Oculus Announce Recommended PC Specs For Rift Gaming

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅15.05.2015 19:51:18

Oculus' Rift headset will be on sale in Q1 2016 and Atman Binstock, Chief Architect at Oculus, has taken some to outline thorny issue of hardware requirements for the device in a new blog post titled "[color=white]Powering The Rift[color]".

Interactive experiences developed for the Rift emphasises two key things: realism and presence. The first is easy to grok - high resolutions, high fidelity imagery presented at a detail far superior to 1080p monitors. 'Presence', the feeling that you're actually there in the world rather than looking through a screen, is more complex and utterly reliant on fast head tracking on short rendering pipelines so in-world actions appear instantaneous. The hardware requirements listed below have been chosen to maximise both aspects of the Rift.

NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Windows 7 SP1 or newer
2x USB 3.0 ports
HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture*

A disproportionately high GPU requirement is down to an output resolution of 2160x1200 @ 90Hz, rather than merely 1080p @ 60Hz. Indeed maintaining 90Hz refresh rates (i.e. 90 frames per second) is especially critical. Dropped frames utterly break 'presence' and VR doesn't have the sort of soft tolerances which allow desktop PC gaming to get away with frame rates between 30 and 60Hz. Minimising latency, more integral to the experience than ever before, will also continue to challenge GPU hardware and driver developers. With that in mind it's no wonder the target specs are undeniably high.

Oculus intend the specifications to be a sort of baseline for both developers and consumers rather than a factor which will creep ever higher over time. Developers will have a target system to develop to, safe in the knowledge that their creation won't be ruined by a simple lack of horsepower. Consumers will have the assurance that their Rift will 'just work' right out of the box, something which Oculus perceive to be key for any hope of mainstream adoption.

Although a hefty set of requirements right now these minimum specifications will be fixed for the entirety of the Rift's lifespan. The cost of entry therefore, at least as it regards the PC side of things, will fall as hardware continues to progress. By 2018 a mid-range GPU should be capable of reaching Rift's recommended specs, at least in terms of pure pixel-pushing.

More detail, including more insight and technical information, make the full blog post a must-read for anyone who has VR on their radar.

SOURCE: Oculus VR Official Dev. Blog

*Note: some devices, esp. latops, utilise a software layer rather than direct output to HDMI. Oculus are working on a means of easily identifying such devices.

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