How To Build A VR-Ready PC Yourself

How To Build A VR-Ready PC Yourself
October 11, 2016

The age of virtual reality on PC’s and consoles has begun. Once thought to be just a show of conceptual technology, VR gaming has officially kicked off in full swing in the gaming market, thanks to the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. While these headsets are already available in the market, you need a really good PC for the best VR gaming experience. 
For those that are worried about the expense, we are going to show you on how to build a pocket-friendly VR-capable Gaming PC system using AMD hardware.

AMD is no stranger when it comes to performance based PC components that don’t break the bank. Since the AMD ZEN isn’t out yet, the next best option is to opt for the 8-core AMD FX-8370 processor with the new and silent Wraith cooler. Despite the chip being a few years old, the FX-8370 is still a great performer that maxes out up to 4.3 GHz speed. Since the socket type required here for the CPU is AM3+, we have selected the ASUS 970 Pro Gaming/AURA motherboard which is a good selection for an affordable setup.

We also used a total of 8GB RipJaw Z DDR3 RAM from GSkill. The primary storage solution should be an SSD in order to ensure fast boot-ups and app/game loads, here in this case is the 120GB AMD Radeon R3 series with Windows 10 Pro installed. The secondary storage is a 1TB hard drive from WD. The whole package can be enclosed on any mid-tower from Cooler Master with a 650W PSU, here in this case is the Cooler Master K380. The main star of the setup is the XFX Radeon RX 480 Black Edition graphics card (Watch out for our review of the card soon on Tbreak).
With all these components rigged up, It’s time to check out how the system performs using modern benchmark tools. We ran 3D Mark FireStrike, TimeSpy DX12, Steam VR Performance test, and GeekBench tests. The games include Tomb Raider, Rise of Tomb Raider (DX11, DX12), Ashes of Singularity (DX11, DX12), The Division, DOOM (Vulkan and OpenGL API), BioShock Infinite, Metro Last Light, WarHammer DX12, Deus Ex (DX11, DX12), and Unigen Heaven 4.0. The Radeon driver settings used is 16.9.1. Check out the numbers below
FutureMark Benchmarks

GeekBench 4

Game Benchmarks

That’s some impressive benchmark numbers we got here! While our DX11 scores are satisfactory for a budget system, the DX12 based games are performing better, thanks to the optimal usage of the CPU’s eight computing cores and the Polaris GPU. 
Rise of the Tomb Raider at DX12 is 72fps on average (67fps with DX11 mode). Ashes of Singularity also achieved a massive boost all the way up to 40fps on average with DX12, when the DX11 mode just only ran at 25fps average. 
However, our Deus Ex DX12 test didn’t achieve the performance boost as expected, perhaps a performance update is needed for the game. That said, DOOM on Vulkan API and OpenGL is like a difference between night and day. While we only got 60 fps Avg. With OpenGL, Vulkan API went all the way up to 125fps Avg. Sweet!
Steam VR Performance Test
Since this setup is meant for VR gaming, we ran the Steam VR Performance test. The result: the machine is badged as a VR-ready system for high quality VR. We got 6.9 points (High).

So there you have it. With the impressive results seen above, we now prove that with AMD processors, storage, motherboards and graphics cards, it’s possible to build a decent and future-proof gaming system that’s capable of handling VR-gaming. 
We like the way AMD focuses on building hardware that can take advantage of the latest gaming and graphics technologies, and offers users products that are affordable.

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