AMD Reveals List of Qualified FX Series Processors For An Oculus Rift ‘VR-Ready’ PC Build
Chances are that if you are reading this you are thinking of building or upgrading to a 'VR Ready' PC this year (if you don't own one already) and if red is your flavor of choice then AMD has revealed the list of Oculus Rift 'VR-Ready' processors that will be able to handle the platform just fine. The original list of processors was published by Forbes' Jason Evangelho and contained Athlon and A-Series parts as well - both of which have now been dropped.
AMD lists five FX processors that support Oculus Rift 'VR'
As most of you will know, the Oculus Rift VR headset is not a self-sufficient device. The most important thing you will require is a very beefy GPU. I am talking the likes of the GTX 970 or the Radeon R9 290 since you are basically going to be running a 2k resolution at 90 fps. The CPU has little to no role in the VR platform. This means that a CPU that can currently handle modern games fairly well should do just fine in VR as well. Still, games like Star Citizen will be very CPU intensive and you cannot make do with just about any AMD processor. Infact, according to the official list - the company has (so far) only tested 5 parts that passed their internal checking:
Oculus Rift VR Ready AMD Processors
It is worth pointing out that the AMD list is not supported on the Oculus Rift compatibility tool. Not only that but fairly powerful processors like Intel's i7-2600K are not supported as well. This leads me to suspect that the official compatibility tool is nothing more than a simple part checker (against a partially made list of components) and should be ignored. According to the official specifications any processor under the i7-4790K will not do - which is a fairly inaccurate thing to claim (unless the platform exclusively uses post-Ivy bridge instruction sets which is very unlikely).
AMD's FX processors have quite a number of years on them but are still kicking by the looks of it. To those who are willing to wait, the company should intro its Zen based processors at the end of the year. In fact, its 14nm based GPUs should also arrive before that time - which are practically designed from the ground up to target VR. It goes without saying that Zen would be a much better option to upgrade to, than an aging platform. Although if you happen to own any of these processors already - than the good news is that according to AMD's internal testing - you do not need to upgrade for now.
Those of you who like their wine blue, Intel processors including and upwards of the i5-2500k/i7-2600k should easily be able to handle VR - regardless of what the tool states. Nvidia will be unveiling its Pascal graphic card this year and the performance gains over last generation should be fairly significant (at the same price point). The HTC Vive also releases later this year and I suspect we will see the Fury X2 around the same time as well, which means that consumers of the red camp will have one more option available to them in any VR-Ready PC build. Long story short, it is advisable to wait till the year is over if you are planning an upgrade.