As the release of the Rift draws closer I thought it would be a good idea to put together a budget Rift build. There is a lot talk online about the steep price to buy into VR since many people will need to purchase a new PC in addition to the Rift headset. Oculus has published a set of official recommended specs as a guide map for any PC build but the question still remains:
“What is the cheapest PC I can build for the Rift?”
I thought it would be possible to build an Oculus PC under $1000 and cheaper than a premade “Oculus Ready” PC. It can be hard to mix and match parts to find the right combination. but here is what I would recommend:
|Processor||Intel Core i5-4590K||$199|
|Graphics Card||EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5||$335|
|Motherboard||MSI ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1150||$95|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB Kit||$38|
|Storage||ADATA SP600 2.5-Inch 64 GB SATA III||$35|
|Case||Rosewill ATX Galaxy Case||$48|
|Power Supply||EVGA 500W||$35|
This covers the bare minimum for the PC but you may need some additional items if you don’t already have them:
|OS||Windows 10 Home – USB Drive||$120|
|Monitor||Acer S220HQL Abd 21.5-Inch LCD||$100|
|Keyboard and Mouse||LED CM Storm Devastator||$30|
My previous Rift PC Build slightly exceeded the recommenced specs by using a few higher end components and was built to support some future upgrades. I wanted to shoot for the lowest price components to deliver the most inexpensive Rift build possible.
The selection process was straightforward since Oculus’s recommended specs already have the CPU and graphics card already selected – I only needed to find the supporting components.
Two key decisions I made were eliminating an optical drive to save money and the inclusion of a SSD over a regular hard drive for performance reasons. Physical media is almost dead and if you’re building a new PC you should have a SSD otherwise you’re selling yourself short.
Here are the components and a few details about the selection process.
Processor – Intel Core i5-4590K – This is the minimum Oculus recommended processor so no options here. It’s a Haswell processor from Intel, will offer excellent performance for the cost. Note that this includes its own cooler, fan, and thermal paste – nothing else is required here!
Graphics Card – EVGA NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4GB GDDR5 – This is the minimum recommended chip set from Oculus and the most inexpensive card that has it. Great performance for the price and EVGA is a quality manufacturer.
Motherboard – MSI ATX DDR3 2400 LGA 1150 – supports Z97, modern and inexpensive. (2) USB 3.0 ports for the Rift. This is a great foundation for a new PC and has an awesome BIOS screen for easy setup.
Memory – Crucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB Kit – Two sticks of 4GB RAM to meet the minimum requirements. Nothing special here but it does look cool!
Storage – ADATA SP600 2.5-Inch 64 GB SATA III – Solid state drive for the OS. It’s on the small side at 64 GB but it will make the entire system snappy. Consider a 3.5 SATA expansion disk for game storage.
Case – Rosewill ATX Galaxy Case – Nice inexpensive case with plenty of room inside. I don’t think this is winning any style awards but it fits the bill and Rosewill makes quality products.
Power Supply – EVGA 500W – Inexpensive but well made power supply, plenty of juice to go around.
OS - Windows 10 Home – USB Drive – The new standard here, shipped on a USB drive for easy installation.
Monitor – Acer S220HQL Abd 21.5-Inch LCD - Inexpensive LED monitor that’s great for gaming for when you’re not wearing the Rift.
Keyboard and Mouse – LED CM Storm Devastator – A nice combo to go with this PC, the back lit keyboard is a nice touch
This should be everything you need to put together an inexpensive Rift PC. I included Amazon links for everything as they have competitive prices and I recommend them for their Prime shipping and ease of exchanges.
Never built a PC before? It’s easier than you think – everything snaps together. I recommend the step-by-step guide at Tom’s Hardware.