vr1 pc

This is the story of our first VR ready machine. It’s named vr1, because … it’s first.


I decided to build it from components rather than buying pre-build system, since I wanted to know what’s inside and how it was build. Also, I’m going to enjoy building this pretty much, as this is my first computer built specifically for VR (and I hope more will follow). There was some mild budget limitation, so I decided to go for rather lower specs that would fit into “VR ready” requirements.

The beginning of VR at FA CTU… on my dining table

I start with CPU, that is Intel’s quad-core I5-7500 at 3,4/3,8 GHz. It’s new Kaby lake architecture, so it should be cool and quite even under load. I generally prefer Intel and NVidia to AMD, so this was pretty simple.

It’s VR ready, so it’s a no-brainer

In name of coolness and quiteness I didn’t use stock cooler, but another one I have many-years good experience with (this particular piece) and it’s Arctic Cooling Freezer 7.

It’s just so coolingly cool cooler

Next is motherboard, MSI B250M Gaming Pro with B250 chipset and microATX form factor. Chipset supports fast SSDs in M.2 slot and one PCIe 16x is enough, I don’t expect to add second card, so that’s pretty much all to consider. Gaming Pro apparently stands for LED underlighting, output for additional LED stripe and “gaming” mouse that’s bundled with the board – which is nothing special, but one less thing to worry about, so why not.

RAM memory is Kingston HyperX Fury black 16GB at 2400MHz. I decided to go for more than minimum here as the computer might be used for some memory demanding modelling softwares and other stuff. Since there are only two slots on board, it is on one stick (dual channel is not worth it), so it can be upgraded even to 32GB, but I don’t really expect it… we’ll see.

Also, there is a sticker and stickers are cool

GPU is essential part, here I was hesitating between Geforce GTX 1060 and 1070, both having similar price/performance value ratio, but to avoid going over budget a went with 1060, more specifically the one with 6GB of memory as VR can be expected to utilize huge texture resolutions (as seen in robot repair demo in The Lab for example). Brand was not so important, dual-fan cooler is better.

For this money you definitely expect a solid box and a lot of environment-harmful cushioning

Very important part for regular use and quite underestimated sometimes is hard-drive. I went for the best here, being Samsung EVO 960 M.2 (PCI express) SSD drive. It promises uncompromising speed and it delivers (see below).

Just sweet

This all needs solid PSU, I took Chieftec Smartseries 500W but I was rather disappointed by the noise, it’s certainly most noisy part of whole pc and worse than my previous (cheaper) OCZ. Luckily, there is much higher background noise at school so it doesn’t really matter.

Be smart, buy another

And finally, it’s all wrapped into a nice case designed in Sweden (no Ikea though), which previously contained my own personal computer (doesn’t fit to my smaller table, had to go). One third of the box is empty as there are no hard-drives or optical drives mounted and front panel on the side (!) is not ideal for every placement, but it’s still decent microtower. As a bonus I added red LED stripe (just couldn’t help it).

Bad picture … to be replaced


After installing Windows 10 Enterprise and some basic software I ran my common set of benchmarks and some less common to compare new PC with other machines and to see if it’s running at optimal level.

3dMark – Time Spy

futuremark.com – GPU performance

Invalid score note is there because System Info, component of the software detecting hardware configuration, failed to install and is missing – that shouldn’t affect the result of tests

3dMark – Fire Strike

futuremark.com – GPU performance

This is slightly lower than expected according to average values received on the same GeForce cards, might be because of worse CPU used or anything … I’ll look into it, if it would perform poorly in real apps and games (which it seems it doesn’t so far).

Steam VR Performance test

steampowered.com – Steam VR performance (!)

V-Ray benchmark

chaosgroup.com – V-Ray rendering performance (CPU and GPU rendering)

Just for brief comparison – recently I tested two other computers, here are the results: Ryzen 1700x (8×3,4GHz) + GeForce 1060 3GB … 1:28 / 2:18  ,  I5-6200U (2×2,3GHz) + GeForce 940M 2GB … 7:15 / 14:25

Crystal Disk Mark

crystalmark.info – SSD performance

These numbers are just awesome, showing that our top-grade Samsung SSD is running at full speed. It beats regular SSD in my laptop (A-Data SP550) by 200-300% in random reads/writes and even more in sequential. Worth the extra cost.


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