Although both AMD and Nvidia have sought to advertise their graphics cards’ abilities when it comes to delivering virtual reality right into our eyeballs, it looks like AMD has been given the nod by the VR powers that be, as its GPUs are the ones being put into Dell’s lineup of official “Oculus Ready,” PCs. All of those PCs will support AMD’s LiquidVR platform and will start at $1,000.
While we haven’t been told what sorts of GPUs will be bundled into these systems, it seems likely that high-end 300 series graphics cards will be the baseline, as Oculus has given the recommended specification of a 290 for its first-generation CV1 headset. However, in the higher-end variants we may see Fiji XT-based GPUs being used.
“It’s an exciting time to be at the heart of all things Virtual Reality,” said Roy Taylor, corporate vice president of Alliances and Content for AMD. “I’m confident that with Dell and Alienware, we can enable a wide audience of PC users with extraordinary VR capabilities powered by AMD Radeon GPUs.”
The new PCs will be part of the Alienware brand, so expect the typical styling and features of those sorts of systems with the Oculus Ready ones too. Although these sorts of pre-built systems have been criticized for being overly expensive, given the importance of supporting a minimum performance threshold within VR to ensure user comfort, it’s good to see companies catering to users who lack the chops to build a system with the required specifications.
The worst thing for virtual reality would be a number of first-time users having a terrible, uncomfortable experience because their PCs weren’t up to snuff.
It will be interesting to see how this new partnership affects the GPU market though. If Oculus believes AMD’s LiquidVR is better than Nvidia’s Gameworks VR, that could change things quite a lot if VR takes off as it is expected to.