Come Monday, HTC's SteamVR-powered headset - the Vive - will be available for preorder. Before you get all excited to shell out $799 for the headset to usher in a slice of virtual reality into your life, is your PC ready for the HTC Vive?
What we mean is, are you certain that your PC is up to the mark and can run the VR seamlessly sans any lag? If you're not sure, do not worry as Valve has released the SteamVR Performance Test Tool, which will tell if a computer can support the HTC Vive.
The feature will put the user's PC through the necessary paces to help determine if it is worth investing in the HTC Vive headset; the test takes only about two minutes.
The test tool runs a diagnostic - unlike some other compatibility tools for VR headsets - and goes through a non-interactive animation of a GLaDOS robot repair facility.
"The SteamVR Performance Test measures your system's rendering power using a 2-minute sequence from Valve's Aperture Robot Repair VR demo. After collecting the data it determines whether your system is capable of running VR content at 90 fps and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. For machines that are not VR Ready the tool can help determine whether capabilities are bound by Graphics Card, CPU, or both," Valve says.
The good thing about the test is that it will run even if the VR headset is not connected to the PC. It will basically give early adopters an insight into how their system will potentially perform. It will dispel any doubt about the capabilities of one's PC.
The tool grades a PC's VR readiness or not using three colors - red for "Not Ready," yellow for "VR Capable," and green signals "VR Ready." It also gives the average fidelity rating based on a numerical and Low/Medium/High/Very High scale.
The test will also reveal the percentage of tested frames that were below the 90 fps recommendation, as well as if any of the frames were CPU bounded rather than GPU.
The bare minimum PC specs required to run the HTC Vive headset are as follows: 2.4 GHz dual-core CPU and a 64-bit version of Windows 7.
However, if the CPU is a quad-core and clocked at 3.4GHz, then it is nearly VR Ready. If the CPU speed is higher, then the PC fares well. For the OS, if the PC runs on Windows 10 - it's good to go.