So if the future of tech is virtual or augmented reality what exactly do we need to run the hardware? This kind of device obviously needs to be able to create highly detailed images and it was always clear that the Oculus Rift would require a high-end PC .
Oculus product vice-president Nate Mitchell confirmed this last week and on Friday Oculus published the actual recommended specs for a Rift-compatible computer. Read on to find out…
So here is what you will need to run 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
Now the specs above doesn’t exactly describe the world’s most expensive setup. It doesn’t, for example, involve the Titan X graphics card that Nvidia introduced specifically with VR in mind. But our very rough mockup puts will cost about +-R10000 (please correct me if I am wrong) or more for a desktop, and a lot more for an equal laptop.
According to Oculus chief architect Atman Binstock: “Many discrete GPU laptops have their external video output connected to the integrated GPU and drive the external output via hardware and software mechanisms that can‘t support the Rift. Since this isn‘t something that can be determined by reading the specs of a laptop, we are working on how to identify the right systems. Note that almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec, though upcoming mobile GPUs may be able to support this level of performance.””
While mr Nate Mitchell suggested this last week as well, it’s now clear that the Rift is Windows-only for the moment: “Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.”
These high-end specs are needed because VR requires a high frame-rate for all its experiences “”else you might get quite sea-sick as the frame-rate drops. Oculus promises that the specs will stay the same for the lifetime of the current Rift consumer edition, so they’ll presumably get cheaper as time goes on. Obvioulsy the Oculus will remain in the gamer (or those willing to invest in their PC) arena, but this will change as the tech grows in the future.
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