(Pocket-lint) - The Oculus Rift consumer model will be released early 2016 and although other renowned virtual reality headsets might beat it to market, it will be the technology that most are interested in seeing in action.

However, it seems that unless you have a beefy gaming PC, you'll be struggling to get it to work in your home.

Oculus has announced guidelines on the minimum computer specifications a user will need to have to get the new headset working in the best way possible. It might work on lower specified machines, but the company felt it needed to draw a line in the sand for developers to target come launch.

So what will you need according to Oculus?


The headset manufacturer suggests that users will need at minimum an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD 290 graphics card. And at present they cost around the £250 mark or more.


Oculus says that you will need an Intel i5-4590 processor or greater to have the Oculus Rift headset running as it should. That chip alone (not including the motherboard) retails at around £160. If you require the motherboard as well, you're looking at about £250.

READ: Oculus Rift consumer model finally confirmed for early 2016: Here are 5 things it needs to have


You will be required to have at least 8GB of RAM. You can get 8GB of DDR3 RAM for around £50.

Anything else?

Apart from the recommended specifications to get software working with the new headset, you will also need Windows 7 SP1 or higher, two spare USB 3.0 ports and HDMI 1.3 video output, supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture. Oculus warns that this latter requirement means that many laptops will be unable to run the Rift as their external video outputs are connected to their integrated GPUs.

Almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec anyway, claims the company.

READ: Virtual Reality: The VR headsets to buy in 2015, whatever your budget


Unless you already have a beefy gaming PC, it is likely you will have to cough out to upgrade your desktop computer to run Oculus Rift on release next year. And we estimate it'll cost you more than £500, and that's if you have a motherboard that's compatible with the Intel chip (or equivalent) or the price of the new headset itself.

Oculus does promise that it won't be changing the recommended spec any time soon however, so you will know that the expense will futureproof you for VR thrills for some time to come.

Writing by Rik Henderson.