Oculus announces PC requirements for retail Oculus Rift

Oculus has taken to their blog to release the newest details surrounding the Oculus Rift. The Retail version will require quite a beefy computer to run, and gaming laptops just don't make the cut.


It’s always been known that virtual reality would require a fairly beefy computer to stay above the requirements you need to meet for a smooth experience. Today, Oculus has published the recommended specifications that your machine will need if you have any hopes of experiencing a smooth virtual experience. The bad news is, gaming laptops just aren’t going to cut it.

According to Oculus,  “almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec, though upcoming mobile GPUs may be able to support this level of performance.” This is sad news for those who might have dropped several thousand dollars on gaming laptops recently, as it means you might be missing out on virtual reality. What we don’t know yet is if these recommended requirements will work similar to a game’s specifications, allowing you to work around them to a degree. Only time will tell if that’s the case.

You can see the recommended specs below.

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

Check out the announcement blog post for more information.

But why all this power?

The blog post went on to state that the recommend specs are based off of the power needed to render games using the Rift. Atman Binstock, chief architect at Oculus, says “a traditional 1080p game at 60Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second. In contrast, the Rift runs at 2160×1200 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.”

It looks like the retail version of the Oculus Rift will be a vast improvement over the Development Kit 2 that is currently available to developers and enthusiasts. This is great news considering the reveal of HTC’s Vive, as well as the growing popularity of Open Source VR. It looks like Oculus is finally starting to gain it’s ground back, but again, time will be the true test of whether or not the Rift becomes the best VR headset on the market.

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 15, 2015 1:45 PM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Oculus announces PC requirements for retail Oculus Rift

    • reply
      May 15, 2015 1:54 PM

      Sounds neat, but it appears you used the term "bite the bullet" incorrectly.

      • reply
        May 15, 2015 2:27 PM

        Hmm. It would seem I did. Thanks for pointing that out. I'll change it out for a better term. :)

    • reply
      May 15, 2015 2:24 PM


    • reply
      May 15, 2015 2:28 PM

      Well, I was planning on upgrading my PC this fall anyway...

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      May 15, 2015 2:53 PM

      Frankly seems pretty tame.

      The cpu is not entirely accurate though. All they did was pick the newest flavor of intel when an older i5 3470, FX 8350, or i7 2600 would be perfectly fine. Although the newer CPU's will kick ass in encoding, and synthetic benchmarks, you will only get minimal gains in actual gaming. Hopefully DX12 changes all that though.

      However for now you would be further ahead jumping up to a 980 or SLI 970's.

      • reply
        May 15, 2015 3:13 PM

        Yup. That's very true. Most people usually just grab the newest flavor of CPU when making up this specs though.

    • reply
      May 16, 2015 10:54 AM

      I feel like they should have offered a set of minimum requirements too. This pretty much targets the gamer crowd, although I thought the Oculus was meant for a broader audience. Even amongst pc gamers, budget gamers are excluded as well.

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        May 19, 2015 2:16 PM

        You're rendering two screens at once, and it needs to be done at a consistently high frame rate to offer a "good" experience. You're going to want some high end hardware to make this work, and I think it's good that they didn't attempt to sugar coat this.

        Offering minimum specs, and then having it perform poorly could set a precedent that the technology is still poor, and kill VR on the vine before it has really had a chance to show what it has to offer.

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      January 4, 2016 1:14 PM

      I think it is safe to say you can use the recommended specs of any game and go 3x more powerful and you'll do fine at that detail level. Minimum x3 if you are fine with the lowest graphics settings.

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