We have seen the recommended specifications for using Oculus Rift that came from the developers; 2 USB3 ports, NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290, Intel i5-4590, and 8GB RAM. (Reference) That leaves a lot of us behind. The Sansar Beta should open up in early 2016. So, maybe it is necessary we start looking at upgrading so we can be Oculus ready.
If you followed the link and read the article, you know this is the requirement for ‘sustained’ comfort and presence. It is not the minimum requirement. My Duo-Core2 Quad and NVIDIA 560 will power a VR headset, Oculus or other. How well, is the question. Will its performance be such that it will be likely to induce simulator sickness? Probably. But, I suspect most of us would still like to know the MINIMUM specs. They are; 2 USB2? Ports, Nvidia 9800 or AMD 4870 graphics card with 1 GB dedicated RAM, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU or 2.4 GHz AMD Phenom 9850 Quad Core CPU, and at least 65 GB of HDD space. (ref: GameSpot – June 2015) I
have more than the minimum and I am sure lots of other SL residents do too. But, I am pretty sure the lag will be horrendous and the experience uncomfortable, physically uncomfortable, with a minimum rig. It is way unclear what the experience will be like on rigs between the minimum and recommended specs.
If you are wondering what uncomfortable means, they are talking about what dropped frames do to the experience. If your computer can’t render all the frames it needs, it skips some. In SL we call see that as the image jerking. VR headsets magnify that problem and the jerks are visually jarring. I suppose somewhat like a bumpy road that bangs you around.
So, what will we need and what will it cost for a recommended rig?
VR headsets are connected to the computer via USB. All the visual data has move through the USB connection.
Most machines sold before 2015 have USB2 ports. You can use the Open Hardware Monitor to get your motherboard designator and look up the specs to see if you have USB2 or 3.
The max data transfer through a USB2 is 60mb per second (MBps). With a USB3 port it is 640MBps, that’s 10+ times faster. But, in real life we are not achieving those speeds, with 2 or 3. Today’s USB3 devices usually provide a performance improvements of 3 times faster than USB2. The specification for USB3 provides for faster transfer rates than we are seeing. The limitation is mostly a matter of the hardware being built.
More pages, links below…