Image Credits: Valve Corporation

On the 28th of June 2019, Valve Corporation released its own VR headset, called Valve Index. When choosing the right gaming desktop PC for Valve Index, there are a few specs to take into consideration. To spare you some time searching, I compiled a list of the best Gaming Desktop PCs for your VR headset.

Being able to run VR games flawlessly without any graphical stuttering and lagging, the gaming PC must at least meet the recommended system requirement.

Why recommended and not minimum? Well, minimum requirements are based on what developers define that games are playable at the lowest graphic settings values. Whereas the recommended requirements are what is needed in order to run a game with decent graphical settings.

ENTRY LEVEL

1. Skytech Archangel

MID-RANGE

2. CyberpowerPC Gamer Master

Recommended

ENTHUSIAST

3. CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme

HIGH-END

4. iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming

ULTRA

5. CUK Mantis Gaming PC

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer PC Desktop – Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz, GTX 1660 Super 6G,...
CyberpowerPC Gamer Master Gaming PC, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060...
CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC, Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6GHz, NVIDIA...
iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC Computer Desktop MCT3900V2 (Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz, NVIDIA RTX 2080...
CUK Mantis Gaming PC (Liquid Cooled AMD Ryzen 9, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB, 64GB...
Processor
Ryzen 5 3600
Ryzen 7 3700X
i7-9700K
Ryzen 9 3900X
Ryzen 9 3900XT
GPU
GTX 1660 SUPER
RTX 2060 SUPER
RTX 2070 SUPER
RTX 2080 SUPER
RTX 2080 Ti
RAM
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
16GB DDR4
32GB DDR4
64GB DDR4
Storage
512GB SSD
240GB SSD + 2TB HDD
1TB NVMe SSD
1TB SSD
1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD
2,250 Reviews
59 Reviews
2,402 Reviews
68 Reviews
11 Reviews
$1,199.99
Price not available
$2,498.90
Price not available
Price not available

ENTRY LEVEL

1. Skytech Archangel

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer PC Desktop – Ryzen 5 3600 3.6GHz, GTX 1660 Super 6G,...
Processor
Ryzen 5 3600
GPU
GTX 1660 SUPER
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
512GB SSD
2,250 Reviews
$1,199.99

MID-RANGE

2. CyberpowerPC Gamer Master

CyberpowerPC Gamer Master Gaming PC, AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060...
Processor
Ryzen 7 3700X
GPU
RTX 2060 SUPER
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
240GB SSD + 2TB HDD
59 Reviews
Price not available
Recommended

ENTHUSIAST

3. CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme

CyberpowerPC Gamer Supreme Liquid Cool Gaming PC, Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6GHz, NVIDIA...
Processor
i7-9700K
GPU
RTX 2070 SUPER
RAM
16GB DDR4
Storage
1TB NVMe SSD
2,402 Reviews
$2,498.90

HIGH-END

4. iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming PC Computer Desktop MCT3900V2 (Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz, NVIDIA RTX 2080...
Processor
Ryzen 9 3900X
GPU
RTX 2080 SUPER
RAM
32GB DDR4
Storage
1TB SSD
68 Reviews
Price not available

ULTRA

5. CUK Mantis Gaming PC

CUK Mantis Gaming PC (Liquid Cooled AMD Ryzen 9, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11GB, 64GB...
Processor
Ryzen 9 3900XT
GPU
RTX 2080 Ti
RAM
64GB DDR4
Storage
1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD
11 Reviews
Price not available

Last update on 2021-09-13.

Valve Index System Requirements

Minimum

  • PROCESSOR: Dual Core with Hyper-Threading
  • GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD RX480
  • MEMORY: 8 GB RAM
  • VIDEO OUTPUT: Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2)
  • USB: 1x USB (2.0+) Port

Recommended

  • PROCESSOR: Quad Core +
  • GRAPHICS: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or better
  • MEMORY: 8 GB RAM
  • VIDEO OUTPUT: Available DisplayPort (Version 1.2)
  • USB: 1x USB (3.0+) Port (for Headset Pass-Through Camera)

Source: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4061-QUZB-4602

What computer parts are the most important for running the Valve Index and VR games smoothly?

Graphics Card

A graphics card (or GPU, short of “Graphics Processing Unit”) is undoubtedly one of the most important hardware parts of a gaming PC. It handles all the processing and rendering of what you see on the display and directly affects the quality of the textures, anti-aliasing, frame rate, and such…

The more powerful it is, the more smoothly and realistically the game runs.

CPU

A processor or CPU (short for “Central Processing Unit”) also significantly impacts the overall gaming performance. It handles all the gameplay, instructions, loading different assets of the game, etc.

It basically calculates all the logic behind the scene.

Memory

Computer memory or RAM (short for “Random Access Memory”) stores all the short-term bits of information that are being accessed and used by the CPU constantly. It is a kind of temporary storage for all the calculated results coming from the CPU.

The more RAM you have the more information the processor can store in it simultaneously.

Storage

This is a piece of computer hardware that contains all the data that the PC can access and operate with. It includes everything, from the operating system to the games installed.

The most common consumer class types of SDDs are SATA SSD or NVMe. Although using different bus interfaces and having different connections, the main difference between them is read/write speed. Here’s a little speed comparison about average read/write speed of all the disk drives types mentioned:

    • SATA 3 – up to 550MB/second 
    • NVMe – up to 3500MB/second

Traditional HDDs can be used for secondary storage drive only. They are just obsolete.

What is the best VR gaming desktop PC for Valve Index?

There are two main factors for the gaming PC being suitable for Valve Index.

First is no brainer, meeting the recommended system requirements. As mentioned, if you want to enjoy VR games as they are meant to, never go for the minimum.

And the other is connectivity. A computer must have the right ports to hook up the VR headset to.

The main part of the VR ready PC to be able to run VR content on Valve Index is a graphics card or GPU. The recommended one is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.

Although this is recommended by Valve Corporation itself, I noticed quite a different recommended specs for different VR games on the Steam platform.

For example, the popular game Beat Saber, the recommended GPU is GTX 1060. On the other hand Fallout 4 VR, requires an Nvidia GTX 1080. So this is really game-specific. That’s why this list of PCs contains models having GPUs from GTX 1660 Ti up to RTX 2080 Ti.

My recommendation is to go for a desktop PC with an RTX graphics card as new VR games are being released constantly. Always with higher and higher system requirements.

For the CPU, I find it a bit amusing as all they say is “Quad Core +”. I guess a CPU back from 2006 (let’s say Core 2 Extreme QX6700) wouldn’t do any good. 🙂

Anyway, all the desktop computers listed here have more than enough powerful CPU to run Valve Index with ease.

Connectivity

Valve Index requires only one USB 3.0 and a DisplayPort 1.2.

A compiled list of desktop gaming VR PCs, being able to run Valve Index

ENTRY LEVEL

Key Components: CPU: i5-9400F, i7-9700F or Ryzen 5 3600  GPU: GTX 1660 Ti or Radeon RX 590  RAM: at least 16GB  STORAGE: NVMe or SATA SSD

Gets you up and running with decent components.

Skytech Archangel Gaming Computer

Technical Details:

Ryzen 5 3600
GTX 1660 SUPER
16GB DDR4
512GB SSD

MID-RANGE

Key Components: CPU: i7-9700K, i9-9900K or Ryzen 7 3700X   GPU: RTX 2060 Super or Radeon RX 5700 XT  RAM: at least 16GB  STORAGE: SATA or NVMe SSD

The best price/performance components.

CyberpowerPC Gamer Master

Technical Details:


Ryzen 7 3700X
RTX 2060 SUPER
16GB DDR4
240GB SSD + 2TB HDD

 

HIGH-END

Key Components: CPU: i7-9900K or Ryzen 9 3900X  GPU: RTX 2080 SUPER  RAM: at least 32GB STORAGE: SATA or NVMe SSD

High-end components for a maximum performance.

iBUYPOWER Pro Gaming

Technical Details:

Ryzen 9 3900X
RTX 2080 SUPER
32GB DDR4
1TB SSD Drive

 

ULTRA

Key Components: CPU: Ryzen 9 3900XT or Ryzen 9 3950X  GPU: RTX 2080 Ti (or 2x) RAM: 64GB+  STORAGE: NVMe SSD

Core components the fastest available, possibly fancy RGB lightning, water cooling, and all that jazz.

CUK Mantis Gaming PC

Technical Details:

Ryzen 9 3900XT
RTX 2080 Ti
64GB DDR4
1TB NVMe SSD + 2TB HDD

Conclusion

How the VR Ready gaming PC will perform it depends also on the game itself. It’s not always hardware’s fault for stuttering, sometimes the lazy developers thinking they can powerhouse a PC game. There are games that even an i9 processor with RTX 2080 Ti cant hold stable 120 fps.

The game industry as a whole needs to step back and learn how to optimize VR games properly. Anyway, if you go for the RECOMMENDED one, you will be able to enjoy most VR games. But if you can afford, by all means, go for HIGH-END or even ULTRA. This way you are sure you are going to be able to play many VR games that are yet to come in the following years.

I wish you plenty of fun in the VR world.
Have fun, take care!

Blaz