Dedicated machine for a 5k headset

Are the posted specs good for building a dedicated rig for the 5k? Here they are:

GPS: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 and AMD® equivalent or above
Cpu: intel i5-4590 or AMD FX8350 equivalent or above
RAM: 8GB or more

I was considering getting an i5-9600k, 16Gb DDR4 2666 RAM, and a GeForce 1660Ti.

I figure that gives me enough firepower to run things as is, but also enough to keep the rig viable for a few years. Thoughts?

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This is a great question. But a difficulty comes into play with Game requirements as we move forward. So years becomes relative depending on games & your expectations at what level graphics quality.

Cpu I believe that one is a 6 core? So likely good for awhile.

Memory? Well depending on Mobo’s number of memory slots 16g can be a good base. Prices seem to be decent at present so might want to consider higher mhz memory. I rec 3000mhz base.

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Nah, don’t belive Pimax’s recommended specs.
I recommend 1080Ti, 2070S, or more.


Agreed. I’d recommend a beefier GPU, since you’d like it to be viable for a while. Your other specs are reasonable. 16 GB ram is plenty, but spend a bit more to get quality (and faster) memory. You didn’t mention it, but you should get at least a 1 TB SSD, so that you have plenty of room.

As for which GPU, I have a factory-overclocked RTX 2080 and I wish it was even more powerful. It really depends on the games you play and what quality settings you can accept. And of course, how much you can afford to spend.

This is the card I have, but I paid $300 more for it, back when it was first released. I like it a lot, even though VR is very demanding.


Are you preserving the mobo or building from scratch? If the latter I suggest also looking at AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (you might need some quality RAM for that though, e.g. 3200 (CL14)) and either 470 or 570 chipset.

Regardless that, definitely pick 16MB RAM (I believe it is even recommended for HL:Alyx :slight_smile:). For the GPU, I agree with everyone here, if you are really into (non-trivial) VR (i.e. not only Beat Saber like games), buy the GPU you can afford, there is currently none which would be an overkill, or buy “something” in a hope that AMD or NVidia release “something better” soon™.


This is one thing to avoid, currently AMD GPU’s are not working well with Pimax in general (or not working at all). So stick to Nvidia.

Also you will be better served with RTX 20xx series to get all the Pitool features (like FFR which does not work on GTX). GPU is one component you should not compromise so get the best you can afford (I would say at least 2070).

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This is why I love you folks. :smile:

I’m hoping to either purchase or build a system < $1000 since more than that would make the wife wonder why I’m spending so much money on a “toy”. I was looking at an i5 system with a 2080 in it for around $750 or so, but thought it might be more than I needed. I believe that mobo can handle an i7 as well, but I’d have to upgrade that aftermarket.

As to what applications I’d run on it, I honestly have no idea. I haven’t really had the chance to dig into the VR app market too much, since I don’t have a dedicated machine to play around on. I’ve never been a big fan of FPS games, though that could change with VR. I know that knocks out quite a bit of the market, given that it’s kind of the reason for VR in the first place.

That’s also the reason I want to get “more than I need”, as I honestly don’t know “what I need”. I’m getting the sinking feeling that I’m going to end up > $1k on the box, unfortunately.

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Yeah might be unavoidable. Now if you haven’t already bought a Mobo. Consider Ryzen even the 2000 series can be a good as you can get an r5 2600x fairly cheap & if you purchase a 500 series Mobo you can later upgrade to a 3000 series down the road.

If you wait til after the next pitool release (est dec 13) may have some good results on amd 5700 gpu. But would wait til results are tallied.

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I would go higher on GPU, memory you can add more later up to 32GB.

If you don’t care much about resolution, and just want to support the wide FOV, those hardware specs are reasonable for now. I would caution that AMD CPUs and GPUs have some problems with some games and SteamVR - Intel/NVIDIA is safer.

If you do care about resolution, or the future, or plan on doing any flight sim, go with a much better GPU, and at least a motherboard that supports an i9-9900k for later.

For flight sim especially, every bit of GPU power will buy you a much nicer experience with more comfortably readable text/instruments, less tearing/ghosting, and much lower chance of frame dropping.

I went with these, and an i9-9900kf pre-binned from Silicon Lottery. The GPU in particular was the best on the market, being able to support the highest power target without water cooling or warranty voiding.

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Could you give an example of an AMD CPU having problems? I have been running one (Ryzen 5 2600X) quite fine and have not heard about any problems?

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AMD Ryzen series is generally good. DCS World uniquely needs Intel though, due to its severe single-threading bottleneck.

AMD FX series showed performance well below what would be expected from benchmarks in DCS World and occasionally Onward, even with an Oculus CV1 and asynchronous spacewarp (which was relatively efficient). Much testing also confirmed special affinity settings were needed for some application (I think, DCS World) - allowing it to hop around logical cores or disabling SMT both reduced performance severely. DCS World in particular never worked adequately, even for relatively simple scenarios, with AMD FX. PavlovVR also could occasionally drop sounds with AMD FX CPU, though this was more of a trivial nuisance.

Due to their generally more open and reliable platform (in terms of Linux workstation uptime), I would be willing to pay at least 50% more for AMD solutions. I hope they release more top-end products in the future with better VR support.

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Well, then I would not call it a “problem” of the CPU. You are right that Ryzen is only up to close to Intel in single threaded performance and it gives Intel an advantage in some applications (even though this advantage has diminishing trend with the latest Zen 2). But in general, in VR the usual bottleneck is the GPU bandwidth, which also (usually) takes away any edge Intel may have.

There are some things which needs to be ironed out on the SW side, e.g. core scheduling, but I guess this is just the price of the new arch (Zen 2), and I believe Microsoft has been looking into it recently.

On the other hand, in other domains AMD has an advantage over Intel:

  • power consumption
  • upgrade path (AM4 should accommodate Zen 3 to be released the next year)
  • security (less security holes in the hardware)

I do not want to start a polemic about Intel vs AMD, (I have been running Intel CPUs for the past 20 years and only last year changed to AMD), just thought that the remark about the CPU problems was not totally accurate.


Agreed & User Benchmarcks even show that the single thread performance really isn’t that large of a gap anymore. Ie r5 2600x vs i5 8400 & 9400F was something like 6 to 8% difference in single threaded performance. Game Debates overall score on the 2600x was 9.x.

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Maybe not a problem of the CPU itself, but don’t underestimate the importance of DCS World. Being able to process all objects within one frame on one logical core is a hard pass/fail for that. During overclocking, I have found even 1-2% is enough to make things un/usable.

So…kinda dragging this back to the OP…

Remember that I’m hoping to do this on a $1k budget. And while I’m not opposed to going over budget, I don’t want to drop $1500 on a GPU. So. What are the recommendations for trying to keep things reasonably within the $1k +/- 20% range?

I’m hearing Intel CPU (i7 most likely), 16Gb DD4 3200 ram, and some flavor of an nVidia 20xx series card. With associated power supply, 1Tb SSD, etc.

Related question: can I squeeze this into a mid-tower without frying things? Or do I pretty much have to go with a full-sized tower? I was hoping to make this a rather unobtrusive box sitting next to the entertainment unit. Gaudy LEDs and a huge box is not desirable.

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Well for perspective. My r7 2700x with 16g ddr4 3200 ram & a 1080ti is sandwiched in a Silverstone Raven RZ01 (ITX Build).

I have the Corsair sff 600w Gold psu; they now have a 750w.

While Intel still have strong ground. AMD is closing the gap rapidly.

My recommendation. Consider an AMD for cpu. Buy a 500 series board. 570 or 550 board is a good choice for future upgradability. Go with an r5 2600x & put focus on gpu in your budget. Ryzen cpu comes with a decent cooler out of the box.

Pic a decent psu. The 500 series board will give you a decent upgrade path if you feel the need later.


Skeptic go with 3700x or so get AMD newest cpu.s =)

I believe (but someone with an Intel CPU should correct me) that if you go with an Intel CPU, you do not need DDR4-3200 since the CPU runs almost at the same performance at the nominal speed, i.e. DDR4-2666. If you however plan to do some overclocking then it is another matter.

If you spend more than 100 hours per year in VR, you are probably able to get into things with specific requirements like flight sim. At that point, a $1000 expense selling/buying new hardware every two years is less than $5/hour.

However, if you are a busy person and will not be spending much more than 100 hours per year in VR, then a Ryzen 7 CPU and something like a sub-$1k NVIDIA GPU is a reasonable choice, though you may not be able to get full 1.5x super resolution.