Best VR Ready PC | WePC’s 2019 Buyers Guide

Best VR Builds

Finally, the time has come. A time in which virtual reality is readily available to the masses. Well, when I say masses, I mean people that have a decent-sized budget to work with. Sorry low budget folks, you'll have to stick to generic gaming for now.

Anyway, if like us, you've been keeping abreast of the latest VR developments, then you're probably as excited as we are to finally get a PC build that can handle everything it has to offer. VR has come along way since it's initial release back in the early 1990s. I can still picture the Nintendo Virtual Boy now, God that was awesome. However, since then, we've seen huge leaps forward in technology. Now, VR has evolved into a hugely demanding, immersive experience that requires a hefty gaming rig to work efficiently.

In this article, we're going to show you everything you need to know when it comes to buying a pre-built VR ready PC. Whether you're a fan of the Oculus Rift S or the HTC Vive, this guide will have the answer to your VR related questions and how to get the most out of your build.

Let's waste no time, and jump straight into the best VR ready PCs available.

We have gone for three builds which cater to the three main budget categories; Budget, Mid-range, and High-end.

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VR PC Specifications

So, you might be asking yourself at this stage, what sort of computer do I need to run VR to an acceptable standard? Will my home desktop computer run it? Well, manufacturers have made everyone's life much easier by publishing a list of system requirements needed to run VR efficiently.

However, before we post the requirements, be aware, these are the absolute lowest system levels required.

Minimum Requirements

  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti/ AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
  • Processor: Intel I3-6100/ AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ DDR4
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • USB Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 Port (The Rift Requires 3 x USB 3.0 Ports)
  • Video Output: Compatible Mini Displayport video output (Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter included with Rift S)

Those are the figures that Oculus posts on their website. Now, we haven't actually tried gaming on this kind of build before. That being said, we have tried playing VR on a better build though and found the experience, for lack of a better phrase, lackluster. I presume you could get VR running on these specs, but it wouldn't be the greatest experience.

Recommended Requirements

  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
  • Memory: 8GB+ DDR4
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • USB Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 Port (The Rift Requires 3 x USB 3.0 Ports)
  • Video Output: Compatible Mini Displayport video output (Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapter included with Rift S)

As you can see, the specs aren't massively different from the minimum to the recommended. This being said, I wouldn't recommend these from a VR build point of view. Firstly, for a few dollars more, you can get a much more versatile, all-around build. Secondly, the future of VR is undoubtedly going to be more demanding. For that reason, we would recommend something quite a bit more powerful.

That moves us nicely onto what budgets we have in mind, so let's crunch some figures.

VR PC Budget

Budgets can be a tricky thing, especially when you need to take so many things into consideration. A VR build can be a difficult thing to plan and an even harder thing to budget for. This being said, the team has come up with three rough budgets, and we feel they will represent their respective performance levels.

Entry Level: $600 - Realistically you aren't going to want to go any lower than $600 for your VR build. Budget any less, and you will start to lose performance levels dramatically.

Mid-Range: $900-$1200 - There's a little bit more scope with the mid-range build, which is both good and bad for your VR build budget. Because there are more options in the mid-range category, your budget is going to vary depending on certain component choices. For example, a graphics card, depending on which one you choose, can alter the cost of your build by a couple of hundred dollars easily. For this reason, we've allocated a $300 swing to allow for improvements and such.

High-End: $2000+ - As many will know, when you get to the higher end of the price/performance spectrum, things can get expensive quickly. Your budget can change by $1,000 with one additional component. We've gone for a $2,000 budget for the high-end build to make sure you get the absolute best VR experience available.

VR Hardware Considerations

Graphics Card

The graphics card is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of a VR ready PC because VR demands so much from it. If you haven't got the graphical power needed to run VR, it wouldn't matter how powerful your CPU or RAM is, as VR wouldn't run efficiently.

Processor

For me, the processor is always something you should be considering whether it's a VR build or a gaming build, it's one of the most important features regardless. The CPU is the beating heart of your computer, and without the sufficient power coming from the processor, your build will not run anything as you'd intend.

Memory: RAM

The RAM is another essential part of your VR ready build. It's the component that drives everything along. Recommended specifications from manufacturers suggest that a minimum of 8GB of RAM is needed to run VR at adequate levels and we couldn't agree more.

Input Ports

Lastly, are the input ports. Without the correct input ports, you aren't going to be running VR anytime soon. Requirements suggest a minimum of USB 3.0, however, you can get away with USB 2.0 if you are using an older Oculus Rift.

Either way, make sure you have the correct input ports before getting your build. Ours have all been pre-checked to make sure ports are compatible.

Best VR Ready PC

Budget VR Build

SkyTech Blaze VR Ready Gaming Computer

The first build is going to be the budget, entry-level VR ready PC which comes to us by Skytech. This is their VR ready Blazer gaming PC and one that offers VR gaming at an affordable price tag. But what performance can we expect from this kind of build? We’ll get to that shortly, but first, the design.

Usually, when we look at a budget PC of any kind, we find ourselves feeling a little deflated because, ultimately, the exterior aesthetics have been sacrificed in order to increase performance (better components). That doesn’t seem to be the case here, though. Skytech has achieved a really nice looking build in the Blaze, and it’s not just the case that's impressed us. The RGB fans this build comes with all work in harmony to create a cool looking end product.

The case is relatively small, so it looks quite crowded inside. Space is pretty limited so future upgrades would require a straight hardware swap instead of additional components. 

Anyway, let's touch on the performance quickly. This machine isn’t going to win any prizes any time soon. It has a 1st gen Ryzen CPU at its core which is clocked at 3.1Ghz. This is pretty much the base specifications needed to run VR at their lowest possible settings. The graphics card this build is equipped with is AMDs Rx 580 which again, is entry-level when referencing VR. The build doesn’t have an SSD and only comes with 8GB of slower RAM, not ideal for Ryzen chips as we know

Overall, what this PC offers is a form of VR at a very affordable price tag. You’re going to be able to play games, but immersion levels will leave a little to be desired. It’s a great build if VR isn’t your main agenda, but you want to get a taste of what it offers. Use this as a workstation or home desktop, and it’ll do you proud.

Mid-Range Build

iBUYPOWER Elite Gaming PC Computer Desktop

 

 

The Elite gaming PC from iBUYPOWER is our mid-Range selection and comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a VR ready gaming PC. A powerful CPU, fast RAM, impressive GPU, large hybrid storage solution, and much more are what you get when you go for this pre-built for your VR needs. 

Let’s first go over the design of the build. It’s probably not overly important to some people, but to us, we like our PCs to be well designed and looking the best they can. Unfortunately, I feel like aesthetics has been sacrificed here for performance power, which is fine, but not great for those wanting a gnarly looking PC. This being said, it does offer some aesthetic value, and some people will probably enjoy the sleek look it provides. The build is displayed through the tempered glass window and illuminated by frosty RGB fans, a definite plus. It looks a bit empty when you take the tempered glass off, good for anyone wanting to give this build further upgrades down the road. 

Design aside, the performance power of this build speaks for itself. The CPU is AMD’s last-gen flagship CPU and comes in the form of the 2700x. We have benchmarked the 2700x in-house a few times now, and every time we’re impressed with how it performs, especially when you consider its price tag. iBUYPOWER has equipped this build with 16GB of rapid RAM (2666Mhz) which for me, is the perfect balance between price and performance. It also improves your CPU performance exponentially due to the AMD’s multi-threaded nature. 

The GPU comes to us from Nvidia and is their entry-level RTX card. RTX being real-time ray tracing and the future of how our graphics cards process light and shade. The 2060 host more than enough power to handle VR games in their best format. 

The mid-range build comes with a hybrid storage solution, which for those unaware, is a combination of an HDD and an SSD. This means users have the best of both worlds, quick O/s load times and an extensive media library to boot. 

The Elite comes with its own keyboard and mouse, but like the high-end build, we feel they don’t live up to the quality of the PC and would recommend something a little more suited to the builds performance level. 

What we have here is another fantastic pre-built that kisses the line between the mid and high budget levels. This build is going to give you a really enjoyable VR experience and should last a good while into the future. However, when it does start to struggle, rest assured that you have plenty of room to upgrade to something a little more powerful when needed.

High-End Build

CUK Stratos Gamer PC VR

 

 

By far the most powerful build on this list and probably one of the most powerful pre-built options we recommend here at WePC. This build takes full advantage of the powerful new flagship CPU from AMD, the 3900X. A CPU which boasts pound for pound some of the best performance stats out there and knocks its main rival, Intel, off the top spot. 

Paired with the CPU comes the best GPU money can buy, the almighty Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. If you don’t know much about this card, then trust me, it’s an absolute monster. When I say monster, I reference both size and performance for anyone wondering. It's capable of handling any game you throw at it in ultra settings, both VR and generically. Once you take the 3TB hybrid hard drive (inclusive of 1TB SSD), 64GB of super-fast 3600Mhz RAM, 750W PSU, and new X570 motherboard into consideration, you realize how powerful this build is. 

The case is a little bit of a let down for me because it doesn’t seem to scream luxury as I would want.  However, with it’s 7 RGB fans and AIO cooler this thing keeps your build cool when you need it most. 

As far as value for money is concerned, I think this actually shows half-decent value. Because manufacturers will add a premium for building the PC for you, most pre-builts don’t show that much value, however, this one is slightly different. 

The build also comes with its own mouse and keyboard so you can play generic games right out of the box. The keyboard and mouse aren’t the best, though, and we would recommend getting something slightly better and more suited to this build. Also, remember, you’re going to have to budget a couple of hundred more for your VR headset, respectively. 

Overall, this thing can do everything you want to throw at it. Not only does it display hugely impressive performance power today, but it will also long into the future handle anything new and exciting the technology world has to offer.

Closing Thoughts

So there you have it, our top three VR ready PCs. We've tried to make this article budget specific and a one-stop-shop to take away the stress of researching it yourself.

For me, my favorite build has to be the mid-range VR ready PC. It offers excellent value and a lot of upgradability down the road. However, that being said, the others hold strong pros and cons, respectively.

Whatever the budget, whatever the performance requirements, we feel you'll be able to find a suitable build in our best VR Ready PC guide.

Let us know what you thought of the pre-builts below. Also, feel free to leave any questions in the comments section, and we will answer them as soon as we can.

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