2016 is going to be a massive year for gaming. We’re seeing some heavy influx for indie games (No Man’s Sky and The Witness, a few personal favorites), heavy innovations are coming to the consoles, and we’re getting a nice dose of virtual reality with the release of the Oculus Rift. Many in the gaming world don’t understand what’s required to push the pixels that the Rift needs, so The Nerd Stash is here to break it down for the masses. Keep in mind this doesn’t factor into video game streaming. Read below if you want to find the specs (and those recommended) to get Oc Rift up and running smoothly.
If you’re building a new PC, the current SkyLake processors will do proper for a decent processor. Oculus has reported that an Intel i5-4590 (sorry, I’m not up with AMD) will suffice for the bare minimum, but another bet is to stick with the newer i-5 6600K processor. Either will be able to handle the headset’s output without much of a hitch in performance, as long as there aren’t three games running at once for some masochistic reason.
The video card will be where your wallet is hit the most. Minimum specs for a card run around an NVidia GTX 970, but other experts (coughSwiftorcough) in the field stand by the GTX 980 Ti as the card standard to adhere to. Often times, the minimum does not deliver what we’re looking for and doesn’t really give us much of a stretch with longevity. I’d recommend sticking with a 980 Ti to avoid any graphical glitches and keeping that longevity around for awhile.
Eight Gigabytes of RAM. That’s pushing it–some machines can still get away with four GB running Starcraft II with a slightly annoying loading time. For any gaming machine today I’d still stand by 16 GB, but if you’re on a budget, stick to eight. Since the Oculus Rift itself has a strong price point (it’s argued around $450 USD), you can skimp a little with the RAM and hold to what’s recommended.
The last (and yet mostly overlooked) requirement is that the Oc Rift needs an HDMI port and two USB 3.0 ports–the blue ones.
That’s it! If you’re building a machine solely with the intent to use the Oc Rift, these components should suffice to get your virtual reality experience a smooth one. Keep in mind this guide does not include ALL of the components you’ll need (you can’t run a machine without a power supply or hard drive), but keep these specs in mind and you’ll be into VR in no time.