When it comes to Windows Mixed Reality (WMR), the PC requirements are quite a bit different than for the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. This means that there are a few pre-built PCs that come quite cheap and will work well for WMR. We rounded up the cheapest we could find to make it easy (and inexpensive) for you to get set up for a WMR headset. Our top pick is the Inspiron Desktop (opens in new tab) by Dell as it comes with the latest generation of Core i5.
Lenovo Ideacentre A10 (opens in new tab)
Small and sleak
Lenovo's IdeaCentre 510A has two USB-A 3.0, as well as an HDMI 1.4 port on the back for a 60Hz refresh rate. Inside is an AMD A10-9700 CPU with a clock speed of 3.50GHz, 8GB of dual-channel DDR4 RAM, a 2TB 7200RPM HDD, and integrated AMD graphics. This is a sleek tower that is reminiscent of the ThinkPad line of PCs.
Acer Aspire A10 (opens in new tab)
This hardware is suitable for running WMR headsets, four USB-A 3.0 ports are more than enough, and the included HDMI 1.4 port will achieve a 60Hz refresh rate. Having the USB 3.0 ports on the front is also very helpful as it gives you a little more give in the cables.
Dell Inspiron Desktop (opens in new tab)
The latest generation
With the latest Core i5 and the optional NVIDIA GT 1030 graphics card, this hardware checks all the WMR boxes, and the HDMI 1.4 port allows for a 60Hz refresh rate. Two USB-A 3.0 ports on the front of the tower round out the package, which also includes a mouse and keyboard.
Lenovo Ideacentre y700 (opens in new tab)
Gaming desktop looks
Inside is a sixth-generation Intel Core i5-6400 CPU with a clock speed of 2.70GHz, 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM HDD, and a dedicated NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti GPU with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Ports include HDMI 2.0 for a 90Hz refresh rate, and single-channel RAM is more than enough when coupled with a dedicated GPU. Grab this tower if you like the look of a real gaming PC.
HP Pavillion 580 (opens in new tab)
With a Core i5, 8GB of RAM and an NVIDIA 1060i, the HP Pavillion is a fantastic Windows Mixed Reality desktop. The HDMI 2.0 port, coupled with the two USB 3.0 make this perfect as a starter PC for WMR. The sleek brushed steel case looks fantastic as well without being too gaudy like a lot of gaming PC's
When you are looking for a new desktop the cost is important but so is future proofing. If you can get the latest processors like Inspiron Desktop (opens in new tab), you can make sure that your Windows Mixed Reality desktop will last you into the next generation of VR headsets.
James built his first PC when he was 13 and has never looked back. He can be found on Windows Central, usually in the corner where all the 3D printers are, or huddled around the Xbox playing the latest games.
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