Looking to lower the barrier of entry for VR, CyberPower Inc., a custom PC manufacturer, recently announced a new Oculus Ready gaming system that could just convince you to take the plunge into virtual reality. Dubbed the ‘Gamer Ultra VR Desktop’, the custom PC was created in partnership with AMD and Oculus, and being bundled with the Oculus Rift for a total of $1,099.98 from Amazon (link available soon) and BestBuy’s online shop.

Subtracting the price of the Rift headset ($599), that makes CyberPower’s new Oculus ready PC one of the most affordable options at $499.

CyberPower’s new system is certainly skating by on the bare minimum of what’s currently possible with its 4.2GHz AMD FX 4350 CPU and 4GB Radeon RX 470 graphics card, as even Oculus still recommends you have at least an NVIDIA GTX 1060/AMD Radeon RX 480 or greater for “the full Rift experience.” However, if you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to muck around with building your own PC and doesn’t have the scratch necessary for a future-proof beast of your dreams, the pre-built custom ‘Gamer Ultra VR Desktop’ could fit them bill if you’re currently looking for minimal upfront investment.

CyberPowerPC ‘Gamer Ultra VR Desktop’ specs

  • AMD FX 4350 @ 4.2GHz CPU
  • AMD Radeon RX 470 4GB GPU
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB HDD 7200RPM
  • 3x USB 3.0, 7x USB 2.0
  • DVD+RW, DVD-RW
  • Gaming Keyboard and Gaming Mouse included
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Besides the fact that 2016 saw the first sub-$200 GPUs to land in the VR hardware bin, the lower price tag is primarily due to a new feature revealed by Oculus at Connect 3, the company’s annual dev conference, which Oculus says will not only help lower-end systems get into VR, but more importantly let them hit the 90 fps required for a smooth experience. Announced alongside the company’s new minimum spec, Oculus revealed Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW), a feature designed to make positional tracking feel smoother by fixing judder caused when you computer’s GPU can’t keep up. It does this by cutting the VR app’s framerate in half to 45 fps and blending in a synthetically generated frame to return it to 90, essentially giving lower-end GPUs a little more leeway when it comes to rendering scenes in VR.

Oculus maintains that the system offered in the bundle has been “extensively tested by both CyberPowerPC and Oculus to ensure that it is perfectly compatible with the Oculus Rift headset and is officially certified Oculus Ready.” It’s important to note that ‘Oculus Ready’ doesn’t necessarily imply an all encompassing ‘VR Ready’ label, and that an Oculus Ready PC sporting these specs may not be powerful enough to work with other headsets.

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“Less than a year after launching the Oculus Ready program, we’re thrilled to see that the all-in price for jumping into the highest-quality VR experience continues to drop by hundreds of dollars,” said Nate Mitchell, head of Rift, Oculus. “Thanks to the efforts of hardware companies like CyberPowerPC and AMD, more people will have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing games and experiences coming to Rift this year.”

Oculus offers PC bundles from a variety of manufacturers through its Oculus Ready program including Alienware, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Aorus, Falcon Northwest, and HP (coming soon).

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  • Jar

    Who the hell is going to buy an FX4350?

    • Get Schwifty!

      I know right…

    • Armando Tavares

      People that can’t afford to buy better?

      And yeah….those do exist. Not an urban myth.

  • wheeler

    Man, I can think of so many essential VR games this thing is going to choke on. It’s going to be using frame interpolation 90% of the time.

  • NooYawker

    This can’t even play AAA games on ultra, forget about getting a good frame rate in VR. If you want VR go big or wait for prices to drop. There’s not much out there right now anyway, you can wait.

    • All PCs can be upgraded :)

      • AndyP

        The vast majority, but some don’t have the physical space (or slots) for more powerful GPUs, more powerful PSUs, cooling upgrades, (USB 3.0 expansion cards).

      • mrtexasfreedom

        I’m not posting to be a contrarian, but the common problem is commodity Pcs will have a minimum spec power supply for the shipped configuration that won’t drive a higher-end video card. A vendor like Dell will use non-standard plugs to connect their custom power supply, so even if you upgrade the power supply to support your upgraded video card, whoops! Can’t connect it to the motherboard. So, you have to buy a new power supply, motherboard, and video card. All you end up with from that original commodity PC is the processor and memory.

  • MosBen

    Can someone point me in the direction of some laptop reviews that specifically discuss VR performance? I’ve been lusting after a Razer Blade, but read an offhand comment on a message board that laptops using Nvidia Optimus (which I guess includes the Razer Blade, though it’s not on the company’s page) stutter in VR. That seems like a deal breaker to me, and it’s left me really hesitant to invest in a laptop that’s billed as “VR ready”. On the other hand, my nearly-VR ready desktop would be a huge pain to lug to the living room for VR.

    Also, are there any VR-centric reviews of “VR-ready” mini-PCs, like the Zotac?

    • Get Schwifty!

      As someone who runs on a laptop with Optimus and Rift, I can tell you that sounds like a driver specific issue for some particular laptop. I run a system not even rated to run VR and it runs well, there is no “stutter” that I can detect I would say is due to Optimus. Once the discrete video card takes over, Optimus is out of the picture pretty much. Anything with a decent Skylake CPU and a GTX 1060 or higher should run things pretty well.

      As for reviews, there are a few if you Google them. I know the Alienware 13 has at least one review where VR was tested directly and reported fine.

      https://www.cnet.com/products/alienware-13-r3-oled/review/2/

      One thing to consider with the Razer is its emphasis on thinness, when you fire up a real video card ie not the Intel onboard, its going to get pretty loud pretty quick to dissipate all that heat.

      • MosBen

        Well, I haven’t seen any Razer reviews that say that it’s loud, so hopefully they found a good solution to heat management. That’s good to hear about the Optimus laptops though. I was really excited to get a laptop for VR, and reading those comments about stuttering freaked me out a bit. Thanks.

        I really wish that Road to VR would do reviews for laptops desktops. I understand that that’s a whole can of worms to open for the site, but it seems like despite there being more and more computers marketed as “VR ready”, very few reviews seem to discuss that aspect of performance.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Look harder … I mean that seriously. The first generation ones were LOUD…. the new ones are better, but physics is physics… you can’t cram a desktop equivalent card into a thin system without serious air movement.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qgaT987_OU

          • MosBen

            Thanks, that’s much appreciated, though disappointing. I was avoiding the 17-inch laptops because I was hoping to have a laptop that would be good for work and VR, but maybe that’s teh way to go. Any thoughts on the Zotac Magnus or other micro PCs?

          • Get Schwifty!

            Honestly no, I am trying to stick to a laptop with external graphics adapter route these days. For instance I use an Alienware 15 with a 1080 housed in their “Graphics Amplifier”… just got done a round of Longbow and some time in Arizona Sunshine about 45 minutes ago :)

          • MosBen

            How do you like the Alienware 15? How’s the noise on it? How’s VR performance through the external GPU? I was starting to think about going a Razerblade Stealth with the Razer Core.

            Thanks again for letting me pick your brain about this, man. It’s super useful and I really can’t find a good resource for this stuff.

          • Get Schwifty!

            No problem – I am very happy with it, I just wish it was rated for VR, I get a bit of judder that is I believe due to it not being fully rated for VR. The interesting thing is if you use a laptop that uses a external graphics enclosure, your heat levels and noise are next to nothing on the laptop itself, the enclosure with the card is doing the heavy lifting in most cases. Performance is fine, I lost maybe 5% of what the 1080 can do, but coming from a three year old original Titan card its literally a near doubling of performance.

            I run Fallout 4 in 4K on Ultra with slightly turned down shadows and God rays and still run between low 30’s to 60 fps routinely. 1080 is not even a question on anything now with it. The laptop is running just an i7-4720HQ processor with SSD, 16GB RAM. I have my eye on that new Alienware 13 which is fully rated for VR, but I want that smaller form factor and OLED screen :)

  • MosBen

    As for this machine, I know that they’re billing it as “Oculus Ready”, and as others have pointed out, it’s right at the bare minimum of the requirements and likely will perform badly in lots of Oculus software, but it might be just fine for the Windows VR headsets that are coming in a few months. It sounds like the minimum system requirements for those HMDs will be a bit lower than Oculus/Vive, so maybe this will be fine for that.

    • Get Schwifty!

      I wouldn’t touch it, but then again I am not a fan of either AMD (runs hot) or their video cards (not as rugged usually as Nvidia). Driver updates suck for both vendors, but Nvidia is generally better at it currently.

      • MosBen

        I agree, but if someone really wanted to get into VR cheap, it’s nice to know that they have the option. And, of course, it will just get cheaper and better. I’m interested in what the next round of video cards will be capable of.

  • What makes this “Ultra”?

    And where are the Vive Bundles and the Vive version of a working Asynchronous Spacewarp that don’t make things worse?

  • Muddy

    All such a bare spec machine like this is going to achieve is a generally poor VR experience. This is not the way Oculus.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Agreed…. “Rated for VR” on certain PCs is all we need.

  • Armando Tavares

    This is a move in the right direction from Oculus (despite what some people might say).

    I’ve been slamming this ‘button’ for months: VR is expensive and if it remains at the present price point for too long it will fail to meet the goals we all expect it to.

    Oculus is working (and doing good work *ASW*) on the computer specs side but it isn’t enough.

    1. Oculus (and VIVE) MUST DROP in price ASAP. PSVR price point what they should aim for.
    2. Do whatever they can on the software side of VR to make possible, for this kind of machine, to enjoy the full glory of VR.

    Microsoft+partners devices are just around the corner. Oculus/Vive will adapt or die.

    • Get Schwifty!

      Yeah, I wouldn’t have said so months ago but I am beginning to believe the MS+partners devices (if they can get good tracking and controllers going) will likely push the prices down. The real problem to me is the need for a PC. Sony kind of half-assed their VR with the camera and controllers, what we need now is console like system with HMD, sensors and controllers. I am thinking that the Steam machine concept combined with a VIve set at a reasonable cost is what its going to take. In fact, I am kind of surprised Valve hasn’t worked up a package of this yet.

  • Sebastian Williamson Vega

    Buy the wolfe in the future for macs if you want a cheap computer. Cost estimation: $200 if have a mac. This makes macs VR-ready.

    (wolfe is not avilable yet

  • user

    if you dont have the money, why go for the high end consumer vr then? wait for the mid range with inside out tracking.