The Best VR-Ready Rigs
If you want to get lost in virtual worlds on the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, you'll need a pretty powerful PC. Fortunately, gaming desktop and laptop makers offer tons of VR-optimized machines, whether you're looking for an inexpensive entry-level model, something small for the living room, or a tricked-out rig to show off to your friends.
Generally speaking, VR-ready gaming PCs should have at least an Nvidia GTX 970 graphics card and an Intel Core i5 processor, among other requirements. Here are our favorite gaming PCs that fit the bill, from ultra-portable laptops to drool-worthy towers.
CyberPower Gamer Ultra VR ($649)
Who said getting VR-ready meant draining your entire savings account? The CyberPowerPC Gamer Extreme is one of the cheapest VR-ready systems we've seen yet, packing an AMD Radeon RX 470 graphics card and an AMD FX-4350 CPU into a simple black chassis with lots of red LED lights. Better yet, you can get this system bundled with an Oculus Rift for just over $1,000.
Alienware 13 R3 ($1,199 starting)
Believe it or not, you can get VR-ready gaming performance out of a 13-inch laptop. This small stunner packs Nvidia's 10-series GPUs into a wonderfully portable package, and you can configure itcan be configured with a beautiful OLED display for when you want your non-VR games to really pop.
Digital Storm Vanquish 5 ($878 starting)
Simple, affordable and upgradeable, the Digital Storm Vanquish 5 is a great sub-$1000 choice for VR enthusiasts. The Vanquish's Core i5 processor and Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti GPU meet the minimum requirements for the Oculus Rift, and if you want to add stronger parts down the road, its user-friendly design makes it easy to do so.
Alienware Aurora ($1,299 for VR Ready)
If you want a VR-capable gaming PC that offers the best mix of performance, style and upgradability, go with the Alienware Aurora. The Aurora packs strong specs and customizable LED lighting into an attractive, compact design, and its unique, tool-free chassis allows even the most tech-averse gamers to effortlessly swap in better graphics cards over time.
Asus ROG G20CB ($1,399)
The Asus ROG G20CB is a VR-ready gaming desktop that's as compact as it is stunning. The G20's tiny, otherworldly chassis has some of the best lighting effects we've seen on a gaming PC. It's also ergonomically designed to keep the machine from overheating -- something that will prove crucial for your day-long VR marathons. Just be sure to pick the right configuration, as the G20 isn't very easy to upgrade.
MORE: Asus ROG G20CB Review
Dell XPS Tower Special Edition ($899 starting)
The Dell XPS Tower is an excellent pick for folks who want a VR-ready gaming PC that wouldn't look out of place in your office. The XPS Tower packs the same strong performance and painless tool-free upgradability as its Alienware Aurora cousin, except it eschews flashing lights and sharp angles in favor of a sleek, unassuming design.
Razer Blade Pro ($3,699 starting)
The Razer Blade Pro fits a ridiculous amount of power into its slim 0.88-inch frame, including an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card and Intel Core i7 processor that are more than ready for high-end VR. This premium powerhouse also features a 4K touch display with Nvidia G-Sync support, as well as a ultra-low-profile mechanical keyboard that can light up in all kinds of cool colors thanks to Razer's Chroma technology.
MORE: Razer Blade Pro Review
Origin Chronos VR ($1,799 starting)
The Origin Chronos VR isn't just a powerful virtual reality machine -- it's also a great console replacement for folks who want to kick back and play PC games on the couch. The Chronos' slick chassis looks as good standing vertically as it does laying flat under your TV, and it can be configured with a variety of cool custom paint jobs.
MORE: Origin Chronos VR Review
MSI GT62 Dominator Pro ($1,549 starting)
The aptly-named MSI GT62 Dominator Pro delivers crushing gaming performance into a travel-ready (but pretty monstrous) 15-inch design. The Dominator Pro utilizes MSI's Cooler Boost 4 technology to avoid overheating during long VR sessions, and touts a crisp 1080p G-Sync display and a comfortable, customizable keyboard.
Acer Predator G1 ($2,199)
One of the best compact gaming rigs out there, the Predator G1 packs VR- and 4K-ready gaming performance into a stylish and road-ready design -- it can even be configured with its own suitcase. The G1 costs a premium at $2,199, but few machines can pack an Intel Core i7-6700 processor and Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU into a chassis that's so wonderfully small.
MORE: Acer Predator G1 Review
Maingear Rush ($1,934 for VR Ready)
If money isn't an issue and you want your VR rig to also be the showpiece of your gaming area, the Maingear Rush is a fantastic premium option. This massive, gorgeous desktop can be made VR-ready for a little less than $2,000, but you'll likely be spending much more than that if you take advantage of the myriad of glossy custom paint jobs, liquid cooling tubes and snazzy internal lighting that Maingear offers. You can even configure it with multiple graphics cards to stay future-proofed for the next generation of VR.
MORE: Maingear Rush Review