Virtual reality has entered the consumer era and there’s plenty to get excited about. Perhaps you weren’t on board before but now you’re seeing the games that are being released and in development and find yourself looking at the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift headsets more than ever. Maybe your concluding that the price isn’t that high after all. Then you remember that your PC just isn’t powerful enough to cope and you really can’t afford to buy the headset and upgrade your hardware enough to actually use VR and use it well. That’s the thing with top of the range VR, as reasonable as the headset price actually is, the cost for the full package is just too much for many, especially if you want specs beyond the minimum requirements.
With the announcement of Nvidia’s latest graphics card, we wonder if we’re being given a sign that building a powerful VR-ready PC might become more affordable faster than we thought. Only last year, Nvidia released their best and brightest graphics card, the GeForce GTX Titan X, but now they’ve announced the GTX 1080 and not only is it more powerful than the Titan X, it’s more affordable too.
The GeForce GTX 1080 is showing off the best of what the company’s new Pascal architecture is able to do. The Pascal architecture involves the introduction of a 16nm FinFET chip construction. This not only allows the GTX 1080 to have double the VR performance of the Titan X, it also means it has three times the efficiency as the chip uses fewer Watts of power and emits less heat. That’ll make you less likely to hide in your VR headset when the electricity bill comes.
On top of this there’s 8GB of GDDR5X video card memory which will keep frame rates high without any struggles, even on the more demanding titles. This is all pretty impressive, but what gets us even more is that as well as being more powerful than the Titan X, the GTX 1080 is much cheaper. Where the Titan X will set you back around $1000, the GTX 1080 is set to launch on May 27th at a much more reasonable, but still undeniably costly, $599. The GTX 1080 is the top-of-the-line model, too, and for anyone who is willing to take a card that’s slightly slower but still able to outperform the Titan X, the GTX 1070 will be released later on June 10th for $379. Official UK prices have yet to be released but we’ll update as soon as they are.
So for anyone that was saving up to build their very own VR ready PC, at least you’ve had a significant price cut when it comes to purchasing your graphics card. Unless you want to hold back and see what AMD inevitably hits back with.