What are the system requirements for VR?

You have your eyes on a shiny new VR system, you have money in your hand, but do you have the PC to run it? The two big contenders, the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, both have significantly different recommended system requirements, as does the upcoming Windows 10 VR. Here are the system requirements for each VR system.

HTC Vive system requirements

Vive system requirements

There are two sets of system requirements to look at when considering the HTC Vive. The first, the minimum requirements, are what you absolutely need to have to properly run the Vive. The second, the recommended requirements, are what you should have to get the most out of your Vive.

There is a SteamVR compatibility tool available for download from Steam. Use it to test whether or not your PC is ready to run the Vive.

Download SteamVR Performance Test from Steam

Recommended PC specs

These are the specs that HTC recommends to run the Vive. You can, of course, have better performing hardware than what is listed here.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Video output: HDMI 1.4 or DisplayPort 1.2
  • USB: One USB 2.0
  • OS: Windows 7 or newer

Minimum PC specs

These are the minimum specs your PC needs to properly run the Vive. You can, of course, have better performing hardware than what is listed here.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Video output: One HDMI 1.4 or one DisplayPort 1.2
  • USB: One USB 2.0
  • OS: Windows 7 or newer

Oculus Rift system requirements

Oculus Rift system requirements

The Oculus Rift has two things working for it — Asynchronous Spacewarp and Asynchronous Timewarp — that help lower the load on your PC. For this reason, the Rift's minimum system requirements are quite a bit lower. There are still recommended system specs that will deliver the best Rift experience possible.

Oculus has a great compatibility tool that will scan your computer and tell you if you have what it takes to run a Rift.

Download the Rift compatibility tool

Recommended PC specs

This is the hardware that Oculus recommends for the best Rift experience. You can have a better processor, graphics card, and more RAM without causing any problems.

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Video output: HDMI 1.3
  • USB: Three USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0
  • OS: Windows 7 or newer

Minimum PC specs

Because of Asynchronous Spacewarp, Oculus Rift has a considerably lower set of minimum specs.

  • Processor: Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD FX4350
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GTX 960 or AMD Radeon RX 470
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Video output: HDMI 1.3
  • USB: One USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0
  • OS: Windows 8 or newer

Windows 10 VR system requirements

Windows 10 VR system requirements

There is still much to learn about the new Windows 10 VR, but we've had a peek at the supposed system requirements thanks to a Windows Holographic First Run app in a Windows 10 test build. These requirements are subject to change, but if they remain in this ballpark, Windows 10 VR will be awfully forgiving compared to the other systems.

Here's what we know so far:

  • Processor: 4-core or dual-core with hyperthreading
  • Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Video output: Uncertain
  • USB: USB 3.0
  • OS: Windows 10

We will keep these requirements updated as we learn more about Windows 10 VR.

Your PC

Is your PC up to snuff for your preferred VR system? What are you running in your build? Let us know in the comments section below.