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HTC Recommends GTX 1070, Vega 56 For Vive Pro

Last week HTC stirred up controversy with the Vive Pro price announcement. The company revealed that the HMD-only upgrade would sell for $800, and Vive fans reacted with outrage. Forums and comment sections all over the internet reverberated with disgruntled would-be buyers who can’t, or won’t, justify spending so much. No one seemed to notice that HTC neglected to discuss the recommended specs, though, including us.

When HTC announced the Vive Pro at CES, we spoke to a Vive representative and asked what kind of GPU would be required to power the new setup, and they told us that the recommended specifications would not be changing. We were skeptical of that reply, but we figured we would put that claim to the test when we received our Vive Pro for review. We’re not ready to release a review yet, but HTC did finally confirm that our skepticism was justified. HTC quietly revised the recommended system requirements for the new HMD.

The original Vive headset requires a host computer with an Intel Core i5-4590 or an AMD FX 8350 or better processor, and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 970/1060 or an AMD Radeon R9 280/R9 390/RX 480 or better GPU. The system also requires a USB 2.0 port and a copy of Windows 7, Windows 8.x, or Windows 10.

The new headset’s requirements are somewhat different. The Vive Pro is doesn’t require a more powerful CPU, but the recommended GPU specifications went up. Technically, the Vive Pro is still compatible with all GPUs that work with the original Vive, but HTC and Nvidia suggest stepping up to a GTX 1070 for the best experience. AMD hasn’t publicly weighed in, but if you’re playing for team red, HTC suggests using a Radeon RX Vega 56 or better to drive the Vive Pro.

The new headset no longer supports USB 2.0--it requires at least a USB 3.0 port to operate. HTC also dropped support for Windows 7, so if you haven’t upgraded your OS and don’t intend to, you should stick with the original Vive headset. And we already knew that HTC dropped the HDMI cable for a DisplayPort cable on the new Link Box.

HTC no doubt knew that $800 for the Vive Pro would ruffle some feathers. The company may have elected to keep the recommended specifications under the radar because of the current state of the GPU market. Revealing the specifications on day one would only fuel the controversy surrounding the Vive Pro’s release. However, we don’t expect many people to drop $800 on a new headset if you don’t yet own a high-end GPU, so maybe the new recommended specs won't deter many prospective Vive Pro owners from picking up the new HMD.

The HTC Vive Pro HMD upgrade is available April 5. The company is accepting pre-orders now.

  • Giroro
    The new Vive isn't actually $800 though, right? Doesn't it come out closer to $1200 once you include the new-longer-bundled-but-basically-required lighthouses and controllers?
    $800 is just the price for people who already have a Vive bundle to upgrade to a slightly better headset.
    Did I mention how disappointed I am by the pricing of the Vive Pro?
    Reply
  • Grayson Grouge
    Wow that gets me heated @GIRORO
    Reply
  • Specter0420
    This is so disappointing, this barely qualifies as Gen 1.5! I tried the Samsung Odyssey (same resolution) and switched back to the Rift. I hope Pimax delivers with the 8K, that will be the first true Gen 2 HMD.
    Reply
  • jroc188
    my buddy has the HTC Vive he paid $1200ca for the thing. I let him try out my HP mixed reality headset I got for $200ca. He was pissed that he jump in early
    Reply
  • Jeff Fx
    > and Vive fans reacted with outrage.

    Their sense of entitlement was embarrassing. If something doesn't seem like a good value, just don't buy it, rather than acting like you're entitled to new tech at a low cost, and are somehow justified in being angry that it's not sold at a loss.

    Early adopters pay more. That's just a fact of business.

    Did the Internet make people worse, or is it just exposing their clueless beliefs?
    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    20832084 said:
    The new Vive isn't actually $800 though, right? Doesn't it come out closer to $1200 once you include the new-longer-bundled-but-basically-required lighthouses and controllers?
    $800 is just the price for people who already have a Vive bundle to upgrade to a slightly better headset.
    Did I mention how disappointed I am by the pricing of the Vive Pro?

    HTC said in January that it would release just the headset as an upgrade for people with existing Vive's first.
    The full bundle, which will include the updated lighthouses is coming later this year. I would expect between $1000 to $1200 for the full package.

    Reply
  • kcarbotte
    20832205 said:
    This is so disappointing, this barely qualifies as Gen 1.5! I tried the Samsung Odyssey (same resolution) and switched back to the Rift. I hope Pimax delivers with the 8K, that will be the first true Gen 2 HMD.

    The resolution of the panels is the same, but the difference in price is because of the rest of the headset. watch for the full review coming soon for a better explanation.
    Reply
  • cryoburner
    Revealing the specifications on day one would only fuel the controversy surrounding the Vive Pro’s release.
    I don't think they really needed to reveal the system requirements at that point. It should be obvious to anyone at least somewhat familiar with computer hardware that increasing the resolution by nearly 75% would require a higher-end graphics card to maintain a similar level of performance. The percentage increase in resolution is similar to that of going from 1080p resolution to 1440p, after all. Now, since dynamic resolution scaling was recently added to SteamVR, you technically could get away with the same level of hardware that the original Vive required, but most content would be rendered at the same resolution as the original Vive and upscaled, which would defeat the main point of paying more for the new hardware.

    20832205 said:
    This is so disappointing, this barely qualifies as Gen 1.5! I tried the Samsung Odyssey (same resolution) and switched back to the Rift. I hope Pimax delivers with the 8K, that will be the first true Gen 2 HMD.
    I guess that depends on what one considers a "generation". CPU manufacturers typically tend to consider a 10% or so increase in performance as a generation. With graphics cards it's often a bit higher, but they'll still often repackage the same hardware a couple generations in a row with only slightly higher clocks and minor enhancements. With console hardware, each generation tends to bring about a relatively large increase in performance, but those tend to be many years apart. This headset is only coming around 2 years after the first generation of consumer VR hardware launched. How much are they expected to change after just 2 years? From a resolution standpoint, an almost 75% increase is huge, and requires significantly higher graphics card performance. The performance of GPUs at a given price point hasn't yet really improved since shortly after the first-gen headsets launched though. And recently, their prices have increased substantially, to the point where most cards currently cost as much or more for a given level of performance than what one would have paid more than 3 years ago for the previous generation of graphics cards. They obviously can't just release a product intended for a wide audience that requires a $1000 graphics card to use.

    I would say that the resolution of this headset was a good choice for them to aim for. However, I would have liked to have seen other additions like eye tracking by this point. Eye tracking, along with foveated rendering support in software, would need to be included in a headset to push resolution much higher. Aside from resolution, the Vive Pro doesn't really seem to add much from a feature standpoint. Support for the new base-stations and controllers is to be expected, but those aren't even out yet, let alone bundled with the hardware.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    It must be nice to live of niche market, selling over priced gear with minimum upgrades
    Reply
  • dabeargrowls
    Don't waste your money on it. I have a GTX 1080TI FTW3 and it can't even use max settings on any good games so why does anyone think a 1070 can drive the pro? the pro is a rip! 800 bucks for a little more resolution? you can buy the current vive with wireless and the new headset for 800. You want wireless for the pro? its not even ready yet! why go backwards? just wait....save your money and wait since new hardware is coming out fairly quickly.
    Reply