Following the launch of the more powerful GTX 1060, 1070, and 1080, NVIDIA revealed the latest in their low-end GeForce GPUs, the GTX 1050 and 1050 Ti in October 2016. While not the first in line for a premium VR experience, the more powerful 1050 Ti now officially meets the Oculus Minimum Specification.

Update (4/9/17, 1:27PM PT): Oculus has officially updated its Minimum Specs to include the GTX 1050 Ti alongside the RX 470. As of this update, the Oculus Minimum Spec according to the company’s Support Center is as follows:

Graphics Card NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti / AMD Radeon RX 470 or greater
Alternative Graphics Card NVIDIA GTX 960 / AMD Radeon R9 290 or greater
CPU Intel i3-6100 / AMD FX4350 or greater
Memory 8GB+ RAM
Video Output Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
USB Ports 1x USB 3.0 port, plus 2x USB 2.0 ports
OS Windows 8.1 or newer

This change replaces the more expensive GTX 1060 GPU which was previously listed as the least powerful NVIDIA GPU that would meet the Oculus Minimum Spec.

Note that the ‘Oculus Minimum Spec’ is separate and lower than the ‘Oculus Recommended Spec’, thanks to the use of ASW rendering technology which is at this stage proprietary to Oculus. That means that the GTX 1050 Ti will work for the Rift but does not meet the recommended specifications set by Valve/HTC for the Vive (which are instead in line with the Oculus Recommended Spec).

Original Article (10/18/16): Earlier this month at the company’s developer conference, Oculus announced a new VR rendering technology called Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW). The tech, which enables reprojection for positional movement of the headset, reduces frame rendering from 90 FPS to 45 FPS while creating new synthetic frames between each of those frames. The end result is a VR game that renders at 45 FPS, but displays through the headset at 90 FPS.

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This greatly reduces the computing power needed to ensure a comfortable, stutter free VR experience, Oculus says, so much so that they announced a new, lower set of “Minimum Specifications” to accompany their “Recommended Specifications.” While the Recommended Specification calls for an ‘NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD R9 290 equivalent or greater’ GPU, the Minimum Specification drops things down to an ‘NVIDIA GTX 960 or greater’.

While Nvidia’s new $109 GTX 1050 is definitely out of the running, the $139 GTX 1050 Ti might just make the grade. The company confirmed to Road to VR that the 1050 Ti is undergoing evaluation internally and with Oculus to ensure that it has the power needed to meet the Minimum Specification.

“We expect that the [GTX 1050] Ti will meet [Oculus’ minimum] requirement,” said an Nvidia spokesperson who further added that the company recommends the more powerful GTX 1060 (which meets the Recommended Spec) for “native 90 FPS gameplay” which wouldn’t rely on Oculus’ Asynchronous Spacewarp. Oculus too, when introducing ASW, said that there’s “no replacement for native 90 FPS VR.”

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While Nvidia expects the GTX 1050 Ti to meet the Oculus Minimum Specification, it’s important to note that Steam doesn’t yet have an equivalent to ASW rendering and still recommends a GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290 or better for the HTC Vive.

nvidia-gtx-1050

The GTX 1050 Ti is priced at $139 with a release date of October 25th and will be available from Nvidia’s hardware partners. The company doesn’t plan to launch a Founder’s Edition of the GPU as it has done with other 10-series cards.

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Specs

Graphics Processing Clusters 2
Streaming Multiprocessors 6
CUDA Cores (single precision) 768
Texture Units 48
ROP Units 32
Base Clock 1290 MHz
Boost Clock 1392 MHz
Memory Clock 3504 Mhz
Memory Data Rate 7 Gbps
L2 Cahce Size 1024K
Total Video Memory 4096 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface 128-bit
Total Memory Bandwidth 112 GB/s
Texture Rate (Bilinear) 61.9 GigaTexels/sec
Fabrication Process 14 nm
Transistor Count 3.3 billion
Connectors 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, 1x Dual-link DVI
Form Factor Dual Slot
Power Connectors None
Recommended Power Supply 300 Watts
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 75 Watts
Thermal Threshold 97 degrees C

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  • David Herrington

    What? No SLI? ;)

    Could probably connect 4 of these together for some decent power…

    • Andrew Jakobs

      propably because due to DX12 (or vulkan) it’s no longer necessary to use SLI to use multiple (different) GPU’s..

      • Get Schwifty!

        I think the real issue is that no one makes (or thinks there is a market) for folks to use very low end GPU’s in SLI on budget mother boards. That kind of buyer is typically not going to open up their PC’s much if ever. I suspect too when you compare prices, for the price of two at that point a single card solution makes it pointless for power.

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Most of the new Nvidia cards (the 10×0 line) don’t support SLI (or more than 2). Also SLI adds extra complexity/hardware to the cards which makes them more expensive to produce. And if only a few people actually use it, and if the newer graphix API’s can use multiple GPU’s without need of SLI/Crossfire then why add it..

          • J.C.

            Dx12 supposedly can use multiple video cards to assemble graphics for a game, but only Ashes of the Singularity bothered. It’s not automatic, it absolutely requires work on the developer’s part, and SLI effectively died in the last two years. No dev wants to deal with the added complexity anymore, and I can’t say I blame them.

            Also, bare minimum spec cards like these will not work at anything above bare minimum quality, and for VR, that means a blurry, timewarped mess. The minimum spec for VR hasn’t actually dropped, Oculus has only decided that their previous “must be a premium experience” is no longer their primary goal.

            If you’re trying to build a machine for less than the cost of the hardware you’re intending to attach to it, you should expect crap results, so you won’t be disappointed. Oculus is pushing this new lower spec without making it VERY clear that it’s not going to be the same experience.

          • jlschmugge

            Can you send a link about not needing SLI for two cards. I’d love to be able to get some boost because of an old card lying around.

  • Shawn

    It features 4GB of GDDR5, not GDDR4, VRAM.

  • Alexander Schick

    How does this compare with the $200-$230 amd gpu?

    • Get Schwifty!

      I think I read somewhere that it pretty much puts them to shame currently…

      • Jim Cherry

        amd’s having some stability issues at this time.

    • Mitroll

      The RX480 is about as fast as a GTX 1060, so I think this will be a little slower.

  • Renos Dickey

    This is good news!

  • flavortang

    That’s insane. The rate at which the minimum spec VR-compatible PC is dropping in price is astounding. When the Rift/Vive came out less than a year ago the minimum spec PC cost around a thousand. Now, conceivably you could get a min-spec PC for around $400. The total cost for PC-based VR is now nearing sub-$1000 in less than a year. Freakin’ crazy.

    • $400 on a damn good sale :)

      • flavortang

        A $140 GPU is a long way towards a $400 PC.

        • Robbie Cartwright

          I think I came up with a list of parts a few days ago to give you a over-rec spec 1060 machine for 500$. Soo 1100$ for a pretty awesome VR experience.

          • Michael Davidson

            The 1060 is the absolute bottom; IMHO, for the VIVE. I have an overclocked 3GB version powering a VIVE right now and it is quite a bit less capable than my 1070.

          • Robbie Cartwright

            Yeah, I get ya! I believe the parts list I came up with had a 6Gb version of the 1060 in it. My actual PC at home that I do VR with (not the parts list) is just the rec spec for Rift, so it runs a 970. So far I’ve been happy with it, but I’ll probably upgrade sometime soon.

          • Robbie Cartwright

            Realized I had placed a GTX 960 actually in my parts list for the computer I was talking about (my brother is wanting to get into gaming, and I want to build a PC for him that’s VR ready just in case). So, I looked around a bit and found everything I needed, and just switched the GPU to a 1060, either 3 or 6 GBs. with three gigs it’s $387.47, with 6 gigs it’s around 437.46 (without a 23$ case). Still below 500$ excluding a hard drive he already has, which is amazing! Here’s the link to all my parts – https://goo.gl/yAl2z1

          • Jim Cherry

            I’m always amazed at how people will use pc parts picker as an example on how to build a cheap gaming rig. The question then becomes how many people use it to build their personal rigs and how low would they actually go.

          • Robbie Cartwright

            Yeah, I agree… although I didn’t use partspicker. I wonder if I could find some cheaper parts there though. Oh well.

          • SandmaN

            Don’t forget the price of a Rift, $600, or a Vive, $800. Plus tripods or wall mounting brackets for your cameras, plus, if using a Rift, extra long USB 3.0 cables and possibly a powered USB hub. Now still pretty expensive, eh? All that for a bottom-of-the-barrel VR experience. It’s really in your best interest to save up for premium components to get the best VR experience. The experience you’ll have with the parts you’ve chosen will be, how shall I say…. ‘less than optimal’.

          • Robbie Cartwright

            Yeah, thanks for joining the conversation there! Yes, the computer that I was building for my brother was really only meant for a “less than optimal” experience. I wouldn’t recommend those pieces at all for a rec spec or optimal experience machine. And yes, extra pieces are needed for both headsets (which I own, btw) and I’ve bought some of those and got mounts (for Rift) from a friend who was giving some away. And my personal VR machine runs a 1070 now, so it’s much better off. I ended up just placing my old 970 inside of my brothers new computer instead of buying a cheaper GPU. >w<

          • RFC

            I had a G1 GTX1070 and it was less capable than I required for applying SS to any useful amount in many titles, often not well optimised

            Valve’s “the lab” using their dynamic engine was absolutely beautiful and ran like a dream.

            looking forward to Volta in MY18

    • Get Schwifty!

      Well, this is meant I think for social-VR experiences and light gaming with minimal settings as a true, entry level experience. It’s establishing a standard for consumer-grade PC’s off the shelf, effectively setting systems apart as VR-Ready to distinguish from systems relying just on Intel graphics that are part of the CPU that won’t be capable for some time… It’s interesting to see, but I doubt anyone on these forums would touch one with a 10′ foot pole.

      • RFC

        found even the burly (and well priced) GTX 1070 under powered for any useful application of SS to many titles on Vive

        this 1050 Ti with its 1.9 GFLOPS for some social-vr and light gaming as you say, should be ok.

      • Exactly. Why would someone [capable] of shelling out ~$700 for an HMD and controllers, then Try to spend ~$110 rather than $500-$600 to get a SUBSTANTIALLY better experience in nearly all apps (because supersampling benefits even the simplest graphics). Everyone is going on about how insanely powerful the 1080ti is, but given the benefits of super-sampling, there’s no such thing as “powerful enough” with the current generation of GPUs and HMDs. More-so as we hit higher resolutions and framerates. Hmm. Pascal XP… in SLI? :)

    • Michael Davidson

      We have to remember that this will make the minimum requirements for the Oculus, not the VIVE. ATW and ASW are not available on the SteamVR platform at this time and as such will still need at bare minimum a GTX 970 or R9 390.

      • flavortang

        Oh yeah. It’s still an exciting development for VR.

      • NooYawker

        I thought asynchronous reprojection was similar to ASW.

        • Doctor Bambi

          Valve’s Asynchronous Reprojection is similar to Oculus’ ATW which smooths headset rotational information. Valve currently doesn’t have a solution for smoothing out positional data like ASW does.

  • Price dropping means more adoption for VR, that’s an enormous news

    • Jim Cherry

      agreed cant wait till the headsets and controllers start coming down in price.

  • MosBen

    This is absolutely a good thing for VR. The thing that the VR pessimists don’t understand is that VR doesn’t have to be a ubiquitous technology overnight. When the Rift and Vive launched earlier this year the cost to build a VR capable PC was in the realm of hardcore enthusiasts with lots of money. Less than a year later we’re looking at being able to build a VR-capable PC for money that budget conscious gamers might have. In a year or less we’ll have OEM PCs that are VR capable, and with the release of the PS4 Pro and Xbox Scorpio we’ll have consoles designed to be powerful enough for VR.

    My mom doesn’t need to invest in a VR-capable PC for VR tech to continue to develop and get better. The enthusiasts have shown enough interest that that is going to happen regardless. Now it’s just a matter of waiting and watching everything get better and cheaper until it hits big.

  • John

    Out of curiosity, with ASW is it possible to crank up supersampling on a GTX1060 for games like ED and DCS now?

  • Sam Illingworth

    What is with these bloody names? A 1050 Ti? So, is that better than a 1060? Why not just use more numbers?

    • benz145

      Good point, I don’t think it’s better than the 1060 though, I guess it’s akin to a 1055.

  • jlschmugge

    What are people opinions on SLIing two of these compared to getting a 1070? I figure I could get one each paycheck instead of paying a lump for a better card. Is SLI cheaper?

    • J.C.

      These don’t support SLI at all.

  • flamaest

    I would not cheap-out with a low-ball GPU like this. Just get the 1080 or save your pennies. With a 1050, you will just have to get a new GPU in 4 months when you realize none of the better quality VR titles runs on it smoothly.

  • cheapervr

    What’s big about this is that the 1050ti will run in any prebuilt, using cheap motherboards, no external power required and will fit small form factor cases. This could drop the potential minimum cost of hardware to around $800 or lower.

  • Mermado 1936

    Who cares… its Oculus=Facebook… you buy in the future an LG and you cant use all your catalog in Oculus Store… go to hell Oculus.