means that we'll get "OR certified" stickers in the future, allowing us to know if a system is ready for most basic OR gameplay. Obviously, titles like Star Citizen will break those systems much more than Crysis, Total Annihilation and others of their kind ever did. Especially at full settings.   We are talking about a generation leap in processing intensity, folks. Expecting to run your games at your current settings in VR is like expecting a PS2 to run a PS3 game.
  • So this means with an and r270x and i5-4670 I should be able to run a decent experience? Not the best but good enough?
  • No, it means that you'll fall below the threshold of acceptable smoothness.   If you are lucky, or have a strong stomach, you can either tweak the settings to get an acceptable framerate ("acceptable" here meaning a number far beyond 60FPS) or just play anyway and hope that you don't get dizzy or start to vomit.   Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if devs actually targetted their games at hardware slightly below that power threshold.
  • I can play games with 30fps and think they are smooth. also i tried the demos of OR at gamescom and the graphics were enough for me. and i didn't get sick. i would play the games with acceptable graphics and fps
  • Sounds like a battery killer!
  • Just solidifies my not giving a shit about VR. Hololens FTW.
  • Wow and here I thought I was going to be easily able to run it on my machine at home and sadly I only have a 280x. Oh well.
  • New upgrade in the works, I already supersede these specs but I must say, they are a little higher than what I would have expected. Sucks for casual gamers who only have low spec machines...
  • Good
  • i need to upgread my PC
  • That's supposed to be "high-end"? This is merely the good, common middle-class. X99 or Z97 i7, 16-32GB RAM and GTX 980 or higher (maybe even SLI/CF) would be considered "high-end".
  • So happy that the only thing my current laptop is missing is the GPU (and not by much) and that my next one, the MSI GT80 Titan will have all the reccomended or better specs!
  • I only have a nvidia 840m, I guess this is not for me