VR and you - which card do I need?

I ordered an Oculus Rift, and as usual I went plowing ahead before really thinking things through and making sure I had the hardware to support it. It seems I should be ok though- I have a GTX 970 which looks to be the accepted minimum. Anyone else use a rift with a 970? How is the experience? I'm considering a small upgrade because the graphics snob in me doesn't want to play Skyrim/Subnautica VR on minimum settings. GTX 1060 seems like a reasonably priced option (it will have to be a budget card- I did just buy a rift after all ), but is it really going to give me much of a boost over a 970?

Yours clueless as usual,

I'm curious about this too. I run a pretty mid-range system that does great for 1080p gaming, but I suspect would have problems with VR. I'm on an i7-4770 and an RX 480 with 8gb each system and video RAM. According to the Oculus specs, that puts me above their recommended specs, but I'm willing to bet in actual practice, that'd be enough for some games, and not enough for others.

I've been wanting to try VR for a while, so I asked my wife to get me a PSVR for Christmas, and hopefully she did. I figure that's a relatively affordable and straightforward way to see how I like VR. If it's something I like and want to get more into, I'll think about investing in one of the PC setups.

You want the absolute best card you can afford. You must maintain 90fps to avoid disorientation and possible nausea while using the headset. Lower end cards mean you'll be sacrificing a lot of the pretty options just to maintain the framerate. I use a 1080 with my Vive, and it's not enough to run a lot of games with high graphics settings.

Well, we'll find out, because the rift arrived but I haven't had time to unbox it yet. Hopefully I can at least play Subnautica on medium settings. From further research it looks like a 1060 would be a pointless upgrade. A 1070 is where I should be aiming and that means saving for a bit. Heck a new rig would be ideal because I'm worried about a processor bottleneck, but I think I'm a year or two away from that. In the meantime, from a lot of digging on various forums my 970 should give me a reasonable experience so long as I'm willing to lower my settings.

I watched a few youtube videos of the rift on a 970. None of the videos I watched had problems. I think doom was getting around 90 fps.

Doom probably isn't the best benchmark. That thing is ridiculously well optimized.

It ran fine on my 7870. Of course I bought a RX 580 that I received within a week of getting the Oculus Rift.
Many people say that the minimum specs are inflated for the Rift at least. There is a mode that locks the framerate at 45fps that lets lower end specs run VR fine.

Timely topic - I have been using a 1060 3GB card with my Oculus and for the most part it runs fine. I do not have any issues with nausea or disorientation, but occasionally on very demanding applications (like flight sims) the screen will briefly freeze. It has also occasionally dipped in frame rates. I feel like the 1060 runs the Oculus okay for the most part, but it's right at the absolute limit.

I'm noticing that GTX 1070 Ti cards are going on sale in the $350-$400 range, which is about the most I'll spend for a video card. Now I'm trying to figure out if that's worth it, assuming I can eBay the 1060 and recoup a bit of it. Seems like the 1070 has about a 30-40% boost over the 1060, and going from 3GB of VRAM to 8GB would be nice, especially for VR.

Well, since I started the thread I should probably finish with what I actually ended up doing, which was buying a GTX 1070. Not the Ti version - here in the UK we don't get a very favourable deal on graphics cards. The plain old 1070 was £330, but I'm hoping to be able to sell my 970 for about £120 on ebay, so I can recoup quite a chunk. What I will say though is that I feel the upgrade was absolutely worth it. Before I plugged in the 1070 I'd get the occasional black screen. Only for a second or two, but enough to make games like Beat Saber unplayable. If it happened once a song I would basically fail every level. I've had no such blackouts since the upgrade. Now, whether a 1060 would have done the trick just as well, I'll never know, but I'm happy with what I've got, even if it means I'll need to tighten the purse strings a bit this Christmas!

I bit on the 1070 Ti after seeing Amazon go out of stock later in the afternoon and my local Microcenter go down to a single card in stock. The cheapest I'm seeing any 1070Ti cars now is about $479, so $360 feels like a pretty good deal. It ended up being the same day we had to take a car into the shop for unknown issues, so I am feeling a little irresponsible. However, VR is noticeably improved.

Although I am wondering if my 500W power supply is going to cut it. I got a weird "red bars across the screen" glitch the first time I tried to boot with the 1070Ti, but I restarted and it's been fine since. Maybe a weird driver problem, since I didn't uninstall the nVidia drivers before swapping out the 1060 and in the 1070Ti? My wife's PC has a totally unnecessary 750W power supply so maybe I'll just swap them.

500W seems low. I have 850W which is definitely overkill, but I don't think I'd be comfortable with less than 650.

Yeah, I wondered about that. The 1070Ti box says 500W supply minimum. I don't have all that much else running in it - the CPU and motherboard, RAM, and a couple of SSDs. The Oculus headset plugged into USB ports. That's about it.

I've used it a bit and so far it's fine. I'll probably still swap out the 750W supply in our other PC.

It depends on your CPU and whether you're overclocking either it or the video card. The 1070Ti can pull about 250 watts at max load. An Intel CPU is typically under a hundred watts, depends on which one you have, and typically less than 150 watts when OCed, although they can go higher in some cases, or if you've got one of the crazy expensive models. AMD chips can go absolutely nuts on power consumption if you OC them; this is less true of Ryzen chips, but I haven't really looked closely at those. I'd probably peg 150ish for non-OC AMD, 250ish if OCed. The motherboard and ancillary hardware, unless you've got an unusual setup, will usually take about fifty watts max.

So, with a standard-clocked Intel board with a normal consumer CPU and a standard 1070Ti, you shouldn't exceed about 400, maybe 450 watts of draw. But if you're OCing anything, or if you have an AMD CPU, a 500 watt supply might very well be inadequate. A 750 should give you tons of room.


Add 50 Watt for Ryzen 2600x and 2700x vs similar spec Intel

Malor wrote:

So, with a standard-clocked Intel board with a normal consumer CPU and a standard 1070Ti, you shouldn't exceed about 400, maybe 450 watts of draw. But if you're OCing anything, or if you have an AMD CPU, a 500 watt supply might very well be inadequate. A 750 should give you tons of room.

It's an Intel i5 4590, which is listed at 84W max TDP. ASRock H97M Pro 4 motherboard with 12GB of RAM, 3 SSDs, the 1070Ti and an Oculus hooked up and powered via USB. That's about it.

I'm not too concerned about running everything stock, but the ASUS GPU Tweak II program looks like it includes options to OC the 1070Ti card, so at some point I'll swap the power supplies. I just have to find the time and wherewithal to risk what feels like fairly major PC surgery.