A friend commented, upon seeing the required specs for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, “Whoa. Power hog.” She wasn’t wrong. Virtual reality, because of – or despite – its glorious immersion, requires an insane amount of power to run effectively. That means price tags for VR-ready desktops start from $1100 and can easily reach double or triple that.

That’s an expensive PC by any standard. When you consider that the price doesn’t include a mouse, keyboard, monitors, and other necessities, costs begin to balloon. After all, you’ll likely want a high-resolution monitor so you can share what you see with friends.

While it’s possible to build a custom VR-optimized PC for cheaper than a pre-built system, a lot of people don’t have the knowledge (or just the time) to assemble the various parts into a whole. Luckily, there are a number of fantastic VR ready desktops. The systems listed below are some of the best options for powering VR headsets including the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and more.

VR-ready desktop system requirements

The recommended specs for a system to run the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970/ AMD Radeon R920 or higher
  • Intel i5-4590/ AMD F 8350 or higher
  • 4GB of RAM (8GB+ for Rift)
  • A single HDMI 1.4 port and a single Display Port 1.2
  • 1 USB 2.0 port (Rift requires 3 USB 3.0 ports and 1 USB 2.0 port)
  • Windows 7 SP1 or higher

Best VR-ready desktop systems

HP Envy Phoenix 810-160
HP Envy Phoenix

Price Starting at $1,199.99
Processor Intel i7-6700K
GPU NVIDIA GTX 980Ti/ AMDR9 390x
RAM 8GB. Expandable to 32GB.
Ports 2x USB 3.0 | 4 USB 2.0
Storage Up to 2TB HDD. Optional 256GB SSD

The HP Envy Phoenix 810-160 was built with virtual reality in mind; so much so, in fact, that it’s sold as part of a bundle with the HTC Vive. The Phoenix is designed to provide 90 FPS without skipping a beat, and the included 2-year warranty means you don’t need to worry about overusing the machine. In addition to VR, the Phoenix can support up to 4 monitors, each at 4K resolution, and the optional liquid cooling system keeps the Phoenix cool so your skills can be hot.

With an i7 processor, up to 32 GB of RAM, and your choice of NVIDIA or AMD graphics cards, this desktop is ready to run VR with crystal-clear clarity. The tower looks just as great as the specs themselves. With a sleek design and customizable LEDs, you can watch the color react to your computer’s performance. There’s no better way to set the mood in an intense, keyboard-slamming firefight than for the lights to slowly shift to a deeper, foreboding red.

Full HP Envy Phoenix specs Buy now on Amazon

Alienware X51

Alienware X51

Price Starting at $1199.99
Processor Intel i5-6400
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
RAM 8GB. Expandable to 32GB.
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 2 USB 3.1 | 2 USB 3.2
Storage 1TB HDD. Optional 256/512GB SSD

Alienware has long been known for their gaming machines, as well as, unfortunately, their high prices. However, the Alienware X51 offers tremendous power for a competitively affordable price. Starting at $1,199.99, the X51 boasts an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, an Intel i5-6400 processor that can be overclocked to 3.3 GHz, and a base 1TB HDD with the option for an extra SSD. The X51 has been specifically optimized to work with the Vive. Everything about this machine is fast, so your VR experience is smooth.

This VR optimized desktop features an optional liquid cooling system and the ability to expand to as much as 32GB of DDR4 RAM. It sports two USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.1 ports, and two lightning-fast USB 3.2 “SuperSpeed” ports, capable of transferring 10GB per second. The tower case has the same distinctive, almost unearthly build that Alienware brings to all its products. Every X51 ships with Windows 10 already installed and ready to tackle anything you throw at it.

Full Alienware X51 specs Buy now on Amazon

Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition

Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition

Price Starting at $1,199.99
Processor Intel i5-6400
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
RAM 8GB. Expandable to 64GB.
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 4 USB 3.0
Storage 1TB HDD. Optional 2 TB HDD and 512 SSD

Big things come in discrete packages. While the Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition may not sport a sleek, attractive tower, it hides a massive amount of power inside the chassis. Dell also offers four separate versions of the XPS 8900 Special Edition, each one more powerful than the last. The base level model starts at $1,199.99 and gives players everything they need to dive into virtual reality.

With an Intel i5-6400 processor, the XPS 8900 Special Edition can be overclocked up to 3.3 GHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 is capable of maxing the graphics on most modern games, as well as tackling the Rift and Vive with stunning clarity. The 1 TB hard drive provides storage for a huge number of games, but the optional expansions allow you to increase the storage to 2 TB with a 512 GB solid-state drive. The final and most powerful version of the XPS 8900 starts at $2,199.99 and offers top-of-the-line everything, but various offers from Dell can help to cut the costs, such as a $200 discount when the desktop is combined with the purchase of an Oculus Rift headset.

Full Dell XPS 8900 Special Edition specs Buy now on Amazon

Falcon Northwest Tiki

falcon tiki

Price Starting at $2,699
Processor Intel i7-6700K
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
RAM 16GB. Expandable to 64GB.
Ports 6 USB 3.0 | 2 USB 3.1
Storage 1TB SSD. Expandable to another SSD or 1 HDD.

If the Tiki’s specs blow you away, there’s a reason: Falcon Northwest is the company Oculus used in their test builds. The Rift was tested on this machine; if you tried a demo out at some point, then you’ve likely encountered a Tiki without realizing it. The amount of power packed into this VR desktop is nothing short of breathtaking, but unfortunately, so is the price; starting at $2,699, the Tiki is definitely an investment.

Sporting an Intel i7-6700K processor, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPUS, and up to 64GB of RAM, the Tiki can handle nearly anything you can throw at it. Its storage can be expanded to accommodate as much as 10TB of storage. If you’ve ever felt the need to purchase and download every game ever made, then the Tiki may be the best option for that. The tower itself is tall, sleek, black, and looks more like a storage shell than anything else. There are no flashy LEDs to distract you while you game, and at only 4-inch wide, the tower can fit nearly anywhere — although you’ll want to make sure it has proper ventilation.

Full Falcon Northwest Tiki specs Buy now on Falcon Northwest

Falcon Northwest Talon

Falcon Northwest Talon

Price Starting at $3,099
Processor Intel i7-6700K
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
RAM 32GB. Expandable to 64GB.
Ports 2 USB 3.0
Storage 512GB SSD. 4TB HDD.

What the Tiki possesses in size, the Talon brings in power. While the much-smaller and much-larger machines produced by Falcon Northwest may often overshadow this desktop, the Talon packs a major wallop in a mid-sized container. Best of all, it’s easy to upgrade; after purchasing, the Talon will be capable of maxing games out for years to come. When you finally need to upgrade, doing so is simple.

While the standard black tower is attractive enough, the various paintjobs make the Talon look like a sleek racing machine. And with the water-cooled i7-6700K processor and 32GB of RAM inside the Talon, it may very well be a racing machine; it would certainly take more than a VR world to slow down this powerhouse. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 GPU brings the virtual world to life in crisp detail, and the SSD and additional 4TB of storage mean you’ll never struggle to find room to install more games.

Full Falcon Northwest Talon specs Buy now on Falcon Northwest

ASUS G11CD

ASUS G11CD

Price Starting at $1,439
Processor Intel i7-6700
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
RAM 16GB. Expandable to 32GB.
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 2 USB 3.0 | 2 USB 3.1
Storage 2TB HDD

While some of the machines on this list are outside of what most gamers can afford, ASUS produces an affordable alternative in the G11CD. This beast is marketed as “Oculus ready.” It’s been designed from the ground up to power the Oculus Rift and is every bit a gaming machine. The tower sports the familiar etched patterns of an ASUS computer, and the red-on-black color scheme leaves no doubt that someone playing on this device probably has better hardware than you.

Sporting an Intel i5-6400, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, and 8GB of RAM, the G11CD may not be as overwhelmingly powerful as the Tiki or the Talon, but it has more than enough power to ensure you can enjoy virtual reality without stuttering or lag. The G11CD is also fully customizable on order, so you can add in more RAM or a more powerful GPU if you have the cash to spare. Starting at $1,499, this machine is a great option for those who want to dive into Oculus play without spending a small fortune.

Full ASUS G11CD specs Buy now on Amazon

ASUS ROG G20CB

ASUS ROG G20CB

Price Starting at $1,699
Processor Intel i7-6700
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
RAM 16GB.
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 2 USB 3.0 | 2 USB 3.1
Storage 1.25TB SDD.

While the G11CD may look like the standard ASUS desktop, the ROG G20CB looks like it’s come to claim Earth for an intergalactic empire. With sleek lines and a bold red center down the heart of the desktop, the ROG G20CB is one of the most beautiful computers we’ve seen. It’s also one of the quietest. At just 22dB while idling, this computer won’t sound like a jet preparing to take off when all you’re doing is browsing the web.

And surprisingly enough, the G11CD isn’t going to send your wallet screaming for the door. Starting at $1,699 with an Intel i7-6700 and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, this desktop will keep your gaming chops polished and prevent any stuttering or lag that may arise. If you have a bit of extra cash to burn, you can upgrade the various components to give yourself the ultimate gaming experience for your budget.

ASUS ROG G20CB specs Buy now on Amazon

Acer Predator G6

predator-a6-acer

Price Starting at $1,439.99
Processor i7-6700K
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
RAM 16GB DDR4
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 6 USB 3.0
Storage 128 GB SSD | 1 TB HDD

The Acer Predator G6 is a beast of a machine. Weighing in around 34 pounds, portability is not its strong suit; power is. It’s built for gamers, but fits surprisingly well with new gamers — those unfamiliar with how to manipulate the inner workings of their machine to improve its performance. With a huge ‘Overclock’ button on the front of the case, all a player has to do is press it to immediately improve performance.

The Predator G6 is designed to support 4K video and stunning virtual reality with ease. The impressive sound card means that the audio will match the visuals. Though the hefty price point may be a bit of an impediment to younger gamers, the cost is well worth the value the Predator provides.

ASUS ROG G20CB specs Buy now on Amazon

Origin Chronos VR 

origin-chronos-vr-black

Price $1,769.99
Processor i7-6700K
GPU Up to NVIDIA Titan X
RAM 32GB DDR4
Ports 2 USB 2.0 | 6 USB 3.0 | 2 USB 3.1
Storage Three hard drive ports, two storage ports

While most gaming desktops are bulky and built with overblown aesthetics in mind, the Origin’s Chronos VR takes the opposite approach. Dubbed a ‘compact gaming desktop,’ this machine can fit comfortably on a desk in four separate configurations without taking up a huge amount of space. Even so, the sleek lines and build still look good.

The Chronos is a fully customizable machine with a slew of options. The specs listed above are the most ideal, but less expensive options are available. Designed specifically to power VR machines, the Chronos delivers a lot of power without overwhelming size.

ASUS ROG G20CB specs Buy now via Origin

That’s it for our list of the best VR-ready desktop machines that you can get right now. Whether you’re looking for raw power or impressive looks, these PCs are ready to take you to the world of virtual reality.

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