If you plan to get the Oculus Rift VR helmet when it goes public, you’re going to have to have a fairly powerful system to run it. Oculus has now unveiled the system requirements for the headset and it looks like only those with higher end tech will be able to use it. The recommended settings for using the Rift are:
CPU: Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 970/AMD RX290 equivalent or greater.
HDMI 1.3 video output, 2xUSB 3.0 ports, Windows 7 SP1 or newer.
Oculus technical director Atman Binstock explains the reason for such high power:
“On the raw rendering costs: a traditional 1080p game at 60Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second. In contrast, the Rift runs at 2160Ã—1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays, consuming 233 million pixels per second. At the default eye-target scale, the Rift’s rendering requirements go much higher: around 400 million shaded pixels per second. This means that by raw rendering costs alone, a VR game will require approximately 3x the GPU power of 1080p rendering.
Traditionally, PC 3D graphics has had soft real-time requirements, where maintaining 30-60 FPS has been adequate. VR turns graphics into more of a hard real-time problem, as each missed frame is visible. Continuously missing framerate is a jarring, uncomfortable experience. As a result, GPU headroom becomes critical in absorbing unexpected system or content performance potholes.
Finally, we know that minimizing motion-to-photon latency is key to a great VR experience. However, the last few decades of GPU advancements have been built around systems with deep pipelining to achieve maximum throughput at the cost of increased latency; not exactly what we want for VR. Today, minimizing latency comes at the cost of some GPU performance.”
Binstock also confirmed said recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift. It looks like if you’re wanting to play this on a laptop with a discrete GPU or a mobile device, you’re pretty much out of luck.