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Just wondering if someone could recommend a pre-built system that would be good for medium-high settings for VR?
Can it be done for £1000 GBP or cheaper?
I haven't been following the VR market at all, but I believe the hardware demands are roughly two screens of 1440p resolution at 90Hz each. As far as I know, no single card on the market can really do that, but a 3080 will get pretty close. A 3090 will do a little better, but costs just about double.
A 3080 alone would eat most of your budget, I fear. You'd probably be looking at closer to £2K than £1K.
Carl Sagan: "Clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."
Something like this would be OK for VR. The RTX 3060 Ti should perform similar to a 2080, but this puts you about £200 over budget.
This one is advertised as VR Ready, but I have my doubts that it would work well enough to not be an absolute headache to get working well. As much as I like AMD, the 5600 XT would be more on par to a 2060, so you'd likely be solidly in medium settings with a brand new PC.
To be honest, I'm not sure I would actually buy either of these, I just figured I could get a couple examples of pre-builts on Newegg around your budget to compare. Unfortunately I agree with Malor, if you want to do VR long term, you'll need about double your budget. It's not that you can't do VR for cheap, it's just that you won't be doing VR for cheap for long unless you plan to upgrade the GPU again down the road. And considering I can't build these in PCPartPicker for even close to the same price (while including mouse, keyboard, and a copy of Windows) I'd be heavily suspect of what kind of cheap crap they built these with. Probably heavily cheaped out on the motherboard and PSU, would be my guess.
On the second system, I doubt you'd be starting with the ability to run anything at high settings, which means you'll be tuning things down to low fairly soon. That's a large investment for a system that will be outdated within a year or so. The first system likely has a bit more longevity, but even there I'd expect it to just meet your requirements now, and you'd be fully in medium settings before long.
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I know you're asking specifically about a PC, but it's worth considering the Oculus Quest (1 or 2). They're extremely comfortable, easy to use, totally standalone, and do the VR thing really pretty well. And only $299-399 (depending on storage size). It's definitely not going to get you the top-tier graphics that a dedicated (and expensive) PC would give, but it does get the job done, and no trace of VR motion sickness from anyone I've put through it.
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That's a shame that the the budget is still at the high end for VR. I was hoping that we might have seen a drop in specs that would last at least a few years.
I did think about a standalone but missing out on titles like Half Life: Alex swayed me into the PC build.