VR Video Cards
The latest range of video cards from both NVIDIA and AMD are designed with performance optimisations for VR, so if you’re looking at getting a Vive or Rift, you’ll need to make sure you have the power to run it.
The cards that NVIDIA classifies as VR-Ready stretch from the last generation GTX 980 and 980 Ti, to the entire 10-series, giving a full range of budget to enthusiast options for upgrades.
THE HYPE: The optimisations that have taken place within the halls of NVIDIA essentially mean that the latest cards have twice the performance of the previous cards in VR applications, so the last-gen high-end stuff is still capable, just not optimal.
THE GRIPE: It’s pretty irritating that we need to consider upgrades for VR, but hey, welcome to PC Hardware Cycles 101. The adoption of VR is still in its infancy, and as with every new tech, the early adopters pay more.
VR READY PCS
So you’ve reviewed the headsets, checked out the system requirements, and unfortunately a video card update won’t cut it – you’re going to need to upgrade the whole PC. You could go through the painful deconstruct/salvage/ purchase/rebuild process, or you could give your current PC to a family member in need and get a whole new one. We won’t list individual PCs though – there are too many. If you Google VR Ready PC you’ll get a bunch of results from dedicated gaming PC providers like www.maingear.com, www.alienware.com.au, and www.originpc.com.au. Or consider buying local and chat to the lovely people at www.pccasegear.com and www.scorptec.com.au.
As with NVIDIA, AMD has a line of VR-Ready video cards which include the RX 480, and the R9 series: 290/290X, 390/390X, Fury/Fury X, as well as the Nano.
THE HYPE: For a very brief window, AMD has a hold on the budget end of the VR Market with the RX480.
THE GRIPE: Then NVIDIA dropped their 10 series, with the budget 1060, and AMD lost out a bit once again. Poor AMD. That said, the amount of “loss” seen in benchmarks is distinct, but not necessarily huge, so if someone gave you the RX480 you shouldn’t be too sad about it.
PRICE $350+ DISTRIBUTOR NVIDIA www.nvidia.com PRICE $OUCH DISTRIBUTOR See below!
PRICE $350+ DISTRIBUTOR AMD www.amd.com