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Is the Vive XR Elite standalone? Well, it’s complicated

Kinda

Updated: Jan 17, 2023 1:23 pm
do you need a PC for the Vive XR Elite

Since HTC announced the Vive XR Elite at CES 2023, there has been widespread confusion as to how it works, and whether you need a PC for it.

This is understandable, as a lot of people’s idea of VR gaming is that you have to be tethered to a powerful gaming PC, giving you a limited area in which to play.

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset 1

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset

Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Storage
128GB
RAM
12GB
Display resolution
1920 x 1920 per-eye
Battery Life
Not reported, comes with a hot-swappable 26.6Wh Battery
Weight
1.37lbs/0.62kg

Of course products like the Meta Quest Pro and PICO 4 VR prove that you no longer need to be physically connected to a computer to get a premium VR gaming experience.

However, the original HTC Vive Pro was exactly that sort of thing, additionally using base stations to better track the controllers. This means that there are a fairly high number of people that think the Vive XR Elite is more of the same.

NOW READ: Vive XR Elite pre order info

Does the Vive XR Elite require a PC to work?

Short answer: No. Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

But that’s not the whole story, as you can optionally connect the Vive XR Elite to a PC to significantly bolster its performance.

Don’t get us wrong, the Vive XR Elite looks like it’s going to be perfectly capable on its own, with the specs placing it midway between the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro, in fact, probably closer to the Pro.

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset 1

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset

Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Storage
128GB
RAM
12GB
Display resolution
1920 x 1920 per-eye
Battery Life
Not reported, comes with a hot-swappable 26.6Wh Battery
Weight
1.37lbs/0.62kg

So, how will connecting the Vive XR Elite to a PC work? How much additional performance can be gained?

Well, unfortunately, we can’t find any concrete stats or information regarding how much the performance of the Vive XR Elite improves when using a PC.

Obviously, it heavily depends on the power of the PC in question. For example, you’ll probably get minimal benefit from an RTX 980, 5700XT, or other entry-level VR GPU. There is also another factor at play here.

NOW READ: HTC Vive XR Elite vs Meta Quest Pro

How do you connect the Vive XR Elite to a PC?

There are two options here, you can physically tether yourself to the PC with the official Vive Streaming cable (Sold separately for $79.99/$89.99), or do it wirelessly.

This can be accomplished by with normal Wi-Fi, or preferably a WiFi 6E connection. Wi-Fi 6E will probably result in a better experience, but we cant say for sure, until we get our hands on one.

Additionally, There will no doubt be a disparity in the performance gains depending on whether you go wired or wireless. Obviously, the bandwidth limits are higher through an actual cable, meaning that it’s going to be the more powerful option, though again, we have no concrete info on that.

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset 1

HTC Vive XR Elite VR headset

Chipset
Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
Storage
128GB
RAM
12GB
Display resolution
1920 x 1920 per-eye
Battery Life
Not reported, comes with a hot-swappable 26.6Wh Battery
Weight
1.37lbs/0.62kg

Vive XR Elite FAQs

Do you need a PC for the Vive XR Elite?

No. The Vive XR Elite can be used as a standalone VR headset, however, you can optionally connect it to a PC for better performance. You can do this via the Vive Streaming cable, or by using a WiFi network.

Does the Vive XR Elite come with the streaming cable?

No. However, the Streaming cable appears to just be a USB Type-C to C cable, and the it does come with one of those, but we don’t yet know if the Streaming Cable is special in any way

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