You’re gonna need a really beefy computer to use the Oculus Rift

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People have been so focused on the direct cost of the Oculus Rift that they neglected to consider the indirect cost: the computer that you’ll need to power the device. The virtual reality headset needs to be connected to a computer in order for it to do the copious amounts processing and rendering needed to create a virtual reality experience, but how much power does it need? Well… a lot. A hell of a lot. 

We still don’t know when the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset will be released to the paying public, but today we learned what we’ll need in the way of a PC to actually use the thing. You might want to sit down.  And pour yourself a relatively stern drink. “The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration,” the Oculus folks said. “Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.” To be fair, this is the recommended spec “for the full Rift experience,” so you’ll likely be able to get away with something a bit lower on the scale. But as Oculus Rift Technical Director Atman Binstock explained in a more detailed blog post, an effective VR experience is all about “comfortable, sustained presence,” which an “underperforming system” won’t be able to deliver.

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