The worlds of Virtual Reality and overclocking have yet to converge, but all that may be about to change. Oculus VR recently posted the recommended specs for its Rift Platform which includes an outline of reasonably powerful upper mainstream PC. Meanwhile we have recently seen a Kickstarter project called Turris that integrates a DIY desktop PC into their VR seat technology.
Looks like the world of overclocking and VR just collided. How long before we see the world’s first VR benchmark?
Powering Next-Gen VR
Producing fluid and realistic graphically rendered virtual worlds requires some reasonably serious hardware grunt. The specs recently released by Oculus specify that developers should aim for a rig kitted out with either an Nvidia GTX 970 or an AMD 290 backed by an Intel Core i5 processor. Oculus may well be trying to establish a somewhat future-proof line in the sand that will keep pace with VR development for years to come which means these specs are above and beyond average consumer PC performance and pretty much anything but the most high-end notebook PCs.
Here are the specs in full:
- NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
- Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
- 8GB+ RAM
- HDMI 1.3 video w/297MHz clock via direct output
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
Most overclockers however have access to hardware of this ilk and beyond, so the idea of building a rig specifically optimized for VR would be a no-brainer for most of the HWBOT faithful. In fact let’s treat the above specs as a minimum recommended performance level and consider that VR applications tend to scale well with multi-GPU configurations. Arguably, developers could integrate improved realism to the VR environment with better lighting effects and graphical detail that really take the VR experience to the next level.
Questions remain – What kind of system could integrate a DIY PC rig with the necessary sensors and optical mask? Where would we even begin to construct a VR machine that could host a DIY PC? The answer has arrived and it’s called Turris.
Turris: Revolutionary VR Movement Control & DIY PC
Simon Solotko is the man behind Turris and is actually quite well known to us from his work creating the AMD FX enthusiast brand. The basic concept involves a free revolving seat that integrates movement control, sensors and connectors and a head-mounted display. The great thing about it however, is the fact that you can also opt to power the array with your own micro-ATX PC which can be physically integrated into the build.
Turris developers describe the project as the ‘future VR-ready personal computers’. At its heart we have a tangle-free seat that offers 360 degree rotation that allows you pivot your hips to control movement. The project is designed to inspire ‘intense VR gaming and realistic simulation’.
The Turris reportedly supports Oculus RIFT, HTC VIVE and Sony Morpheus VR apps and content. It will support a number of hands-free controllers including Sixense STEM, upcoming Oculus RIFT and HTC VIVE controllers. The developers have also spent a great deal of time to eliminate motion or ‘simulation’ sickness in the VR environment.
Check out the video available below:
VR Meets Enthusiast PC Builders
It’s early days of course, but there is a real feeling that these two worlds are about converge, allowing DIY PC enthusiasts, most notably overclockers who, let’s me honest, are the royalty of that segment, the chance to build and tweak and push their own pimped out VR machine.
The Kickstarter campaign offers you the chance to get your hands on what is essentially a barebone PC. You then build it yourself using your own parts just like any other barebone rig. The internal PC bay of the Turris supports any mATX motherboard, a full ATX power supply a couple of SSDs and broad range of VGA cards.
There will obviously be plenty of challenges to reach beyond standard performance levels with massive scope for custom water cooling for example, which and help get around physical restrictions such VGA card length for example.
Check out Turris project on Kickstarter where you can pledge some dollars and perhaps even be one of the first to get hold of the world’s first DIY VR Machines.