How to Check If Your PC Is VR Ready

Learn if your computer can run VR

What to Know

  • Use SteamVR Performance Test to check your PC can run VR.
  • Check the system requirements of the VR headset you're purchasing.
  • Don't expect to use a VR headset with your Mac.

This article teaches you how to check if your PC is capable of running VR games and looks at the hardware requirements involved. 

How Do You Check If Your PC Is VR Ready? 

Before diving into specifics about hardware, there are some simple ways to check if you match VR PC requirements. Here's a brief overview.

  • Check before you buy. If you're considering buying a PC to run VR on, check the details surrounding your purchase. Many retailers list PCs and laptops as VR-ready as a selling point. This is the simplest way to confirm the fact. 
  • Use SteamVR Performance Test. SteamVR Performance Test is a simple to use app which checks whether your system is VR-ready and looks at what hardware may be holding you back.
  • Use other tools to check. If you're specifically using the Valve Index, you can also download an app specially designed to test compatibility with this headset. It's also possible to download the Windows Mixed Reality PC Check to check other requirements. 

What Hardware Do I Require to Use My VR Headset?

Different VR headsets have different system requirements. While it's possible to use VR headsets via the minimum specifications required, this is rarely recommended as performance is often degraded. Here's a look at the recommended specifications for the most popular VR headsets out there. 

With all VR headsets, it's preferable to have as powerful a PC as possible to use it. These specifications are a guideline but don't necessarily mean the system will run as quickly as you'd like.

  • Oculus Rift S. CPU: Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater, NVIDIA GTX 1060 / GTX 970 / AMD Radeon RX 480 / R9 290 or greater, RAM: 8GB+, Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort (or Mini DisplayPort).
  • Valve Index. CPU: Quad Core +, GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better, RAM: 8GB, Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort.
  • Windows MR/Samsung Odyssey+. CPU: Intel Core i5 4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1400, GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD RX 470/570 or greater, RAM: 8GB, Ports: 1x HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort + 1x USB 3.0 port.
  • HP Reverb. CPU: Intel Core i7 equivalent or better, GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 equivalent or better, RAM: 16GB, Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort 1.3. 
  • HTC Vive. CPU: Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater, GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon Vega 56 or greater, RAM: 8GB, Ports: 1x USB 3.0 + 1x DisplayPort 1.2.

Can I Use a VR Headset With a Mac?

Currently, only one VR headset supports MacOS officially. That's the HTC Vive range. To use it requires similar specifications to the PC requirements but it's generally recommended to add an external GPU to your Mac unless it's one of the latest models.

If you're keen to use a VR headset, it's not recommended to use a Mac to do so due to limited compatibility and limited software options. 

  • How do I build a VR-ready PC?

    To build a PC that's ready for VR, ensure you meet the baseline requirements based on your VR headset for the CPU, memory, graphics, and display output. Other important factors include having the correct number of USB ports and a compatible operating system. You might also want to invest in an SSD for faster performance.

  • How do I know if a graphics card is ready for VR?

    VR headsets require graphics cards that can maintain 90fps. If you'd like to use what your PC already has, use a graphics card benchmarking tool to make sure it can perform. If you plan to upgrade, refer to the VR headset manufacturer for graphics card recommendations.

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