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Is Your Computer Ready for Virtual Reality? Here’s How to Check

Is Your Computer Ready for Virtual Reality? Here’s How to Check:

The Facebook-backed Oculus Rift headset is bringing virtual reality to players later this spring, but it’s not the only game in town: there’s also the HTC Vive, a headset that’s fully compatible with Valve’s PC gaming portal, Steam.

With Vive pre-orders starting at the end of the month, Valve has released a tool on Steam that lets you check whether your computer can handle the raw power of virtual reality. The whole thing is themed on the game Portal, running a two-minute look at the Valve’s Aperture Robot Repair demo to see just how tough your rig is.

The good news is, if your computer’s components aren’t up to snuff for the Vive, the tool will tell you exactly what needs replacing—whether it’s your computer’s graphics card or its CPU. The bad news is, either can be expensive, and both even more so. And then you can tack that on to the Vive’s $799 price tag. The Rift is going for $599, for reference, but the Vive stands apart because it tracks your motion through the physical space of a room—it’s a bit more involved than just having a cool screen on your face.

You can download the PC checker tool from Steam. The Vive’s pre-orders start on Feb. 29, with the headset set to ship in April, provided you’ve got anywhere between $800 and whatever a decent computer will cost you lying around.

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