Oculus Rift with a low-spec graphics card
December 13, 2017 7:51 PM   Subscribe

So our office has won a brand new Oculus Rift. Unfortunately, the best graphics card we have isn’t on the list of minimum requirements. What we have a is a GeForce GTX 960A. All we really want to do is watch safe-for-work VR movies or apps, play around with this thing and see what all the fuss is about. We can spend a little money on software if that’ll help, but we can’t upgrade the computers we have, nor can we donate, sell, or take home the Oculus.

All we really want to do is watch safe-for-work VR movies or apps, play around with this thing and see what all the fuss is about. We can spend a little money on software if that’ll help, but we can’t upgrade the computers we have, nor can we donate, sell, or take home the Oculus.

Any ideas, Hivemind?
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There is a compatibility tool that lets you test your PC to determine if your system is powerful enough for the Rift. I recommend it.

Oculus recently relaxed their minimum spec, and a GTX 960 is now within the absolute minimum spec limit, provided it has at least 4 GB of RAM. That can be verified using the compatibility tool.

As an interesting aside, the relaxation of minimum spec is partially from asynchronous spacewarp, which is a neat technique for low-compute-cost temporal interpolation.
posted by saeculorum at 8:33 PM on December 13, 2017 [1 favorite]


I suggest routing around rather than through the problem. Have someone bring in their high-powered desktop or gaming laptop from home and plug the Oculus into it. Have them preload some fun stuff onto it. Connect the computer to the internet through somebody's cell phone if your company's policies won't allow a hardwired connection for outside equipment. Then, enjoy.
posted by killdevil at 9:15 PM on December 13, 2017


Thanks for the ideas so far. Unfortunately, nobody has a more powerful graphics card than the GTX 960 on their home equipment...
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 2:24 AM on December 14, 2017


Unfortunately, that card is just not going to cut it when it comes to VR. The 960A only has 2gb of VRAM and seem like it's actually a less powerful version of the 960, which trades better power consumption for worse performance. You can maybe get away with watching movies with it, but I think anything else is going to be tough.
posted by Fidel Cashflow at 6:14 AM on December 14, 2017


You may be okay to watch VR movies, which are typically less demanding than rendering graphics in real-time. The real risk is that with a lower framerate (which would be the result of having below-spec graphics cards), users may feel nauseous. Go ahead and try out some free Oculus programs (of which there are fortunately quite a few), but if you start to feel kind of queasy, don't be discouraged and write off VR as not for you, as you may find it just fine with a higher framerate. Try out seated experiences first to mitigate nausea as much as possible, the more you move around the more intense it will be.

You may also want to make sure you have the latest drivers for your video card installed. No idea if they will help performance, but it's a good step to take.
posted by subocoyne at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2017


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