Tuesday, August 9, 2016

$540 VR-Ready PC with Zotac GTX 1060 graphics card

The cost of a VR-ready PC is steadily decreasing, thanks largely to lower cost VR-ready graphics cards, like the GTX 1060.  In my case, I've been able to get a VR-ready PC for around $540.  

I got an old Dell T3500 workstation from eBay for $270, which worked surprisingly very well for stitching 360 videos.  I then added a GTX 1060 graphics card.  The previous card I got was the NVidia Founders Edition, but it wouldn't fit my case.  I then ordered the smaller Zotac GTX 1060 Mini.  I got mine from B&H Photo for $270.

Compared to the Founders Edition, the Zotac looks very simple, almost spartan.  But it's also much more compact, which is what I need.

Here it is, next to my previous EVGA GTX 750 Ti card.

I was relieved to find that it did indeed fit the case -- just barely.

I ran the HTC Vive VR Readiness test.  As with the Founders Edition, it's rated "high," although the score is a little lower than with the Founders Edition (7.9 vs. 8.1).


Founders Edition

So here's my setup now:
- Intel Xeon W3565 @3.2ghz
- 15GB RAM
- 600GB HDD
- GTX 1060 6GB 
- 525-watt power supply
Total cost: $540.

I also added a 480GB SSD but that's not required for a VR-ready PC.  I might also upgrade the RAM in the future (replace three 1GB RAM modules with 4GB RAM modules, for 24GB RAM total).  I hope to be able to get the HTC Vive (first impressions here) or perhaps the Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch in the near future.  Update: I got the HTC Vive - reviewed here.

The GTX 1060 is in high demand right now, but B&H will have the MSI OC version with two fans in stock on August 17 for $280, and you can preorder it now.  (I had to preorder my Zotac as well.)  If you would like to get one, please consider ordering from the link I provided, which would be a welcome way of supporting 360rumors, which will help me do more tests and reviews for you!

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