Oculus Rift System Requirements Announced: Your PC Should Be This Powerful To Enter Virtual Reality

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated May 15, 2015 02:43 PM EDT
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Oculus has finally revealed the required specs for its Rift VR headset, letting PC gamers everywhere know exactly what it will take to use the retail version of the device.

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The company recently announced that the Rift headset will be launching in the first quarter of 2016, so there's still a while to go. They also revealed shadowy images of the final product (above), and now the picture is becoming complete with the required specs. Here is your recommended hardware setup:

- 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

 It's a little steep, but there are several considerations to make. An obvious one is that running virtual reality is simply process-intensive, and requires good hardware. Another is that the product still won't be out until next year, when those parts will become more affordable. And finally--and perhaps most crucially--the Rift is future proofed. If you meet those specs now, the requirements will not be changing over the next several years.

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There's bad news for laptop users, however. An extra blog post explaining the configuration states that the need for HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture automatically leaves many laptops out of contention. Laptops are often configured with the dedicated GPU connected to the integrated card, and the post notes that "almost no current laptops" have the GPU performance needed to operate the Rift. Likely in the future enough power will be provided, but for now this is a blow to laptop gamers.

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