Top 5 VR-Ready PCs For Oculus Quest 2, Valve Index and HTC Vive
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5 Best VR-Ready Computers
We run a VR cafe and have bench-marked over a dozen PCs with every type of headset: Rift S, Quest, Index, Odyssey+, Pimax 5K, you name it!
The ‘best’ computer will depend on:
Your headset (Oculus Quest, Rift, Index, Reverb G2)
Games you want to play
Graphical settings you want to play those games on
And of course, your budget
Why VR Requires a Powerful Machine
Unlike flatscreen games, VR games need to be rendered from two different viewpoints: one for each eye. This is to achieve ‘true’ stereoscopic 3D vision. Essentially, this makes VR twice as intensive on your graphics card.
On top of that, VR headset screens have a much higher refresh rate which requires a huge leap in processing power.
Refresh rate is ultra important in VR because it improves the smoothness of motion and can help reduce VR motion sickness.
Therefore, you can never have enough processing power in VR. Even the most powerful graphics cards available today can’t achieve the BEST possible graphics at max refresh rates. You can always push the limits in VR – so my advice is to get the best graphics card you can afford!
On SteamVR, there is a setting called ‘Render Resolution’ (also known as supersampling), which basically allows you to choose the resolution the game is being rendered at.
This can make a great difference on how beautiful and immersive a game looks!!
There is also a similar setting in the Oculus app for those with Oculus headsets:
What Each Render Resolution % Means:
150% render resolution is the ‘sweet spot’ where things look amazing. Past this point is diminishing returns where you won’t see much gains for the amount of processing power required.
130% render resolution looks pretty good too!
100% looks okay.
Below 100% looks bad.
So when choosing a computer, aim to find one which can render most games at 130% or above!
Also note: some games are more intense than others, so a computer might be able to render 150% for one game, but only 130% for another.
What Specs Should I look For?
Minimum specs for each headset:
Valve Index: GTX 970
Oculus Quest 2: GTX 970
HTC Vive Pro 1: GTX 970
Oculus Rift S: GTX 1050 Ti
HTC Vive Pro 2: GTX 1060
These are the MINIMUM specs required to use each headset, but expect to be playing most games on 100% render resolution and below. I don’t recommend these unless you’re really on a budget.
Best GPUs For VR:
The most important component when choosing a VR gaming PC is the graphics card (GPU). This is where most the budget will go – everything else: RAM, Storage, processor/CPU isn’t nearly as important.
RTX 2060: The cheapest one I would recommend – most games can run at 130% render resolution (at 72-90 Hz refresh rate). Half-Life: Alyx can be played on 130% render resolution and 72 Hz refresh rate.
RTX 2070 or RTX 3060: Both these cards are similar to each other and capable of running most games on 150% render resolution and 72 Hz refresh rate. I tested Half-Life: Alyx on ‘high’ graphical settings (in-game) and it runs perfectly fine on 150% SteamVR render resolution and 72 Hz refresh rate. Might have to turn down the render resolution to 130% if going for 90 Hz or 120 Hz refresh rate, but the game still looks absolutely beautiful.
RTX 2080 or RTX 3070: Get this to run games on high refresh rate (120 Hz) at 150% resolution. I tested out Half-Life: Alyx on ‘ultra’ settings + 150% render resolution + 120 Hz refresh rate and it ran perfectly well on a Valve Index.
RTX 3080 or RTX 3090: These cards will allow you to push the boundaries on render resolution past 150% if you really want the best graphics possible. If you have the money, then go for it! You can never have enough power for VR!
* For reference, Half-Life: Alyx is one of the most graphically-intensive games on VR, but there are some poorly optimized games with worse graphics that are more GPU intensive.
For less intensive games, you’ll easily be able to push the render resolution past 150%.
GTX cards are much cheaper, but also much worse than RTX ones. The top GTX ones like the GTX 1660 is still supported by most VR headsets and work fine for most games. Do keep in mind if you do buy them, you can expect lower refresh rates, less consistency and lower graphics settings.
If you’re really on a budget, you can consider them, however, I personally would save my money for an RTX instead.
Other Computer Components:
You don’t need to think too much here, almost always the CPU that comes with an RTX computer is enough for a VR gaming PC.
16 GB of RAM should be the absolute minimum you buy. You won’t have much room to multitask during VR games though. Some games use over 10 GB of RAM and this number is steadily growing.
32 GB of RAM is recommended if you want to multi-task. Browsers take a lot of RAM nowadays, so if you’re the type of person to open 50 tabs/windows whilst gaming, then get 32 GB.
64 GB of RAM is okay too – a bit overkill for now, but gives plenty of room for multi-tasking.
Overall, 16 GB is enough for all your gaming needs, but 32 GB will give you more room to multi-task. Both options are okay for now, but I definitely recommend 32 GB if you can afford it.
Having the extra 16 GB of RAM will cost about $100 more.
Your main storage drive should be an SSD. They load much faster than HDDs and will greatly improve your computer boot times and loading screens in games. You should install the OS (Windows/Mac/Linux) and most games on the SSD.
You can have a secondary drive that’s a HDD: It’s cheaper and allows you to store to store files that don’t require much loading: documents, pictures, videos etc.
Overall, I recommend 1 TB of SSD + 1 TB of HDD.
Storage is cheap nowadays, so I don’t see much reason to cut costs here (especially if you’re a gamer).
If you’re using an Oculus Quest, make sure the computer has an USB-C port.
The best bang for your buck. Works with all Oculus headsets: Quest 1, Quest 2, Rift S and will allow you to enjoy VR in stunning graphics!
Valve Index people can also enjoy this, but if you want to make the most out of your headset’s high refresh rate (120/144 Hz) then I recommend a different computer.
Best PC For Oculus Rift S & Oculus Quest
For VR gaming on the Quest or Rift S, you need a computer that’s powerful enough to handle gaming on two screens at once at 80 Hz refresh rate (most modern day monitors only run at 60 Hz). Our number one pick is:
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz (4.2GHz Max Boost) CPU Processor | 1TB SSD – Up to 30x Faster Than Traditional HDD |
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6 Video Card | 16 GB Gaming Memory DDR4 3000 with Heat Spreader | Windows 10 Home 64-bit
No bloatware | USB Ports, including 2.0, 3.0, and 3.2 Gen 1 | 1 x HDMI and 1 x DisplayPort Guaranteed, additional ports may vary | Free RGB Keyboard & Mouse
3 x ARGB RING Fans for Maximum Air Flow | Powered by 600 Watt Gold 80 Plus Certified Power Supply | Skytech SHADOW Gaming Case with Tempered Glass
1 Year Warranty on Parts and Labor | Lifetime Free Technical Support | Assemble in the USA | This Powerful Gaming PC Capable to Run Any of Your Favorite Game at 1080P High to Ultra Resolution with 60+ FPS Such As Apex Legends, Fortnite, Player Unknown Battleground (PUBG), Overwatch, CS:GO, Battlefield V, Anthem, The Division 2, and More.
This is the cheapest computer for VR gaming that you can get. I’ve tested it with Far Cry 5, one of the most intensive games on PC and it runs perfectly smooth on a 1080p monitor at 60 fps (frames per second).
It’s also capable of running every game on the Best VR Games list on Steam at 60 fps. This computer works on the Oculus Rift S as well as all Windows Mixed Reality headsets such as the Samsung Odyssey+.
The price of this build will subject to change over time, but right now, it costs $550. If you want something more powerful, check out the other options:
Computer for Oculus Quest: $900 AMD Build (Most Popular)
This computer is for hardcore VR gamers who are looking to run the most intensive VR games on the highest settings whilst on a budget. Works with the Oculus Quest using Oculus Link. Also can work on the Valve Index at lower refresh rates (80, 90 or 120 Hz). This is the most bang for your buck VR-ready PC.
Important Note: The motherboard BIOS needs to be updated in order to be compatible with the Ryzen 3600 processor. You’ll need to download the BIOS, put the file onto a USB stick and insert it into the motherboard like this tutorial.
This will save you abit of money on the motherboard, BUT if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, just purchase the MAX version of the motherboard which is only slightly more expensive.
The best of the best. It’s not only VR-capable, but expect it to run every VR game on the market for years to come.
This computer is for Valve Index users who want to run games on highest graphics at 144 Hz refresh rate.
Note: The other builds work for the Valve Index too, but you might have to lower the refresh rate to 80, 90 or 120 Hz depending on the game. If you have enough money for a Valve Index, you might as well buy a computer that can sustain it at max settings.
This is also a perfect computer for Pimax 8K, Pimax 5K and other intense headsets.
With 32GB of RAM, this computer can handle extreme multi-tasking for those who like to play games whilst having 100 browser tabs opened.
If you don’t multitask a huge amount, feel free to change the RAM to 16GB to save money. You can also cut costs by:
getting a smaller SSD
a cheaper case (just make sure it’s mid-ATX)
and a cheaper power supply, but make sure it’s at least 650W.
If you’re a VR enthusiast who has money and wants to experience the best VR has to offer, this $1650 deluxe build is the way to go. You won’t ever have to worry about running into limitations in the future – this will handle whatever VR has to offer in the next 5 years and possibly more.
This is the best computer for VR you’re ever going to get at this price.
If you need a PC at a custom price, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can help.