How to Build a Pc for VR 2022 (Best Guide) USA UK

How to Build a Pc for VR

Building a VR Ready PC: Welcome to the VR Category of TechHunterDs.com. We’ve got a guide on how to build a PC for VR that will introduce you to a whole new world of interactive entertainment.

In the coming months, the price of the best VR headsets will start to drop, and the cutting-edge technology will become more accessible, so you might be tempted to enjoy this new world of interactive entertainment.

VR is still a very expensive hobby, as it has complex space requirements (you need to figure out how to set up your room for VR), as well as thorny hardware requirements.

You’ll require a powerful PC if you want to take advantage of the most impressive virtual reality experiences.

Microsoft, HTC, Valve, and Oculus are the VR headsets we’re most interested in using.

We have a handy guide to teach you how to build a PC for VR or upgrade your current PC if you want to join the VR revolution but don’t have the rig for it.

How to Build a PC for VR: Entry-level VR vs. High-end VR

VR headsets today do not require a PC to function. A console player who does not want to build a computer for VR should consider the Oculus Quest rage. 

This entry-level headset has no tether, so you can play virtually anywhere, including virtual reality games such as Beat Saber and Pistol Whip.

These aren’t super powerful, so they’re surprisingly cheap at just $299 for the base model.

If you already own a gaming PC and have a decent internet connection, you can use these devices to stream high-end VR games from your desktop. 

It is also possible to connect your Quest to your gaming PC with an Oculus Link cable if your internet connection isn’t strong enough to play more demanding Rift games. 

Those who own a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 could also pick up a PlayStation VR bundle for roughly the same price if they don’t need a PC.

In order to play Half-Life: Alyx, you’ll need a more powerful headset and a gaming PC. Virtual reality is currently a high-end product, as most standard set-ups cost around $1,000, so there isn’t much of a mid-range.

Valve’s Index, which retails for $999 and is bundled with Half-Life: Alyx, is the obvious choice at the moment. Many high-end virtual reality kits require a room-scale setup.

Lighthouses are used in Valve Index, so you’ll need a wide-open area in your room for the cameras to see where you’re going. Ensure the room is clear before beginning so that the cameras can see your body movement.

Some entry-level headsets, like the Meta Quest 2, use inside-out tracking, which detects your position and allows you to draw a boundary around you to instruct the headset where to play. Tracking is less reliable with this solution, but it is ideal for small areas.

How to Build a PC for VR: VR Ready PC Specs

So, now it’s time to get started on your gaming PC build to go with your VR setup. To build a VR-ready PC, check out the specifications of the headset you’re going to buy.

The Valve Index tool is a handy feature for Steam users, but most other VR headsets offer system requirements on their store pages that you can use to build a PC for VR.

Minimum computer requirements for Oculus Rift:

  • Processor: Intel i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or better
  • Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti or AMD Radeon RX 470 or better
  • Alternative Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 960 4 GB or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • USB Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 port
  • Video Output: Compatible with Mini DisplayPort (adapter for Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort included with Rift S)

Minimum requirements for HTC Vive Pro and HTC Vive Pro Eye:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350, or higher.
  • GPU: Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350, or higher.
  • OS: Win 7, Win 8.1 or later, Win 10
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM or more
  • USB Ports: 1x USB 3.0 or newer
  • Video Output: DisplayPort 1.2 or newer

Valve Index Minimum requirements:

  • Processor: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD RX480
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Operating System: Windows 10, SteamOS, Linux
  • USB Ports: USB 2.0 Port required
  • Video Output: Available DisplayPort (Version1.2)

It is recommended that you use a Quad-Core processor and an NVIDIA GTX 1070 or higher. A USB 3.0 port and a DisplayPort 1.2+ output on the back of your rig are also necessary for wireless headsets, which don’t support HDMI.

However, even if your computer meets the requirements for the headset, you must also consider the requirements of the games you intend to play. 

Among other specifications, Half-Life: Alyx requires 12 GB of RAM and a GTX 1060 or RX 580 with 6 GB of VRAM.

Sword and Sorcery recommend 16 GB of RAM, an Intel Core i7, and an NVIDIA GTX 1070 based on some of the other most popular VR games.

Pavlov VR’s recommended specs are 16 GB of RAM, a Six-Core 4GHz + processor, and an RTX 2080.

Based on the examples above, the graphics card, the RAM, and the CPU / processor are the three most important parts of any virtual reality PC build. 

Furthermore, many software specifications are higher than those for the headset itself.

When you’re building a VR PC, you don’t want to skimp on any of these parts, especially if you want your VR setup to be future-proof.

In general, you don’t want to end up with an expensive headset that you can’t use, so base your rig around your favorite games.

My friend’s virtual reality rig has an NVIDIA RTX 2080 Super, a Ryzen 5 3600, and 16 GB of memory (paired with a Valve Index).

His headset allows him to run most games at high settings and increase the internal Hz for better immersion.

For any solid VR PC build, this would be a great benchmark. For the best cooling, make sure you pair it with a compatible motherboard and high-wattage power supply (google your graphics card’s pairing recommendation).

How to Build a PC for VR: 9 Examples of VR Ready PC Builds

VR is still at the forefront of gaming technology. In this section, we provide six examples of builds that are suitable for PC VR gaming.

$500 Cheapest VR Ready PC Build

$500 Cheapest VR Ready PC Build
CPUIntel Core i3-10100F
GPUMSI GTX 1650 Super
MotherboardASRock H410M
Storage SSDADATA 480GB
RAMPatriot Signature 8GB
CaseZalman S2
PSU EVGA 550W
OSWindows
$500 Cheapest VR Ready PC components list

To build a VR-ready PC at the lowest cost, this $500 build will do the trick. The components in this $500 gaming PC will meet the requirements of the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or the Valve Index.

The 8GB of RAM requirement for both headsets is the minimum requirement, so if you can afford to upgrade to the $700 system, you might be better off going that route.

Even so, this build should get you started in VR gaming. In addition to the GTX 1650 Super, this build also includes a 480GB SSD, a 550W power supply, and a budget-friendly PC case. 

Besides VR gaming, you will also be able to play any game in the popular 1080P resolution on at least medium settings with acceptable frame rates with this build.

This build works perfectly if you don’t have a ton of money to spend, but you want an affordable VR-ready gaming PC for Oculus Rift.

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$700 Minimum Specs VR Ready Gaming PC Build

CPUAMD R3 3300X
GPUGTX 1650 Super
MotherboardMSI B450-A Pro Max
Storage – HDD500GB Seagate SATA
CaseRaijintek Arcadia II
PSU – Power SupplySeaSonic S12III 550
RAM8GB DDR4-2666 (2 X 4GB)
OSWindows 10
$700 VR Ready PC components list

In terms of minimum-budget builds, this is the best build for running most VR headsets at minimum requirements. These are some easy ways to cut corners on the budget.

But keep in mind that this PC won’t be able to provide 90 FPS in every VR game, even on devices with the lowest resolution and the lowest settings.

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$950 Recommended Specs VR Ready Build

CPUAMD R3 3300X
GPURTX 2060
MotherboardMSI MPG X570 Gaming Plus
Storage – SDD1TB Team SATA SSD
RAM8GB DDR4-2666 (2 X 4GB)
PSU – Power SupplySeaSonic S12III 550
CaseFractal Design Focus G
CPU Coolerbe quiet! Pure Rock Slim
OSWindows 10
$950 VR Ready PC components list

In this build, we use Oculus, HTC, and Valve recommendations, substituting modern, slightly faster components.

VR designers provide developers with these specifications so they can optimize for a known hardware configuration.

The PC built to these specifications may not be able to handle VR games on maximum settings at 90 FPS, since VR games are usually showcased on machines with slightly higher specs.

Despite this, this is the lowest-tier build that will guarantee a quality VR experience across most applications.

It can also run most games on maximum settings on a standard monitor at 1080p, meaning that it is a fantastic general gaming PC in its own right.

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$1,000 PC for VR & High-End Gaming

CPUIntel Core i5-11400F
GPUASUS RX 6600 XT
MotherboardMSI H510M-A
Storage – SDDSamsung 1TB
RAMOLOy 16GB
PSU – Power SupplyEVGA 650W
CaseZalman S2
OSWindows 10
$1000 VR Ready PC components list

You might consider investing in a $1,000 gaming PC if you want a powerful system that can handle VR gaming and will also let you play games on a higher resolution monitor.

As far as VR gaming performance is concerned, this system easily outperforms the Rift, the Index, and the Vive systems. 

You can comfortably play games on a 1080P monitor with this system and you can also play games on a 1440P 144Hz monitor or a 4K monitor. 

If you want a truly smooth gaming experience, make sure that you pair this system with a FreeSync monitor.

This PC would be an excellent candidate if you have about a thousand dollars to spend and you want a system that will boost your performance and allow you to play higher resolution games.

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$1400 Solid VR Ready PC Build

CPUIntel i5-11400
GPURTX 3060 Ti
MotherboardAsus Prime B560M-A
Storage – SDD2TB Team SATA SSD
CaseNZXT H510
PSU – Power SupplyCooler Master MasterWatt 650
RAM16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-2666
CPU Coolerbe quiet! Pure Rock
OSWindows 10
$1400 VR Ready PC components list

It is designed for people who want to experience VR without spending a ridiculous amount of money, but still, achieve high framerates on more demanding games and play games with reasonable detail.

A CPU with six cores and twelve threads can keep framerate up in multithreaded games with optimal performance.

The RTX 3060 Ti is an excellent mid-range GPU capable of achieving VR-friendly frame rates in most games. A stronger power supply, motherboard, and SSD were also installed.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with this build. The performance, build quality, reliability, and upgradeability are excellent.

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$1900 Hardcore VR Ready PC Build

CPUIntel i5-12600K
GPURX 6800
MotherboardMSI Pro Z690-A
Storage 1 – SDD1TB Western Digital NVMe M.2
Storage 2 – SSD2TB Team SATA
RAM16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4-3200
PSU – Power SupplyCooler Master Master Watt 750
CPU CoolerDark Rock 4 (With LGA 1700 mounting kit)
CaseCorsair 4000D
OSWindows 10
$1900 VR Ready PC components list

You can use this if you want to make sure your machine can handle VR games that will come out in a year or two. You should be able to get 90 FPS in just about any upcoming virtual reality game.

When compared with the Solid VR Build, the upgraded components will add a reasonable amount of gaming performance to help you get high frame rates at max settings, but it will also improve overall build quality. 

Better sounding, quieter, more attractive, and more reliable.

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$2,000 Ultra Gaming VR PC Build

CPUIntel Core i7-12700KF
AIOMSI MAG P240
GPUZOTAC RTX 3080
MotherboardASUS Prime Z690-P
Storage – SDDSamsung 1TB
RAMKingston 16GB
PSU – Power SupplyThermaltake 850W
CaseMasterCase H500
OSWindows 10
$2000 VR Ready PC components list

These $2,000 gaming PCs will not only enable you to run an HTC VIVE, a Valve Index, and an Oculus Rift without any issues but will also provide you with a 4K gaming PC.

A new Intel Core i7-12700K processor, an AIO liquid cooler, a new RTX 3080 graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD are all included in this build.

In addition to the 850W power supply, this system comes with a high-end full tower case as well.

Overall, this $2,000 VR-ready PC build can easily run any virtual reality game and content available and will serve as a high-end gaming machine far into the future.

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$2900 Extreme VR Ready Gaming PC Build

CPUIntel i9-12900K
GPURTX 3080 Ti
MotherboardMSI Pro Z690-A
Storage 1 – SDD1TB Samsung Pro NVMe M.2
Storage 2 – SSD2TB Team SATA
RAM32GB (2 X 16GB) DDR4-3200
PSU – Power SupplyEVGA 850 B5
CPU CoolerDark Rock Pro 4 (with LGA 1700 mounting kit)
Casebe quiet! Dark Base 700
OSWindows 10
$2900 VR Ready PC components list

Those looking for the most immersive VR experience should consider this build. We also recommend running Valve Index in its 120 Hz and/or 144 Hz modes across all titles without cranking down the settings in-game.

In addition to the 16-core i9-12900K, the RTX 3080 Ti is one of the fastest graphics cards on the market (if budget is not an issue, though, you’re better off getting the RTX 3090). 

Furthermore, we’ve added a large cooling fan and an 850-Watt, fully-modular power supply to keep this machine as sleek as possible while providing plenty of power for future upgrades.

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$5900 No Compromises VR Ready PC Build

CPUTR 3970X
GPURTX 3090
MotherboardGigabyte TRX40 Aorus Pro
Storage 1 – SDD1TB Samsung Pro NVMe M.2
Storage 2 – SSD2TB Samsung NVMe M.2
RAM64GB (4 X 16GB) DDR4-3600
PSU – Power SupplySeasonic Prime PX-1000
CPU CoolerFractal Design S24
CaseCorsair Obsidian 1000D
OSWindows 10
$5900 VR Ready PC components list

A PC that includes the ability to play VR games, stream, edit 4K video, and/or perform 3D modeling and animation is what you need.

Combined with one of the most powerful graphics cards, it boasts an unfathomably high core count. It also includes extremely fast SSDs, plenty of RAM for multitasking, and an exceptionally stable, reliable, and efficient power supply.

There won’t be any significant improvement in VR gaming performance with this monster, except during rare very GPU-dependent situations.

You can use these upgrades for streaming content, creating content, and other CPU-intensive tasks.

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How to build a VR Ready PC: VR Component Overview

Knowing what a computer needs to run VR games, we can talk about which components are most important. 

We have organized PC components into this section based on importance, with explanations of how each component affects VR gaming.

GPU

A GPU is the most important component of your VR PC, as maintaining the recommended framerate of 90 FPS is more critical than ever.

The Chief Architect at Oculus, Atman Binstock, explains further: “Historically, PC 3D graphics have had soft real-time requirements such that maintaining 30-60 FPS has been adequate.”.

As each missed frame is visible in VR, graphics becomes more of a real-time challenge. It is jarring and uncomfortable to constantly miss the framerate. Due to this, GPU headroom becomes critical in absorbing unexpected system or content performance issues.”

CPU

It’s often possible to use a cheap CPU when gaming on a flat screen, but when gaming in VR, it’s crucial not to scrimp on your CPU.

A GPU is obviously the most important component, but the CPU is certainly a close second. CPU shortages are more likely to occur, especially in games that aren’t well optimized.

If you are interested in reading more about CPU cores in relation to VR, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a fantastic article on the subject.

The article ends with this conclusion: “If you have a quad-core Intel CPU from the past four or six years, don’t do anything. For now, everything is fine.”

On the other hand, high-end options from both Intel and AMD offer core and thread count far above 10, so there’s plenty of headroom in terms of CPU power.

RAM

The third most important factor to consider is RAM. Most games and VR headsets recommend 8GB of RAM onboard.

The online consensus seems to agree with the VR developers’ advice that 8GB is sufficient for now. Although it might be wise to upgrade to 16GB if you plan to edit video or render graphics with your VR PC.

Additionally, RAM is relatively inexpensive and easy to install, making it easy to upgrade later.

Storage

There has been plenty of discussion regarding solid-state drives (SSDs) and how they compare to their spinning brethren (hard drives).

In the case of large files or media management, an SSD may be a significant benefit, resulting in faster read and write speeds.

But with virtual reality, a solid-state drive should have no real-world effect on the experience. In any case, having an SSD onboard will drastically improve your computing experience, as well as some load times.

Budget builders might not need it, but for those with a little extra money, a solid-state drive is our top recommendation.

Motherboard

When selecting your motherboard, there are many factors to consider. It does not directly affect the VR experience, but it provides the foundation for all your other hardware.

It should be compatible with your CPU as well as be of decent quality. A good motherboard will also be able to support all of your peripherals (such as USB 3.1 or E-SATA) and internal components (such as M.2 SSDs).

Additionally, these headsets use a lot of USB ports. The motherboard must have all the necessary ports, as well as three USB 3.0 ports and at least one USB 2.0 port for the headset and tracking cameras.

If your headset differs from these general guidelines, you should always double-check its needs.

There is a great beginner’s guide to choosing a motherboard at Tom’s Hardware for those interested in learning more about motherboards.

PSU

Regarding VR, there is not much to say about the power supply, since it doesn’t directly affect how your goggles operate. When building for VR, it’s best to think about the future.

An efficient power supply can help you reduce fan noise, which can ruin your immersion. You’ll be running a lot of power-hungry peripherals.

Make sure your power supply is capable of handling any additional graphics cards you may add in the future.

The graphics card is usually the most power-hungry component in your PC, so adding multiple GPUs will increase its power consumption.

How to Build a PC for VR: Conclusion / Tips

It remains to be seen how virtual reality will impact gaming in the future. We will learn more about the idiosyncrasies of each headset as people spend more time with it. However, we have learned a few general tricks we’d like to share with you:

  • Your gaming controller or keyboard should have buttons with a tactile surface. By doing this, you won’t need to remove your VR headset or struggle blindly to figure out your hands’ position.
  • Keep yourself organized! In most headsets, there are a lot of cords and peripheral components, apart from the most recent and highest-end models. Additionally, you’ll have to organize all of the loose cables and components that come with building a PC. Make sure to keep your bags and boxes organized.
  • Don’t forget to keep your headset clean! Whatever VR model you choose, chances are it will be strapped to your face. Over time, sweat and oil from your hair will accumulate on the set, so it’s best to wipe it down periodically so your friends aren’t horrified by the odor.

We hope you now have everything you need to choose a VR headset that meets your needs, whether it’s an entry-level headset that does not require a PC or a high-end headset paired with a powerful gaming PC.

You should be able to engage in some remarkable interactive experiences if you follow our tips and choose parts that suit your budget and needs.

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