Is VR More GPU or CPU Intensive? (Explained)


VR relies on the GPU to run programs, making it more GPU intensive. Consider the VR headset to be a new display (monitor) that is attached to your face and has additional functions. Because only certain GPUs have the requisite hardware to run VR, a specific tier of GPU is required.

Playing Zenith or Resident Evil 7: Biohazard in your new VR setup? Is lag in the game caused by the CPU preventing you from having an out-of-this-world gaming experience?

Don’t give up just yet. You’ve come to the proper place to get rid of your doubts and frustrations.

I am an avid gamer who has spent the last 7 years making games with the Unreal Engine. I will walk you through VR-related issues, the reasons for them, and how to solve them to have the best VR experience possible.

Don’t skip any lines and attempt to finish reading. You will learn the facts and have all of your questions answered.

Does VR rely on the CPU?

Yes, VR heavily relies on the CPU because it requires steady performance delivery. For a good VR experience, stable performance is required. VR is a simulated method that creates an entirely new or similar reality. To generate this hyper-realistic reality, the CPU must pump a lot of power into the VR equipment.

Virtual reality (VR) systems of today employ virtual reality headgear or various multi-projected setups. These VR headsets produce hyper-realistic sights and audio that imitate your actual appearance in a virtual environment. Various sensations will alert you to your existence in the environment.

VR requires a lot of CPU power to generate this type of environment. A typical monitor requires 60 frames per second to show smooth visual performance, yet 60 frames per second are insufficient for VR.

VR requires at least 90 frames per second. Anything less will give you a bad VR experience.

Older generation CPUs, such as Intel’s i5 2500k, may easily provide a steady 60fps. However, if you want 90fps, you would have to throttle heavily. As a result, CPUs capable of pushing more power is ideal for your VR gear.

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Does VR Need a Good CPU?

If you are a serious gamer who wants to play VR games, you will need a system with a powerful CPU. A strong CPU capable of handling a significant workload is required for a VR headset such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive Pro.

In terms of performance, a good CPU is critical in the VR category. Because a better VR experience necessitates 90FPS (Frames per Second).

CPUs from the latest generation, such as the i5-9500 or i7-9600k, are ideal for VR headset gaming. Games can make use of all of your CPU’s cores and threads. At the moment, games can use up to 8 cores and 16 threads at the same time.

Game engines create VR games in such a way that they necessitate a significant amount of CPU power. A CPU with 6 cores/12 threads or 6 cores/6 threads is ideal for current VR gaming. This CPU is capable of running decent games.

If you want to play a high-level game like Star Citizen, which requires a lot of CPU power, you need to get an 8-core/16-threaded CPU. Most of the time, this type of game will require CPUs with 16 threads.

As a result, the better the CPU, the better the VR gaming experience. It provides the impression that you are traveling into another dimension of reality.

Is VR more CPU or GPU Intensive?

Because VR necessitates total system performance, a system that can handle all operations with ease is required. Technically, the CPU and GPU are both equally crucial.

CPU only handles apps that provide butter smooth performance and logical gaming functions such as input, output, and loading levels. Unreal Engines, for example, rely more on the CPU than the GPU.

However, VR headsets must run two displays at the same time with a high refresh rate, which necessitates a lot of GPU power. The GPU offers the rendering capability that allows everything to work smoothly. If you have an entry-level GPU on your PC, you may experience certain problems while gaming.

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A system that combines an older CPU with a high-end GPU can deliver a better gaming experience. As a result, the GPU outperforms the CPU in this VR section. You can also check how well a system with a high-end CPU and an entry-level GPU performs.

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How Much CPU is Needed for a VR

When it comes to serious VR gaming, the CPU is just as important as the GPU. So you have a lot of questions about CPUs, don’t you?

Allow me to clarify this point. While playing VR games or other VR-related segments, the CPU will handle all application-based tasks. The CPU is concerned with inputs, outputs, and logical operations. A multi-core and multi-threaded CPU can only perform intensive workloads while playing games.

For a better VR experience, choose a 6c/12t or 6c/6t processor. A higher core-based CPU, such as 8c/16t, will provide the finest experience. However, a CPU with 4c/4t can play VR games, but you will experience lag or throttling issues.

VR-Ready processors from Intel and AMD are now available on the market. In 2022, Intel’s i7-12700K and AMD’s Ryzen 7 5800X will be the top choices for high-end VR gaming.

However, with AMD, you will need to purchase a mid-to-high-end GPU such as the RTX 3060 or 3070 or the RX 6900 or 6800 XT. The identical GPU option is also available for Intel’s i7 processor.

For entry-level VR gaming, a CPU like the i5-12400 or Ryzen 5 5600G with a GTX 1660 ti or RX 580 GPU is recommended. This will ensure that your VR rig runs smoothly.

Final thought 

VR, or Virtual Reality, is cutting-edge technology. This technology can take your virtual experience to the next level. However, this comprehensive visual experience necessitates a significant amount of CPU and GPU resources. The CPU and GPU are both responsible for providing a better visual experience.

So, in conclusion, the CPU has a significant impact while experiencing VR with a VR headset or VR goggles. This has a significant impact, especially when gaming with a VR headset. VR programs rely on the CPU to function properly.

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I hope you finished reading the entire article. Let me know how this article helped you, and if you have any questions or require clarification on any of the topics, please leave them in the comments area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does VR Ready CPU mean?

A VR-ready CPU meets the very minimum criteria for running VR applications. To get the most out of a VR Ready CPU, all you need is a VR Ready GPU and a reasonable quantity of RAM. Most modern-generation CPUs are VR Ready out of the box.

What does VR Ready GPU mean?

VR Ready GPU denotes a graphics card that fully supports all VR needs. VR Googles and applications, for example.

These VR Ready graphics cards are so fast that they can handle any VR-related task, from games to other relevant sources. VR is supported by modern RTX, GTX, and RX series graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD.

Does VR need more GPU power?

Because VR headsets have two displays, additional GPU power is required. These two displays must have a high refresh rate and a good resolution.

The GPU must perform some immersive intensive work to complete this rendering task. As a result, VR requires higher GPU power.

What is the minimum requirement to run VR?

The CPU should be Intel i5-4590 or higher, the GPU should be GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 equivalent or above, and the RAM should be 8 GB or higher.

HDMI version 1.3 compatibility is necessary for video output, as is USB 3.0 or USB 2.0 compatibility. You may run entry-level VR games with this configuration.


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