Virtual Reality Is Here Serious Hardware

Serious Hardware

Your computer probably can’t handle the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Sorry. If you’re lucky, you might only need a new video card. The issue is multifold. Essentially, your video card needs to render 2160 x 1200, which is likely 25 percent more than what it needs to create now (presuming a 1080p TV/projector is your display). Worse, it needs to do that at 90 fps.

Actually, that’s not even the nub of the issue. It has to do with stuff like “API-event-to-draw-call latency” and other things that would take an entire article of their own to explain. It’s a lot more intense than what your video card is doing now. At a minimum, you need an Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or an AMD Radeon R9 290. Ideally, something faster. The good news is that your CPU and RAM aren’t really as important; what you have will probably be enough.

This will get better. Not that future VR headsets will get any easier to run, just that the cost of video cards that can run them will drop. A few years ago, only the top-of-the-line cards could do games at 1080p/60. Today, nearly all of them can.—GM

dommyluc's picture

...3D TV is a failure because the majority of people do not like wearing the glasses, yet VR is the NEXT BIG THING since people will just looooove wearing a portable refrigerator on their heads.

canman4pm's picture

The difference is impact. While 3D TV/film is, at best, "kinda neat" to, at worst, distracting and a little hard to watch, VR will be immersive. The inconvenience factor vs the reward is totally different between 3D and VR. The 3D glasses required for 3D TV/film are a mild pain in the butt for not much reward. VR's big, heavy goggles (which I'm sure will lighten over time) for a totally immersive, "I'm really there," experience, will be worth the price.

replicawatchesuk's picture

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