Best Graphics Cards for VR – Q2 2017 *Updated

When looking to find the right graphics card for VR, it’s a bit difficult as universal benchmark tools for VR are still a bit young and the market is split between regular PC gamers and those that just want to play VR content on PC.

We’ve rounded up the best graphics cards to match your HTC VIVE or Oculus Rift for PC.
*With the new AMD 570 and 580’s hitting the market, we’ve updated the list with the new entries!

Entry Level – AMD Radeon RX 580

At the entry level of VR, we have the only graphics card from AMD.
With the shift this generation from AMD to go for the entry to mid-range cards, the new Radeon RX 580 delivers decent performance for VR. Although you might not be able to experience content at their highest settings, this should be great for keeping costs low considering the headsets themselves are so expensive.

The card comes in 2 models, the 4GB and 8GB versions, we recommend the 4 GB model for now if you’re planning on upgrading within 1-2 years. If you want to futureproof your setup, you should take a look at the next tier.

The MSI ARMOR version at under $210, this card should serve you well.
Buy it on Amazon.

Solid Performance
Next up is the 1070 GTX from Nvidia.
We have one in our demo system here at NEOPIXEL and it’s a great card. Delivers solid VR performance and with benefits like the GeForce Experience software, you won’t have to tweak optimal settings to each game, it’ll do the bulk of it for you.

Although costing roughly 2 times more than the 480 above at around $400, it should provide a significant boost in performance which is important where frame-rates define the line between nauseating and a solid VR experience. We’ve had no slowdowns with this card on our demo system. With Nvidia’s superior support in terms of drivers and software, the 1070 GTX is the sweet-spot for performance and cost.

The EVGA edition is under $400, featuring 8 GB of VRAM and higher boost clock from stock. Buy it on Amazon.

Future Proofing

So, you want to future proof and have extra cash?
If so, go for the 1080ti from Nvidia. Similar to the 1070, but rocking the power to deliver 50% or more in most cases of performance in VR. With this card, you should be safe thinking that you’ll be running most VR content at high end settings for a good 1-2 years.

But with the power, comes cost, coming just shy of the $700 mark.
If you want more power than you actually need but also intend to game on 4K, get this card. Otherwise, stick with the 1070 GTX or Radeon 480 and wait for the next generation of cards to come out for another upgrade.

The EVGA edition is under $700 with 11GB of VRAM and comes with “I have a 4K gaming PC” bragging rights. Buy it on Amazon.

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