Home Gaming Oculus reveals Rift PC requirements, pauses Mac and Linux development

Oculus reveals Rift PC requirements, pauses Mac and Linux development

3 min read
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VR

The Oculus Rift started the most recent resurgence of Virtual Reality. However, since then, it has failed to capitalise on its head start as other players such as Sony and Valve have revealed their products. While a retail release might still be a ways away, the Rift finally has PC requirements. And boy are they high.

In a new blog post, Oculus Rift’s chief architect Atman Binstock explained why the system specs are the way they are:

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.

Framerate and latency are what can make the difference between immersive VR and an experience that leaves one feeling nauseous. So, what’s required to run the Oculus Rift? Well, here’s the recommended hardware:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture

The guts of the machine are quite high-end – way beyond what we’re used to seeing as recommended hardware for games. However, it’s the video output that might leave some people in the dust – laptops tend to have their external video output connected to the integrated GPU. Considering the GPU performance of laptops, they will not currently be able to support the Rift at the levels of performance required.

At least PC gamers with this level of high-end specs can shoot to pick up the VR headset when it eventually ships at retail. Mac and Linux gamers won’t be as lucky:

Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.

Not only has Mac and Linux development been paused, there’s no timeline for when it will be resumed. I know that the Mac and Linux market is much smaller than the PC one, but it still makes me sad to hear about this. Plus, Valve’s VR headset will presumably be Linux compatible considering their commitment to the OS with their SteamOS and Steam Box setups. This could mean a further setback for Oculus Rift when competitors can offer something above and beyond what they can.

I’m really not too surprised that VR will require such high-end components. It’s a top of the range technology and won’t be for everyone. Plus, seeing as it won’t be releasing this year, by the time it does come out, these chips won’t be nearly as top of the range as they are now. These system requirements may seem heavy now, but by the time you’re plugging in the Rift, I’ll bet you’ll barely bat an eye. That’s if you end up opting for the Rift anyway – my money is on the other VR competitors at this stage.

Last Updated: May 18, 2015

91 Comments

  1. Blood Emperor Trevor

    May 18, 2015 at 07:37

    I told you so.

    Reply

    • Captain JJ Browman

      May 18, 2015 at 07:49

      I wasn’t listening, what did you say?

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        May 18, 2015 at 07:56

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          May 18, 2015 at 07:56

          That’s what she said.

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 18, 2015 at 08:02

            She doesn’t even talk to me. 😐

            Wait, which she are we talking about?

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:03

            The pillow again? I thought only Umar was into those. ;P

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:04

            I have nothing to show but the tears on my pillow.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 18, 2015 at 08:16

            Erm, you can get a pressure sensitive speaker for it. Duh!

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:18

            Hai!

        • WaywardPines

          May 18, 2015 at 15:08

          It’s Easy with yahoo google utube and lazygamer < my roomate's mom makes $85 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $17976 just working on the internet for a few hours.

          Try this site. SEE MORE INFO

          Reply

  2. Captain JJ Browman

    May 18, 2015 at 07:51

    I’m quite intrigued by Valve’s VR. Not because it’s Steam, actually a bit more because of the HTC component.

    That said, I cannot wait to jump into an immense sandbox game with a VR headset on. It’s going to be epic.

    Reply

    • Lord Chaos

      May 18, 2015 at 07:52

      GTA VR?

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Browman

        May 18, 2015 at 07:53

        I was thinking The Witcher 3 or something like Fallout 4, but GTA could be pretty damn insane. Especially with that first person view now.

        Reply

        • Lord Chaos

          May 18, 2015 at 07:55

          Fallout would be awesome, the world would never see me again.

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 07:56

            What world?
            Because there would only BE the fallout world! πŸ˜€

      • BacchusZA

        May 18, 2015 at 09:09

        It has been finangled to work already, though there isn’t official support for it yet. I imagine that’s only a matter of time though.

        Reply

      • HairyEwok

        May 18, 2015 at 09:46

        If your getting GTA VR you will have to get this (female not included)

        Reply

    • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

      May 18, 2015 at 08:47

      Already switched over from Facebook to Valve for my VR pre-order requirements. πŸ™‚

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Browman

        May 18, 2015 at 08:50

        I switched over from Facebook to Steam for a friends-comments and news feed πŸ™‚

        Reply

        • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

          May 18, 2015 at 08:52

          I own a Teamspeak server for live comments. Funnier when it is live. πŸ˜›

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:53

            Oh cool.

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 08:57

            Your welcome to join us. We are Red Faction on the public lists. Mostly just people faffing about with DayZ and Discussing Kerbal Spacecraft builds while shooting each other in BF4.

            Although I made a Witcher channel cause … Witcher!

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 09:03

            That Witcher channel could be cool.
            I suck at FPS games, so yea. :/

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 09:09

            My kill death ratio in BF4 is usually 1:2 so I suck at it6 as well. Just really satisfying to fly a chopper into 9 guys and get like 4 kills out of your sacrifice. Dayz is slightly different as for it to be a FPS you need both a working gun and ammo. Something my peers seem to find yet I keep running around with a hoe shouting at people in Klingon and generally dying a lot. Kerbal is fun (frustrating) though.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 09:14

            Mine was 1:6 on BF3. πŸ™
            Kerbal looks interesting though.

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 09:16

            WAIT WHAT!!. You have not played Kerbal yet??!! I would say pick it up now but I know Witcher will ruin the experience so maybe in a months time (or summer sale next week(Reliable source told me )).

    • Espee Funsail

      May 18, 2015 at 09:49

      Just get a Google Cardboard. VR in your hands, now.

      Reply

  3. Dutch-Trevor Matrix

    May 18, 2015 at 08:00

    Now that is only to run the headset. So what will you need to play a game along with that?

    Reply

    • HairyEwok

      May 18, 2015 at 09:44

      SLI/Crossfire baby whooooooo….. I’ll never see this joy and it makes me over excitedly sad.

      Reply

  4. 20twelve

    May 18, 2015 at 08:02

    Ouchies…

    Reply

  5. Captain JJ Browman

    May 18, 2015 at 08:03

    THE WITCHER 3 IS COMING!
    IN ONLY A DAY!

    Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 18, 2015 at 08:04

      Don’t Support DRM!

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Browman

        May 18, 2015 at 08:05

        At this stage I’ll support it if it means I can get the game today already πŸ˜‰

        Reply

        • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

          May 18, 2015 at 08:06

          Ag, DRM is not the devil’s dick, you know?

          Reply

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:08

            I absolutely agree. I don’t mind it really. Hasn’t made my life any more difficult.
            Games for Windows Live, on the other hand, now THAT is pure cr@p (along with another few I’m too lazy to mention now).

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:09

            Fortunately I was heavy into console gaming when that went down. And no. Origin is actually quite cool! πŸ™‚

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:15

            Origin prices are incomparable. They have the best deals, for sure. That being said, I don’t like it that I’m forced to use it. I just want those games on Steam, because that’s where EVERYTHING else is.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:18

            Not picking a fight: Merely observing. But people complain about being forced to use Origin. But Steam is okay?
            It honestly baffles me.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:20

            I get your point. It’s just that Origin only has so many games available. If Origin was first and it offered all the same games then I probably would’ve felt differently. But I’ve built up my Steam library over so many years, then Origin comes along and now I’m forced to use that for a handful of games. It’s just an irritation.
            But I can’t complain really, there are so many clients these days (especially with GoG Galaxy too now), that I should probably just stop moaning and learn to get used to using more than one.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:22

            To be honest, I find Steam to be the more annoying client. After that whole debacle where my offline saves went missing after a Steam update, I haven’t logged in since. And that I think in February.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:25

            Oh wow. Yes, that’s a terrible thing to happen. I’d probably have lost my sh!t.
            With GoG Galaxy I’m quickly learning to use more than one client though

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:28

            I would prefer it if gaming could be the same as say, five years ago? When you installed a game, played it and client was no worry.
            After all, I play Mass Effect because it is Mass Effect. Not because of EA or anything. Nor do I need to be the guy with 569 Steam/Origin friends, 9852 trophies or a reminder that 8/9ths of my time is spent gaming. πŸ˜›

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:31

            Haha. Yes. I don’t think I want to check my Steam hours.
            But I agree. I miss those good old days when the icons of games on your desktop was your library πŸ™‚

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 18, 2015 at 08:18

            That never ceases to amuse me, because when it was first launched EAs CEO talked about how they wouldn’t be having sales, etc because that ruins the “value” of a game.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:19

            The “value” of a game is not measured by the amount of money paid for it, but the amounts of fun and all that you get from a game.

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            May 18, 2015 at 08:21

            No shit.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:25

            Yup. Unfortunately a shit game finds its way to me every now and then…

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:21

            Sounds about 100% right for EA.
            “WE WILL NOT!”
            “IT’S IMPOSSIBLE!”
            “NEVER”
            Week later…..done.

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:24

            Then they realised that people actually buy games they don’t play as long as the price is right. Can’t waste an opportunity like that!

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:25

            The difference being that EA’s old games aren’t playable, since they’re not patched for newer machines. So they really take that too literally.

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:28

            EA’s thinking likely goes like this: But people only buy those for the sake of having. I mean people can’t possibly be buying those old games to actually play them. Could they?? Anyhow, what do we care, we’re making money for nothing.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:30

            I was to amped up to play Tiberian Sun again.
            *sigh

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:33

            When it comes to C&C nostalgia the only thing I’ll do is play the Red alert theme song.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:33

            Oh man. Some good stuff right there.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:30

            But seriously though: Why would you play an old game? I got Crusader: No Remorse for free on Origin. I downloaded, played it and went “Now this is kind of crap…” Nostalgia is sometimes meant to be a thing of the mind and soul only…

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:11

            I just get annoyed when I have to wait for a compulsory large patch to download on my wonderful 5th world speeds internet.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:12

            Or when you log in on a Saturday morning: please wait whilst we download your 5GB patch.

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:19

            Run GTAV (as long as that isn’t the game being patched) and go kill everything.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:13

            I can agree with that. Completely. Worst so far for me was with Shadow of Mordor. I wanted to play it more, but there was a 9Gig update that I had no choice about. So now it’s sitting in my library, not being played. Luckily I finished the main quest by the time that patch came around, but now I don’t feel it’s worth it to download all of that just to run around doing the few remaining side-quests.

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:13

            Well, scrap my plans to get Shadow of Mordor then…

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:15

            One would hope the GOTY edition won’t require such a large patch, but …

          • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

            May 18, 2015 at 08:16

            But nine gig is not a patch. A patch used to be the same as a Band-Aid on a cut. 9GB is bloody open heart surgery!

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:22

            lol! Tell the developers that. “What’s your problem, don’t you just download that in like under 2 min? In what backward part of the world do you live? That isn’t our problem.” πŸ˜›

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 09:04

            Exactly!! When someone releases a patch, for instance GTA V had a day one patch where they included a whole editors suite to the game, the remaining patches are around 350MB to 450MB per patch, on a 70 GB game…. Shadow of Mordor is half that size, how do you make a patch that is 9GB in size? What did they replace? Did they realise that the engine had major flaws? Anyway….This gets my blood boiling, like a hipster on a unicycle….

          • Krabby Paddy

            May 18, 2015 at 08:14

            Exactly the same here! So far that one has been the most annoying recently.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 08:44

            Games for Windows Live….If ever there was an embodiment, a tangible version of HELL, it would be GFWL….Not a day goes by that my hate for it dwindles…..

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:46

            There is nothing wrong with hate, gfwl proved that.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 08:47

            Exactly! Though…tomorrow…The Witcher 3… I’m quite literally shaking in my boots….

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:49

            My wife’s picking mine up the morning and I cannot wait to play it!
            Boots will indeed be shaking. (probably next to Geralt’s bed, in-game) πŸ˜‰

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 08:57

            I’ll be picking up my copy personally, to install during the course of the day…Problem is, waiting to get home and play….Not going to be easy….

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 08:59

            I have several meetings and a server install but 7am I pick up my 2 copies cause … priorities. πŸ˜›

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 09:05

            There is no fault in your statement, nothing at all….

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 09:07

            True. That’s the tough part.
            Don’t think I’ve ever been this eager to start a new game.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 09:12

            The funny part about it is that we’ll be spending a good whopper of our time in game, I mean a lot of time in game, so waiting another hour or so will make it even better…Or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself…

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 09:13

            Exactly.
            I’ll only really be able to properly settle into it the weekend anyway.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 09:47

            Yep! Me too, unless of course I have a serious stomach bug…yes, yes I think I won’t be coming in to work for the rest of the week because I’m going to have an ailing stomach bug for the rest of the week…right?

          • Mark Treloar

            May 18, 2015 at 10:35

            Then you get home and its load shedding.

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 10:37

            &^#)$(^&*dammit!!!!! No!!! You can’t do that to me!!

          • Kromas,powered by windows 10.

            May 18, 2015 at 08:48

            Uplay πŸ˜›

          • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

            May 18, 2015 at 08:49

            Even though Uplay is competing, it’ll never match GFWL….Never….

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:50

            Agreed.

          • Captain JJ Browman

            May 18, 2015 at 08:51

            Uplay is in line, since it also does the whole client-ception thing. Either put it on Steam only, or put on Uplay only, don’t make us open both.

    • Krabby Paddy

      May 18, 2015 at 08:05

      Aaaah! Still too long too wait!!

      Reply

      • Captain JJ Browman

        May 18, 2015 at 08:06

        !!!!!!

        Reply

    • Dutch-Trevor Matrix

      May 18, 2015 at 08:08

      And the day after that is my Birthday! What awesome thing is happening today or on the 21st? Then it can be a hat trick of amazing!

      Reply

  6. Jonah Cash

    May 18, 2015 at 08:39

    I can handle this…. I won’t though!! VR is definitely not going to be for me. I’ll give this a…..

    Reply

  7. Espee Funsail

    May 18, 2015 at 09:48

    Google Cardboard, nuff said…

    Reply

    • coip

      May 18, 2015 at 17:32

      No gracias. I would never touch anything that Google has its paws on.

      Reply

  8. Ghost In The Rift

    May 19, 2015 at 08:13

    So the minimum would be 3.5GB Vram?!

    Reply

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