If there is one experience that I think cannot be described in words that needs to be lived, it is virtual reality. Unfortunately, this is still a technology for the few and its standardization is done from the PC with a suboptimal and poor quality experience.
Virtual reality, a world apart with certain considerations
One of the advantages of the PC is that the advancement of specifications and technology is so rapid that the adoption of new technologies that previously required high-end systems in the beginning gradually begins to work in lower ranges. This is the case with virtual reality, where any dedicated graphics card from the mid-to-low range can run most games on the market without a problem.
But, virtual reality on PC is different from what Oculus wants to popularize using high-end mobile smartphones, but with a very low power compared to the PC where the premium experience is sought after. Assembling a PC for virtual reality today is more complex than it seems, because depending on the type of HMD unit you use and its characteristics, we will find completely different configurations.
The situation of virtual reality on PC
So far, the most popular virtual reality game on PC is Half-Life: Alyx, not only because it’s part of the classic Half-Life saga and is PC-exclusive, but because it doesn’t require not a very powerful system to play. In reality, VR as a platform has evolved in a direction that may seem unnatural to us if we look at the advancement of the PC, but it makes sense because of how virtual reality works.
The universal standard in virtual reality is that the time between when we perform an action and the result on the screen should be less than 20ms, which not only includes rendering the image less than 20ms in the frame buffer, but the whole process is complete and thus forces the GPU to run at extremely high frame rates resulting in loss of detail in games.
The basic components of our VR Ready PC
Everything that has been explained previously forces us not only to need a powerful GPU, but also a CPU, because it is at the start of each game frame or loop that the CPU acts by performing the relevant calculations and by creating the display and calculation lists for the GPU, so the faster the CPU the better. And when we say fast we are not talking about clock speed, but it is better to opt for a latest generation CPU.
The CPU we have chosen is the Intel Core-i5 11400F, a six-core processor that’s the best value on the market right now, so we’re not going to exceed the price.
Obviously you can choose a more powerful CPU from the latest Intel lineup and even if you want to go for AMD, but we saw the 11400F as an ideal starting point for our VR Ready system.
The choice of processor determines the motherboard that you will choose, so you have to choose a motherboard with an Intel chipset. We consider the combination of the 11400F with the B560 chipset to be the best in terms of value for money.
Our choice? the ASUS TUF Gaming B560-PLUS Wi-Fi, which gives us the essential PCI Express 4.0 ports to connect both a graphics card and one of the latest generation NVMe SSDs using this standard. As for its memory support, it supports up to 4 memory slots, supporting up to 128GB DDR4-3200.
RAM and storage
For RAM, our choice is the kit of two DIMMs of 16 GB each Corsair Vengeance LPX, although if your budget is tight you can choose the kit with 8 GB modules. The reason we recommend 32 GB is none other than 16 GB is going to become the new norm and it is better to have some Spare RAM for performance.
Regarding storage, we are not going to recommend a conventional hard drive, as the seek times add to the total system latency, so the best thing is an NVMe, which we are going to recommend PCI Express 4.0 and 1TB, being the Samsung 980 Pro M.2 the model we have chosen.
Box and power supply
Another item that we have chosen at Corsair is the cabinet, which is a Corsair Crystal 680X, while in the rest of the components we make minimum recommendations, we believe that the choice of the box is important and that it must be well cooled and especially if it is to run games and reality applications virtual machines, which require a lot of power from both CPU and GPU, putting them at high clock speeds.
The following is the diet, we have thought of a Corsair RM750x, which is an 80 Plus Gold certified 750W power supply. So this is a great option for the PC configuration we have chosen.
Choose the graphics card for our VR Ready PC
Choosing the right graphics card for VR is not an easy decision, obviously the more powerful a card the better. But we have to consider the balance between price and performance. Our choice? The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is for us the best option for virtual reality because of its excellent price / performance ratio. It’s also a great GPU for mainstream PC games. Our choice? The ASUS TUF RTX 3060 Ti Gaming This is the ideal model in terms of quality / price ratio that we are looking for our VR Ready PC.
Another reason why we chose this card is due to the fact that NVIDIA DLSS allows us to increase the rendering speed, remember that the frame rate is very important for good performance in virtual reality. So the best thing is to ensure the best of the gaming experience.
With this we already have our VR Ready PC ready, which would look like this:
|CPU||Intel Core-i5 11400F|
|Base plate||ASUS TUF Gaming B560-PLUS Wi-Fi|
|Box||Corsair Crystal 680X|
|Power source||Corsair RM750x|
|RAM memory||Corsair Vengeance LPX|
|Storage||Samsung 980 Pro M.2|
|Graphic card||ASUS TUF RTX 3060 Ti Gaming|