Virtual Reality Is Here, But Is Your PC Ready for It? Nvidia Says It Is!
Over the last couple of weeks, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR headsets dropped in the market and brought dazzling immersive experiences. With the release of mainstream VR, we are hearing a lot of buzz around the newly released VR headsets, and the graphics card manufacturers are preparing to release powerful GPUs capable of driving VR.
People are really excited for the virtual reality, but in order to experience this immersive experience you need to have the right PC hardware. Maybe your PC can run games at 1080p and 60 frames per second with all details at ultra but it does not guarantee that it can meet the demands of VR.
The reason for this is simple. Virtual reality is a trick of science for our brain. In order to get that immersive experience, our brain needs to feel that whatever we are seeing is real.
Which means the real issue with virtual reality is latency. Everything that we see needs to match with our brain instantly, any delay will be picked up by our brain and the immersive experience will break.
That is why the latency in the virtual reality headsets is set to 20ms but the headsets require suitably powerful graphics card and CPU.
However, latency is not the only issue that needs to be dealt with in virtual reality headsets. They also need to maintain a certain frame per second.
We usually play games on our PC at 60 frames per second. While it’s good enough for playing games at this fps on a monitor screen, but virtual reality puts the screen right in front of our eyes, and just like that 60 fps is not enough, because it causes strain on the eyes and headaches.
That is why both of these headsets are designed to run at solid 90fps. Both Oculus and Vive have resolution of 2160×1200, or 1080×1200 per eye, which is impressive given both need to maintain a solid 90fps. While we are used to frame rate drops because in certain instances we can not even detect them, but in the case of virtual reality the frame rate drop gets you out of the experience.
With this in mind, the developers need to create every thing in virtual reality in high quality. You can not get away with low resolution textures in VR. That is why every thing needs to be sharp and perfect.
All of this demands a very powerful PC capable of running virtual reality games at solid 90 FPS, at a resolution of 2160×1200, or 1080×1200 per eye, and every detail in the game has to be perfect.
Technology-wise, the absolute bottom line for a desktop system for VR is an Intel Core i5 4590 or equivalent, with a GeForce GTX 970 and 8GB RAM, as well as 3 USB 3.0 ports and HDMI 1.3 video output.
According to Nvidia, it is prepared for virtual reality headsets with its VR optimized drivers that ensure no latency issues occur. Coupled with it is the company’s VRWorks tech which ensures developers could take advantage of various VR technologies including Multi-Res Shading, VR SLI , Direct Mode and more.