Oculus Rift CV1 – Release Date Q1 of 2016, Pre-orders beginning later in 2015, find out what you need to know!

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Oculus Rift CV1 – Release Date Q1 of 2016, Pre-orders beginning later in 2015, find out what you need to know!

The Oculus Rift CV1 was the ignition source to launch a new age.  The age of Virtual, Blended, and Augmented realities.  Now while the Oculus Rift is heavy into the Virtual Reality aspects of this new paradigm shift it is clear that blended and augmented reality is still part of the equation as can be seen from a simple google search.  The great news is we are finally progressing from Oculus Rift DK2 which I have been enjoying since its release date which began shipping in July of 2014, but oh what a great year it has been.

I have had a great pleasure not just logging hundreds of hours on the Oculus Rift DK2 myself, but also sharing it with others.  There is awe inspiring pleasure in being there for so very many individuals first time trip through the Oculus Rift, and for most Virtual Reality in general.  I will never loose that moment of joy witnessing the look on someones face as they leave the confines of reality and step into the Virtual world beyond that grants them experiences that for some have been beyond their wildest dreams.

The Oculus Rift CV1 will continue to enhance this experience starting with the headset that promises to be so comfortable that within minutes you will forget you are even wearing it.  The new Oculus Rift will run at 2160×1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays.  Due to the differences between a traditional game which runs at 124 million shaded pixels per second, Oculus Rift runs at roughly 400 million shaded pixel per second requiring about 3x the GPU power of a traditional game, as described by Oculus in their ‘Powering the Rift’ article.

The recommended hardware specifications direct from Oculus are:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM

“The recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift. As the equivalent-performance hardware becomes less expensive, more users will have systems capable of the full Rift experience. Developers, in turn, can rely on Rift users having these modern machines, allowing them to optimize their game for a known target, simplifying development.”

I guess the above quote from Oculus does raise the question what is the lifetime of the rift?  But in truth having had mid to high end video cards in my self built computer rigs I would agree that we dont always need the latest video card.  Usually the performance of the card we had for the past 2-3 years will hold great, however some of us choose, and yes there will always be choices, to get that latest addition to the graphics cards to get that new element of phsyics, hair bounce, or jaw dropping textures.

Besides the recommended specs above, Oculus mentions three features, two of which are very clear:

  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture.

The third requirement above, as Oculus Rift states, may be much harder to identify especially in pre built laptops that tie their external video output to the integrated GPU which can interfere with the output provided by the discrete graphics card.  Oculus Rift goes on further to state:

Note that almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec, though upcoming mobile GPUs may be able to support this level of performance.

So for users building their custom desktops I would say we have some very clear cut answers, and I am confident my i7-4790k, with 16 GB’s of ram, and a factory overclocked Nvidia 970 that I will be sitting in comfort with the new Oculus Rift.  Thankfully I caught the advice of someone a while back that Nvidia 970’s were a common sight in the Oculus HQ.

For all those considering Laptops, which I have to admit did come to mind more that once… make sure you do your research and good luck as that HDMI 1.3 spec sounds like it could be a challenge to confirm.  I think for myself I will hold off till the Oculus Rift CV1 is available to get my mobile laptop Oculus solution so that should I test it and it does not fly the return policy will be there to cover me.

– Joseph Ellsworth

Oculus Rift DK2 User – Happy and loving it.

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