This guide will focus on desktop PC’s for VR. When it comes to VR, Desktop PCs are the way to go! There are some good VR laptops out there as well if you need portability, but with the requirements of VR, laptops tend to overheat easily and you’ll end up spending more to get similar specs. Not to mention there is little ability for upgrading laptops. If you need something smaller/more portable than a desktop tower, perhaps check out one of the mini PC’s. We’ve gone through and found the best deals at a range of prices!
If you’re also looking to purchase a VR headset/accessories either for yourself or as a present, you can check out our VR gift guide here.
The prices mentioned in this post are subject to change.
General VR Minimum Specs:
(May differ dependent on the headset)
Processor: Intel i3-6100/AMD Ryzen 3 1200, FX4350 or greater
Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti/AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
Operating System: Windows 10
Memory: 8 GB RAM (16GB for Oculus Quest)
USB Ports: 1 x USB 3.0 port
What to look for:
Ideally, aim for a minimum of GTX 1060 (6gb) or AMD RX 480 – you can get by with the minimum specs but it may cause issues in some games. It’s worth just spending a small amount extra to not have to worry about that (and the VR sickness it may cause). Below are some suggestions of good options based on budget.
If you’re unsure if a graphics card is good enough type it into google and “vs GTX 1060 6GB” (or one of the GPU’s below based on your budget). Look for the UserBenchmark link and compare the rankings!
Budget: GTX 1060 6GB or AMD RX480
Mid-range: RTX 2060 or AMD RX 5600XT
High-end: RTX 3080 or AMD RX 6800XT
Below, we’ve noted some good options for CPU’s based on budget. Its important to note that an i5 processor isn’t necessailry better than an i3 and a Ryzen 5 isn’t necessarily better than a Ryzen 3 – its all about the generation (i.e. the numbers that follow).
As with the GPU, if you’re unsure if a CPU is good enough type it into google “vs ryzen 3 3300X” (or insert CPU from below based on your budget). Look for the UserBenchmark link and compare the rankings!
Budget: Ryzen 3 3300X or i3-9100
Mid-range: Ryzen 5 5600X or i7-10700k
High-end: Ryzen 9 5950X or i9-10700k
8GB RAM will be enough for a budget PC, although 16GB is recommended for the Oculus Link and if you aren’t on a tight budget it may be worth getting 16GB. RAM is fairly easy to upgrade if you want more in the future though. You’ll usually see RAM as something like: 8GB DDR4 2133mHz – most RAM that you’ll be looking at will be DDR4 and the MHz number is basically the speed of the RAM, bigger MHz is faster and faster is better. There are some VR Ready PC’s with DDR3 RAM. That is okay but is very limited if you want to upgrade in the future as the motherboard won’t support DDR4 and DDR3 is limited to a maximum of 2133MHz (the minimum of DDR4) and to a maximum of 16GB RAM.
SSD’s are able to read and write data much quicker than HDD’s (approximately 4 times quicker), however with faster speeds, comes a bigger price. Having a small SSD (e.g. 128gb) that you can install windows onto (and maybe any more intensive VR games) will make things run quicker in general. Although you will want to store most of your games/applications on a bigger HDD as SSDs are more expensive. A 128gb SSD and a 1TB HDD would serve you well. Just be sure not to fill up your SSD with unnecessary apps/files (look up how to change the drive of your documents folder – or just create a new one in your other drive to use).
If you are buying a VR Ready PC, you shouldn’t need to worry about the motherboard too much as it will have been chosen based on the other components. Although if you’re planning on upgrading in the future it may be worth checking that the motherboard is compatible with the parts you are planning on upgrading to. If it doesn’t say it’s VR Ready, just check that it has the necessary HDMI and USB 3.0 ports – ideally you’ll want 3.1 gen 2 USB ports. If you are building your own PC, you’ll want to check the compatibilty and choose the motherboard based on your CPU and other parts, which you can do with PC Part Picker (discussed later on). Best thing to do is search Google for the ‘best motherboard for…’ and add in the CPU you want – there is lots of information out there!
Instead of having to buy a whole new PC, another option is to get a subscription to Shadow PC, where you can use a VR ready PC’s with your VR headset remotely from most computers with an internet connection! You can get mid-range specs for just £12.99/month
Refurbished is a great option to get more for your money – especially if you are on a tight budget! But make sure it has a warranty, just in case.
Build it Yourself:
If you want to save some money, potentially look into getting the parts and building it yourself! It’s easier than you think and lots of guides on Youtube for how to build a PC. Check out PC Part Picker to piece together which parts to buy and ensure compatibility!
Here is a potential build for a VR PC around £600!
CPU: Ryzen 3 3300X
Motherboard: MSI B450M-A PRO MAX
GPU: RTX 570
RAM: Kingston HyperX Fury 8GB DDR4 2666mHz
SSD: Adata 128GB
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB
CASE: Deepcool Matrex 30
PSU: Corsair 500W
OS: Windows 10
Budget PCs (<£700)
Custom refurbished: £435.99
CPU: i5 3rd Gen, GPU: GTX 1650 (be sure to choose this GPU option), 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD (upgradable + SSD option for extra)
Close to minimum specs and you may need to upgrade the memory, but a good deal if you’re on a tight budget! A lot of the time these sellers will give you an option of cases.
AWD Vengeance: £439.95 (RRP £556.95)
CPU: Ryzen 3300X, GPU: RX 570, 16GB 3000MHz RAM, 240GB SSD.
AWD have some great deals – this is probably your best option on low budget! You’ll want to spend an extra £34 to get a 1TB HDD (or just change it out for £9.95) though as the 240GB SSD is not much storage space.
AWD Darkstorm: £539.98
CPU: Ryzen 5 2600, GPU: RX 580, 8GB 2666MHz RAM, 240GB SSD
Again, you’ll likely want to add a 1TB HDD for an extra £34. This is a great PC for the price on a normal day, but whilst the sales are on its hard to choose between this and the Vengeance above. This wins out on the GPU but the other specs are beaten slightly with the Vengeance.
Hystou Mini PC: £581.56
CPU: i7-9750H, GPU: GTX 1650, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD (upgradable to 512GB for £21.81 – which I’d recommend)
This Mini PC is perfect for if you don’t want a big desktop tower taking up space and much more portable! Lower end graphics card but decent RAM and CPU. The GPU could always be upgraded in the future.
AWD Z1: £609.94
CPU: i5-9400f, GPU: GTX 1660 6GB, 8GB 2666MHz RAM, 240GB SSD (again, I’d recommend adding a 1TB HDD for an extra £34)
Mid-range PCs (£700-1,750):
MSI Infinite S 10SI-052UK: £799.99
CPU: i5-10400k, GPU: GTX 1660 Super, 8GB RAM, 500GB SSD.
Coffee Lake Mini PC: £873.60
Customizable specs. For the price above: CPU: Intel i3-9100F, GPU: GTX 1660 Ti, 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD.
Perfect mini PC for portability and saving space, very customizable so you can choose specs based on your budget.
Acer Nitro N50-610: £929
CPU: i5-10400f, GPU: GTX 1660 Super, 8GB RAM, 258GB SSD & 1TB HDD.
There was also a 16GB RAM option which is currently sold out, however you could always buy another stick of RAM to install yourself (fairly easy to do).
Cyber Elite: £1,044
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600XT, GPU: GTX 2060, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD
Fully customizable – I would recommend upgrading the RAM to 16GB and hard drive to a 1TB HDD.
MSI Codex 5: £1,199.99
CPU: i7-10700, GPU: RTX 2070, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD + 2TB HDD
Infinity X97 Elite: £1,299.60
CPU: i7-9700KF, GPU: RTX 3060, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, 250GB SSD & 1TB HDD.
The Infinity X97 on this website also has similar specs with an RTX 3070 GPU and 2TB HDD for £1654.80 (yes the non-elite version has better specs for some reason!)
Omen 30L GT13-0091: £1,399
CPU: Ryzen 7 3700X, GPU: 3060 Ti, 16GB 3200 MHz RAM, 256GB SSSD + 2TB HDD
Probably the best mid-range deal at the moment!
CPU: Ryzen 7 5800X, GPU: RX 5700, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, 512GB SSD
Alienware is a great brand but you do pay a little extra for that brand – I can vouch for Dell’s customer support though!
High-end PCs (>£1,750)
Omen 30L – GT13-0079: £1,999.99
CPU: i7-10700k, GPU : RTX 3080, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, 512GB SSD + 2TB HDD
CPU: Ryzen 9 5900X, GPU: RTX 3070, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, 512GB SSD
As mentioned previously, Alienware is a great brand but you do pay a little extra for that brand – I can vouch for Dell’s customer support though!
CPU: i9-10700k, GPU: RTX 3080, 16GB 2666MHz RAM, 250GB SSD, 2TB HDD
Currently only available for pre-orders due to the current demand for high end GPU’s!
Infinity 910: £2,545
CPU: i9-10850k, GPU: RTX 3080, 16GB 3200MHz RAM, 500GB SSD & 2TB HDD
3XS Gamer iCUE RTX: £2899.99:
CPU: i9-10850k, GPU: RTX 3090, 16GB 3000MHz RAM, 1TB SSD & 2TB HDD
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