Ever since the release of the high end VR headsets – the Rift and the Vive, it’s been said time and again that part of the price or entry was the price of a highly capable, highly expensive PC. CyberPower has brought down the point of entry on the PC side for more attainable PC VR experience.
CyberPower Inc. is a custom PC builder / systems integrator based in the US, with a strong presence online, and has been selling PCs and related equipment for almost 20 years. They have partnered up with AMD and Oculus to create what they call the “Gamer Ultra VR Desktop” which comes bundled with the Oculus Rift for a retail price of $1099.
Now the Oculus by itself already costs $599, so the PC is essentially sold at just $499, and has the following specifications:
- AMD FX 4350 @ 4.2GHz CPU
- AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB GPU
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- 1 TB HDD 7200RPM
- 3x USB 3.0, 7x USB 2.0
- DVD+RW, DVD-RW
- Keyboard and Mouse
Not a bad list, but with obvious compromises made to fit under that cost ceiling. The most important component for good VR performance is the videocard, and in my opinion the Radeon RX 470 4GB barely squeaks in as a capable component for VR, except for one thing – Oculus’ implementation of a feature called Asynchronous Spacewarp – a fancy sci-fi – sounding name for Oculus’ method of adding “synthetic frames” to the scenes being rendered to reach an ideal 90 frames per second.
This kind of performance requirement isn’t simply due to a desire for superficial numbers – 90 fps is the recommended render speed to prevent motion sickness in users. With it, a lower specced PC can still be comfortably used for running the Oculus Rift, and will serve as further incentive for new users to try out “real” VR.
The best part? PCs aren’t just for VR – that PC you just bought can be used for anything else you care to throw at it, and it will perform more than adequately. It’s a great deal in other words!