VR Hardware Recommended by 3D Repo

By December 5, 2017Support

VR-ready PC

3D Repo recommends a PC with NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card or better plus 3 x USB 3.0 ports as the required minimal spec for Virtual Reality (VR) in the AEC industry. Workstations with NVidia Quadro P4000 and better or AMD FirePro W9100, AMD Radeon RX 480 and similar are also supported.

Laptops:

Desktops:

GPU Caddy (optional):

Assuming your existing laptop or desktop has a USB-3/Thunderbolt 3 connector, e.g. the latest generation of MacBooks and similar, you can also utilise an external GPU caddy which can house a graphics card of your choice. Just check that your chosen one does not have a proprietary connector like Alienware Graphics Amplifier for instance.

Large TV Screen (optional but recommended):

Apart from a PC we also recommend getting a large TV screen so that spectators can see the same visual feed as the person with the VR headset on. This helps with induction, navigation and overall engagement of the audience. Any screen with HDMI input will do.

Room-scale VR

Room-scale VR is by far our preferred option since the user can navigate freely within several square meters of available office space either through physical walking or via virtual teleporting. The downside is that this setup is less portable and requires calibration (~10 min) each time the sensors are moved to a new location so it is not as convenient for client-site presentations and trade shows as the portable VR listed below. However, for permanent installations we highly recommend this headset especially as it has a wireless add-on option.

Headset:

Tripods (optional but highly recommended):

HTC Vive comes with mounting brackets to attach the tracking base stations to the wall. Assuming you’d prefer not to drill holes within your office environment, you will also need to procure some form of photographic light stands so that the base stations can be positioned above the height of a human on the opposite sides of the available VR space. The base stations come with standard 1/4 inch photographic mounts, one at the back and one at the bottom. Just remember that you will need two such stands and any of the following will be sufficient.

Wireless add-on (optional):

TPCast is a company associated with HTC that provides a wireless add-on for the Vive headset. This enables a truly untethered experience without the possibility of getting tangled in the headset cables. However, it is slightly more fiddly to set up and it comes with a dedicated router to enable wireless signal transmission. The provided battery pack lasts about 5 hours so it is highly recommended you buy a spare one, too.

Portable VR

An alternative to a full room-scale VR is Oculus Rift. This relies on different tracking technology, although the specification of the headset itself is nearly identical to that of HTC Vive. The main advantage of Oculus is its portability since the tracking cameras need to be calibrated only once and can easily be repositioned in a new location as the tracking is fairly forgiving. In theory, it is possible to set up full room tracking by utilising more cameras from Oculus, however, for such a setup we would recommend HTC Vive instead. Note that the tracking cameras are placed on a table and thus do not require wall mounting or additional stands.

  • Oculus Rift + Touch starting at £332 + VAT
    Includes 2 tracking sensors and 2 touch controllers.

At 3D Repo we already broke one because the headstrap attachment is not as strong as that of HTC Vive. Therefore, we recommend caution when travelling with Oculus Rift to different locations.


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