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Nvidia Launches Qualification Program To Help Identify VR Ready PCs

By now, it's no surprise that 2016 is going to be the year of VR, and at CES there will be many VR-related things to see. Nvidia is obviously making a huge contribution with its GPUs, but the GPU-maker is hoping to make things a little easier for consumers, too, with its VR Ready program.

Nvidia's VR Ready program, announced today, is a qualification program that aims to make it easier for consumers to identify PCs and notebooks that are, well, VR ready.

As you probably know, VR is going to be much more demanding than traditional gaming on a monitor. While you can get away with running a game at 1080p at 30 FPS on a typical monitor, if you're running that in VR, you'll get sick, period. VR needs to run at a minimum of 90 frames per second with very little latency and very consistent frame timing in order to give you an immersive experience. Delivering such performance will take some serious hardware.

For a PC to be certified as VR Ready, desktops will need a GTX 970 graphics card or above, while for notebooks the baseline starts at a GTX 980. Additionally, you'll need two USB 3.0 ports, 8 GB of memory or more, an Intel core i5-4590 or better CPU, HDMI 1.3, Windows 7 SP1 or above, and the latest driver with VR support. Naturally, you'll also need a head-mounted display.

Of course, if you're well-versed in the world of computer hardware, identifying a PC that is VR Ready won't be a challenge for you, but Nvidia's program aims to make this easier for all consumers. When we interviewed Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, he said that Oculus likely won't stop you from running VR on systems that do not meet the minimum specifications, stating that while you may be able to run Oculus Rift on such a system, Oculus won't guarantee a good experience, nor will it support your system.

You'll be able to recognize a VR Ready PC or notebook by looking for the VR Ready badge, as pictured above. Nvidia is collaborating with various PC makers, including Alienware, Maingear, MSI, and many more for the qualification program; the full list is available here.

Follow Niels Broekhuijsen @NBroekhuijsen. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • frillybob101
    I thought oculus changed it to 4 USB 3.0 ports?
    Reply
  • HotRod5353
    One thing I never see mentioned in articles about VR or Oculus requirements is dual cards. I have two GTX760's SLI and don't know if that will be enough because SLI or Crossfire never seemed to be addressed in any article I've read so far.
    Reply
  • HotRod5353
    One thing I haven't seen discussed so far is SLI or Crossfire. I have two GTX760 cards and I have no idea if that will be enough.
    Reply
  • surphninja
    Are they really aiming to make it easier, or pushing you to upgrade your not yet obsolete video card? I suppose it's better than their usual method of intentionally bogging down your card to convince you to upgrade.

    I wonder which AMD cards would pass their qualification test.
    Reply
  • cletus_slackjawd
    Doesn't seem to me a 970 gtx will be enough for consistent 90 fps in 2016, but what do I know. Also my i5 3750k is still a first tier CPU and they are saying not enough? I wonder why.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    None of the games I play supports it, it's a bit premature to ask if your rig is going to support vaperwear
    Reply
  • HotRod5353
    17256099 said:
    None of the games I play supports it, it's a bit premature to ask if your rig is going to support vaperwear

    Reply
  • razor512
    Even a 3 way SLI GTX 980 ti will not meet these requirements. Remember, that 90FPS figure is a minimum. How many games have you see with great visuals, that can also hold a 90FPS mimimum.

    VR will not be too appealing if visuals overall have to be toned down significantly in order to ensure that high end systems can maintain a high minimum frame rate.

    I have used the newer oculus rift (demo) and while it is a cool experience, it loses the cool factor really quickly since the demos use dated graphics on a platform where visuals play a more important role.

    With non VR, it is easy to accept non visually stunning content, especially of the gameplay is great, but with VR, you can't really skimp on the visuals, or you end up with an experience that does not last much beyond the initial novelty, as they are needed to maintain a more true sense of realism in terms of the feel of the visual experience.
    Reply
  • HotRod5353
    17256099 said:
    None of the games I play supports it, it's a bit premature to ask if your rig is going to support vaperwear

    I don't understand what you're saying? Tons of games support SLI and crossfire.

    Reply
  • AnimeMania
    If the desktop computer VR industry wanted wide adoption, they should make it possible for desktops to run the same VR programs that smartphones use. I am sure most people's desktop computers can outperform the latest smartphones in CPU and GPU functions. This would also greatly increase the number of VR titles available and allow people to gradually update their computers while becoming more acquainted with the idea and usefulness of VR.
    Reply