Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

Summary

Virtual reality is a formidable, impressive, even revolutionary technology. Sadly, high-end VR headsets are expensive, and PCs powerful enough to support them are expensive too. In the trade, it takes at least € 800 to € 1000 for an entry-level VR Ready desktop PC. For a laptop, the prices do not go below 2000 €.





In addition, the more affordable models are not available in Europe. They are reserved for the United States, and importing them can be extremely expensive. The the most advantageous solution is therefore to assemble your VR Ready PC yourself, by carefully choosing the cheapest components. Here is our selection of components to build a computer ready for virtual reality under 700 €. Of course, don't hesitate to take your time and watch for the best promotions in order to buy each component at the best price and get away with it for even less.

Methodology

MAY : To complete this article and take into account the comments made on social networks, here is a very increased version which gives you hardware configurations to enjoy a VR Ready PC. Of course we keep the target of 700 euros, but we offer three other machines at the price of around 1000, 1500 and 2000 euros.

Attention: Here we focus on the hardware part. VR Ready PCs are presented without OS, without peripherals and especially without dedicated VR headsets. Our goal is to start from the minimum required to produce the desired effect to the most complete ease. We base it on the component prices on Amazon, but they are available from other VPNs like LDLC or Materiel.net. Component prices are subject to variation. For information, these VR Ready PC configurations were created on December 6, 2016 on Amazon. We updated them on April 15, 2019.

Which components to choose to build a cheap VR Ready PC?

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €


 700 euros: the PC VR Ready entry ticket without the popcorn

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

700 euros is roughly the price of a VR headset, at least that of the Oculus Rift CV1 when it was released. The computer we offer here is intended for this headset. It makes the less resource-intensive games run smoothly, but will show its limits on applications with detailed effects. For example, Project Cars in VR will work fine with the graphics set to high. Here we choose the no-frills option. Note that in writing we have a preference for the chameleon brand, but that the option AMD RX 480 4 GB or RX 580 is possible in order to earn a few euros. Note that some VR games feel more comfortable with Nvidia components.


Update April 15, 2019 : processor side, we go to the other side of the barrier. Indeed, AMD offers powerful processors, largely compatible with VR. We have two machines ourselves in the editorial office. The GTX 1660 far surpasses the GTX 1060 3GB previously loaded in this basket. Note that if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you can opt for the AMD Ryzen 5 2400G processor, which is a little less powerful. This gives you a margin of 50 euros that you can invest in a GTX 1660 Ti, for more potato. Finally, we advise you to assemble your cheap gaming pc yourself.

Update September 1, 2020 : Prices have fallen recently, bringing the price down to less than 600 euros if we keep this list. The only point that needs some attention is the graphics card. Indeed, AMD cards have made great progress recently and are proving to be an interesting alternative, if not better to the cards from Nvidia. Thus, the AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT OC 8G card is both cheaper and a little more efficient than the Geforce GTX 1660. In addition, the power supply has improved a bit and we switched to Corsair for the case.


Here is the PC VR Ready entry ticket:

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 Socket AM4 6 cores 12 Threads 3,4 GHz, 3,9GHz boost
  • Ventirad: Supplied with the processor
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte B450M DS3H Micro ATX Socket AM4
  • RAM : Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 Go DDR4 3 000 MHz
  • Graphics card: Gigabyte Radeon RX 5 500 XT OC 8G
  • Power supply: Seasonic S12III 550 Watts 80Plus Bronze
  • Stockage : SSD Kingston A400 480 Go Sata III
  • Housing: Corsair Carbide Spec-05

Price: 598 euro


 

Note: With this configuration, you still have a little margin up to 700 euros. This then allows you to double the RAM memory, add a hard drive with a larger capacity and add an additional fan. So here you have a sufficient PC to play all the recent VR games, released this year 2020. Perhaps you will occasionally have some slowdowns on Half-Life: Alyx, but it's not even certain.

1000 euros: the comfort of the eyes above all

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

With 1000 euros and a little more, it is quite possible to build a powerful machine to enjoy games in virtual reality. Here we move up a gear, we skip the steps and prefer to bet on the GTX 1070 from NVIDIA. Its 8 GB of VRAM ensure you play in the best conditions. 16 GB of RAM, a slightly more powerful processor and a more scalable configuration give you long hours of diving in surprising worlds of incomparable beauty.

Update April 15, 2019: We can finally move on to a new generation of graphics card and processor. With a budget of 1000 euros, an RTX 2060 will do just fine. While it only has 6 GB of VRAM, the extra bandwidth puts it on par with a well overclocked GTX 1080. Enough to ensure smooth VR sessions.

Here is the PC VR Ready comfort of the eyes:

  • Processeur : AMD Ryzen 5 2600x Max 6 coeurs 12 Threads 3,6 Ghz, 4,25 GHz Boost
  • Ventirad: Artic Freezer 33 eSport One
  • Motherboard: MSI B450M Mortar Micro ATX Socket AM4
  • RAM : Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 Go (2x8Go) DDR4 3 000 MHz
  • Graphics card: MSI Geforce RTX 2060 Ventus 6Go GDDR6 OC
  • Power supply: Seasonic S12II 520 Watts 80Plus Bronze
  • Stockage : SSD Kingston A400 480 Go Sata III
  • Enclosure: Cooler Master MasterBox MB600L

Price: 1009,41 euros.

 

Note: We have made the choice of uncompromising performance, perhaps relying heavily on the graphics card.. Knowing that the RTX 2060 is easily on sale for less than 400 euros. Another option is available to you: choose a GTX 1060 6 GB, the best models of which are around 360 euros. This directly allows you to opt for more storage, a 1TB SSD (110 euros at the moment) or a 2TB 7200 rpm hard drive (Preferably from Western Digital and Seagate brands at around 60 euros).

1500 euros: With this VR Ready PC, everything is going smoothly

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

This time, no more compromises. This configuration at 1500 euros allows you to afford an overclockable processor: the famous Intel Core I5 ​​6600K. Above all, the GTX 1080 makes its debut and brings you the best of VR. There isn't much to add in order to build a VR Ready PC. The more picky among you will change the cooler in the future to gain precious degrees and customize the case designed for modding.

Update April 15, 2019: to tell you, that things have changed in three years, we can now have an Intel Core i7 in this configuration. Building your VR Ready PC becomes a real pleasure with these ultra powerful components. This time, we preferred to focus on performance before aesthetics. At this point, you don't compromise on graphics.

Here is the PC VR Ready all rolling, it babbles:

  • Processor: Intel Core I7 9700K (overclockable) 8 cores 8 threads 3,6 GHz to 4,9 GHz (turbo boost)
  • Ventirad: Be Quiet Pure Rock 4
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte z390 UD ATX socket 1151
  • RAM : Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 Go (2x8Go) DDR4 3 000 MHz
  • Graphics card: ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 2070 Super Edition 8 GB GDDR6 (5 years free warranty)
  • Power: Corsair RM650X 650 Watts Modular 80 Plus Gold
  • Stockage : SSD NVMe  M2 Crucial P1 CT 500 Go
  • Stockage bis : Western digital Blue 2 To
  • Enclosure: Cooler Master MasterBox MB600L

Price: 1515 euros.

 

Note: Here we are deviating from our budget. If you want to go below the 1500 euro mark, you can opt for Sata III SSD, or even upgrade to 1 TB of storage. We changed the RTX 2070 to the Super model. Indeed, Nvidia has decided to no longer manufacture the first generation of the card in favor of its boosted version.

2000 euros: The Rolls Royce with plastic rims

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

Ultimate? No. A PC editing buff will tell you that a configuration can always be improved. But with 2000 euros and the objective of making the most of the possibilities of VR, it's hard to do better. The gaming nirvana almost reached, going beyond would be to risk the intricacies of advanced liquid cooling (here we are staying on a turnkey model) and SLI, combining two graphics cards.

Update April 15, 2019 : Uh… We broke a bit during this update. It's no longer a PC, it's a war machine that blinds your loved ones with its RGB LEDs. Beyond a “Christmas tree” look, we switch to the RTX 2080 and 32 GB of RAM. You can also switch to an I5 9600K and equip yourself with the RTX 2080Ti or else take a motherboard a little less “flashy”. Building your VR Ready PC offers you incredible possibilities in terms of customization.

Here is the PC VR Ready Rolls Royce plastic rims:

  • Processor: Intel Core I7 9700K (overclockable) 8 cores 8 threads 3,6 GHz to 4,9 GHz (turbo boost)
  • Cooling unit: Corsair Hydro H45 all-in-one liquid cooling
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro Socket 1151
  • RAM : Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 Go (2×16 Go) DDR4 3000 Mhz
  • Graphics card: Zotac RTX 2080 8 GB AMP GDDR6 (5 years free warranty)
  • Power: Corsair RM750I 750 Watts Modular 80 Plus Gold
  • Stockage: SSD NVMe 1 To
  • Package: Cooler Master MB511 RGB

Price: 2020 euros.

Note: The case is the personal choice of the editor. In this price range, you have all the generosity to adapt the configuration to your taste. Likewise, you can keep the storage system from the previous configuration. It is true: we have beefed up the config to the detriment of the hard drive. We haven't changed the graphics card yet. Logically, the RTX 2080 should disappear from the shelves soon. It will be replaced by the SUPER version.

A VR Ready PC assembled with the components recommended in this article will allow you to run, relatively happily, the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. Keep in mind that the market is changing very quickly, and that the next VR headsets will be less demanding in terms of components. For example, Microsoft's VR headset will be able to work with an average PC. It may be wise to wait for the IT and VR novelties presented at CES, Computex or even at IFA before getting into virtual reality.

Where to buy VR Ready PC parts?

How to assemble your VR Ready PC yourself?

We are not specialists in the subject, but we have had the opportunity to set up our own machines several times. As you can see in our component lists, a gamer pc consists of a case, a power supply, a motherboard, a processor, a cooler, RAM modules, a SSD, hard drive, and graphics card. Contrary to some beliefs, no need to have a bac +12 to build your VR Ready PC.

Concretely, it works like a Lego. First of all, let's start by discharging static electricity. This is to avoid damaging the components. Nothing could be simpler: place your hands on a metal part of your case for a few seconds. There is a more effective solution: equip yourself with a repair kit with an earth connection. It costs around 30 euros.

Materials needed: a Phillips screwdriver and some patience

Mount your VR Ready PC: the motherboard

Let's move on to editing. First, take the motherboard out of its box. Place it on an antistatic bag, on a cardboard box or on a mat provided for this purpose. Locate the processor socket cover. Remove it as described in the manual. Usually you have to operate a small lever.

The importance of the motherboard

motherboardthe gross power of the machine.

second graphics cardSSD NWme

How to choose the right motherboard?

improve the performance of your computer

formats ATX

Le montage du PC VR Ready

The processor

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

Then, take the processor out of its box, leaving it in its plastic. Locate the marked corner, a small triangle usually gold or white. This same arrow is reproduced on the socket present on the motherboard. Hold it by the edges and lay it in the one-way direction provided by the manufacturer. Replace the protection system using the lever. There it is, it will not move. Warning: do not touch the pins on the back of the chipset.

RAM memory

Then, install the RAM modules. In the manual for the motherboard you will find the “Dual Channel” coulters. Basically, locations of the same color work in pairs. It is preferable to take so-called “Low Profile” RAM. Thus, they take up less space. They can then pass under the cooler. It suffices to respect the direction indicated by a notch.

The Ventirad: a delicate step

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

This is perhaps the most delicate moment that is played there: the installation of the processor fan or cooler. Each manufacturer offers a different system. Some devices are more compatible with AMD chips, others with Intel. Let's remove the device from its box. Be careful, keep the plastic part on the base. In fact, manufacturers have generally applied a layer of thermal paste which dissipates heat in the heat pipes. For now, leave the fan aside. Install the heater according to the instructions provided.

Preparation

This usually involves placing a metal platform on the back of the motherboard. This maintains the device without damaging the motherboard. Some models are based on the one supplied with the CM. This coin looks like a four-pointed star. We gently place the cooler on the processor by “sculling” slightly to spread the dough evenly. In the event that your cooler is sold with a tube, it is advisable to put a small amount in the middle of the processor or to make a cross. Not too much need.

If your generosity exceeds your expectations, you can remove some with a spatula. Do you think you missed this step? Do not panic. A remover without acetone or isopropyl alcohol (available in pharmacies) and a cloth will do the trick to clean the processor.

Installation

Once the cooler is in place, it is screwed to the star piece located behind the motherboard. Preferably, it is convenient to tighten a corner and then tackle the opposite edge. This distributes the load and does not damage anything. A cooler can weigh more than 600 grams! Phew, let's move on to fixing the fan. Usually a small metal clamp makes it easier to connect to the radiator. We advise you to place it at the front, in the direction of the RAM sticks as in the image above.

The box

Now is the time to prepare your case. You will preferably have taken it out of its box before the previous steps. Remove bits of plastic and various adhesives. Leave the cable tie type fasteners, they will serve you later. Open both housing panels. This will give you more room to maneuver. Release the cables provided on the sides so that they do not encroach on the center. Lay your PC casing flat, with the screw threads facing you.

Install the IO Shield, the metal plate that sits on the back of the case. Take your motherboard by holding the cooler and the underside of the plate. Place them in the places indicated in the manual and gently push the connectors into their locations on the IO Shield. They must stand out. Normally you should see the threads of the case. You just need to take the elements of the right diameter to secure the motherboard with your screwdriver.

Diet

This component is rather simple to install, but you have to manage the cables well so as not to obstruct the air flow. In most cases, it is placed at the bottom left, just below the motherboard. The fan is necessarily turned towards the ground. Secure it at the back with the screws provided for this purpose. We recommend that you direct the different cables to their respective connectors. Let's start with the 8-pin PCI port to be placed at the top of the motherboard. Pass it through from behind. Then plug in the 24 pin connector. The grip is a little rigid, handle it with firmness, but without sudden movements.

HDD / SSD

Find the 3,5-inch or 2,5-inch slot of your case and place the hard drive there. Most modern “Cases” have screwdriver-less mounting systems. Just clip on plastic tabs and slide them into the corresponding compartments. Some manufacturers even allow SSDs to be positioned on the back of the chassis. Then, connect the SATA cable supplied with the motherboard to the device in question. Similarly, pull the SATA cable from the power supply using the notches and connect it.

The graphics card

Set up your VR Ready PC: a computer for virtual reality at 700 €

Remove the slot grids on your case. You just have to unscrew them from the inside or bend them with your bare hand to make them fall. Watch out for cuts! Embed the graphics card on the PCI Express 3.0 slot on the motherboard. A coded key secures it and indicates only one direction. Make sure that the connectors come out from the back of the chassis. Then, tighten the screws that you removed earlier. Finally, connect the 6/8 pin PCI E cable (s) to the graphics card.

Activate front panel connectors

On the front of the case you will usually find USB and 3,5mm jack connectors. To activate them and make it easier to start the PC, follow the instructions in your user manuals. Small plugs are to be plugged into the motherboard. They are called HDD Led, Power + or -, Reset pwd. Please refer to the indications supplied with the manual. Finally, connect the USB 3.0 extension cable to the corresponding port near the 24-pin socket. Now try to power on.

The computer should turn on with an error message, but you can still go through the BIOS. Obviously, you haven't installed an operating system. If nothing happens after pressing both buttons (one on the power supply, the other on the chassis), don't worry. Just check that everything is plugged in and in the correct position. It does not damage your components.

How to do your cable management?

Now that your PC is functional, take a good look at the placement of your cables. If it looks like a bag of knots, it's best to unplug everything and try to get it to the best places. The idea is to improve the air flow in the “carcass”. Finally, harness everything with cable ties. Usually, power supply manufacturers provide enough. If you think you are running out, a bag of 500 units should be fine.

Install an operating system

It is not necessarily necessary to have a Windows license to verify that everything is working fine. Microsoft offers the possibility of downloading an ISO to transfer to a USB stick. In the BIOS, put the device in top priority, in front of the hard drive and the SSD. Then, restart. Normally should start. If all goes well, your computer will be functional. Be aware that this trial version does not give you full control of your machine. So you have to buy the license, 145 euros on the Microsoft site.

Watch out for updates made by the Redmond firm. Indeed, it happens that some builds of Windows 10 block the computer. We recently had the experience after the upgrade at the end of August 201. The system simply redirected the Boot registers (necessary to launch the OS) on another hard drive. In addition, the Bios was no longer compatible with the system. It was therefore necessary to update it by forcing it to launch Windows 10. Thus, we did not have to save the necessary file on a USB key. Other users complain about incompatibility with Ryzen processors.

After setting up your PC: run stress tests

A new installation requires the latest updates. We want the OS to be as stable as possible in order to get the most out of our machine. The operating system will automatically look for the corrections it needs. It will restart the PC several times. Don't forget to update your graphics card. Remember that the Geforce Experience automatic update system requires you to create an account. If you do not wish to transmit your personal data, you can go to the Nvidia website to download the updated drivers.

Then we advise you to download AIDA64, and HWMonitor. The first allows you to perform stress tests on your machine. Roughly, the software will simulate intensive use and tell you the maximum temperatures, the number of revolutions per minute of the fans, the voltage, etc. for your processor, graphics card and RAM. This paid software has a 30-day trial period. This is why we invite you to install HWMonitor (or even Speccy) afterwards. This software allows you to check the temperatures of the components.

This is proving to be very useful. It is thus checked that everything is correctly configured, that the chosen cooler ventilates the processor sufficiently and that the power supply is not undersized for the graphics card. Running software like HWMonitor every now and then makes it easier to maintain the machine. A rise in temperature may simply be a sign that you haven't cleaned your fans for a while.

Finally, players install their favorite client like Steam, Oculus Store or Epic Games Store. All three support virtual reality. Here again, you can check the compatibility of your configuration with VR headsets.

Where can you mount your VR Ready PC?

Do all these steps seem way too complicated to you? You can also go through the assembly service of your preferred dealer. LDLC, Material.Net, Top Achat or even Hardware.fr offer you this service for around 50 euros extra. Our sioux tip? Go to Memory PC, a German site that selects you configurations at an unbeatable price. On the other hand, it will take almost 3 weeks to receive a neatly assembled PC. If you do it in France, your machine will be ready in one to two weeks.

Remarks ? Proposals? Requests? Do not hesitate to contact us in comments. 



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