Best desktop PCs for VR

If you don't want to go through the effort of building your own VR-capable gaming rig, you don't have to — just buy one of these instead.
PC building is something that some will enjoy and swear by, and for some it's the complete opposite. Some people just want to go to a store, buy a big box and turn it on. And that's completely fine.
If you're also keen to dabble in the new, exciting world of virtual reality, then you'll need to buy something with some decent power behind it. With the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive now shipping to customers, manufacturers have been busy declaring which of their machines are "VR ready."
If that's what you want, then check out this little lot below. We'll keep this post updated as new machines hit the market. If you're looking for much more virtual reality goodness, be sure to hit up our new sibling site, VRHeads!
Article updated with some new post-E3 2016 goodies.

Lenovo Ideacentre Y900

Lenovo Y900
Lenovo put the right kind of thought into the Y900 desktop, namely that it's easily upgradeable for people who want to be able to add more down the line. The Y900 is designed to appeal to more than just the casual buyer.
But what it offers off the shelf isn't to be sneered at. Beneath the glowing red front you'll find an unlocked Intel Skylake Core i7 6700K processor, 16GB of RAM and a combination of a 2TB hard drive and a 256GB SSD.
It also offers a decent amount of graphics power for this generation of VR, with an NVIDIA GTX 980 on hand. It's big and bold, and actually not as expensive as you might think.

Alienware X51 R3

Alienware X51 R3
If space is at a premium and you're looking for a small form factor PC that can handle VR, then Alienware might have the solution for you. It also carries the Oculus Certified badge, which means it has been tested with the Rift.
The X51 R3 is only a little bigger than an Xbox One, and yet inside you'll find a 6th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA GTX 970 graphics card.
There's an ample 1TB hard drive to store all of your VR games on and while the base configuration comes with 8GB of RAM, it can be specified with up to 32GB. Or you can upgrade yourself later on. But there's a lot inside this little box.

Alienware Area 51

Alienware Area 51
If space isn't an issue and you're looking for just all-out raw power, then at the other end of the Alienware spectrum you'll find the Area 51. This one is Vive Certified and includes options for some serious horsepower.
Alienware refreshed the Area 51 at E3 with Intel's new Broadwell-E processors, including the beastly new 10-core 6950X, as well as NVIDIAs latest GTX 1080 graphics card. There's a high price to pay if you want all of that, but you're also getting some of the highest-end hardware on sale. It's as close to the ultimate consumer desktop as you'll be able to buy from anyone.

Origin PC Chronos

Origin Chronos
Origin PC will build you a desktop PC from a huge range of options that fits both your budget and your desires. Each PC is built to order and the Chronos packs an enormous amount of power into a fairly small box.
You can spec one up with more regular Intel Core i7 processors and up to a GTX 1080 graphics card, or you can crank it up and go extreme with one of Intel's latest Broadwell-E enthusiast cards in 6-, 8- or 10-core form.
Origin also lets you customize virtually every aspect of the PC, including adding 32GB of DDR4 RAM, painting the outside and having RGB lighting installed inside. It's not the cheapest entry to VR, but this would definitely be your PC.

Acer Predator G6

Predator G6
If the wild looks are OK by you then the Acer Predator G6 offers a less expensive entry to VR than some of the other options on this list. It is a full-sized desktop PC, however, so you'll need to make sure you have the space for it.
Acer is using the Intel Core i7 6700K unlocked processor, up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and a combination of hard drive and SSD storage.
Throw in a GTX 980 graphics card from NVIDIA and you have a strong gaming PC that'll also let you get your virtual reality on comfortably.


If you're looking for the cheapest entry point into VR right now, then you should take a look at this box from ASUS. The name isn't exactly memorable, but what you get for a little over $1,000 is a VR-ready machine for Oculus Rift.
You'll get a Skylake Core i5 processor from Intel, a GTX 970 graphics card from NVIDIA, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and a 1TB hard drive. It's a little "no frills", but it'll get you on the VR ladder without throwing all your money at it.

Titan Virtual Force

Titan Virtual Force
If you're in Europe then you might be familiar with Overclockers. If you're also into VR then you'll be pleased to know you can buy a pre-built system from them with great specs at a not too ridiculous price.
The Titan Virtual Force packs an unlocked Intel Core i5 6600K, 8GB of DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 980ti graphics card. You also get combined SSD and hard drive storage and the ability to change up some of the options if you've got a bit more to spend.
But the base configuration comes in just under £1300, which isn't all that bad.

Alienware Aurora

Alienware Aurora
Announced at E3. Alienware is bringing the Aurora back and it's ready for VR. While the base, $799 configuration won't get you very far, you can spec it up with some serious hardware. It has toolless insides so it's easy enough to upgrade yourself, but you can order one from Alienware with an Intel Broadwell-E Extreme Edition processor, up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM and a GTX 1080 graphics card.
If you're ramping up the hardware you'll need to keep it cool, and you can spec up a factory liquid cooling option to keep those temperatures down.