With more choices than ever before, which GPU is best for you?
With a growing list of VR-capable graphics cards on the market, choosing one that suits your demands is becoming increasingly difficult. Whether you're on a budget or reaching for the best performance through your rig, these are our picks for every type of virtual reality user.
The VR beginner: AMD RX 480
For those looking to make their first delve into virtual reality without a hefty budget, the RX 480 is one of today's cheapest VR-capable graphics cards. Targeting gamers who demand performance while still on a budget, the card is a great low-cost choice to deliver a stable experience.
We've previously investigated how the AMD RX 480 stacks up in a three-year-old PC, finding the card can sometimes be all you need to get that bump up to a VR Ready rig. While you may find limitations in flexibility for a few experiences, you can't get much lower than this when trying out VR on a budget. Available in 4GB and 8GB variants, the RX 480 can be that final step into VR for less than $200.
The average VR user: GTX 1060
While there is a wide range of cards available which deliver great VR experiences, the GTX 1060 has emerged as a well-priced but capable card for the average VR user. You might not get the headroom to experiment with more demanding effects and modifications but still can obtain a superb VR experience out of the box.
Overall, it's hard not the recommend the GTX 1060 to almost anyone looking to give VR a shot. After forking out for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive it's probably worth investing in a card that's capable in most situations.
The VR enthusiast: GTX 1070
The GTX 1070 is among the higher-end of NVIDIA's offerings, offering exceptional performance for virtual reality. By going with this card you'll avoid the heavy price tag of both the 1080 and Titan lines, without sacrificing much in terms of performance.
This card also comes with a significant amount of leeway to experiment with some more intensive modifications such as supersampling, without having to worry about your card's capabilities. By getting a GTX 1070 you'll be locking down a first-class VR experience for years to come.
Cash to burn: GTX 1080 Ti
If we're being honest, NVIDIA's GTX 1080Ti is completely overkill for almost any VR scenario. With only a few VR experiences coming close to demanding for high-end cards, NVIDIA's latest flagship is more than you'll ever need from a GPU.
While the card will give you significant headroom and flexibility as virtual reality becomes more demanding, you'll find that a majority of the card's power ends up going to waste. If you can afford its $700 RRP then this can be a great investment for the future but currently struggles to justify its value to most VR users.