Ensuring Your Gaming PC is Set Up for VR Usage

February 18, 2022

Improving technology has changed the gaming landscape in the last decade or so. One of the best examples here is the rise of virtual reality or VR. Numerous VR products are often used as part of the gaming experience, including Oculus products, Windows Mixed Reality, and more. If you’re considering these products for your gaming, it’s vital to ensure that your gaming computer is appropriately set up to handle the performance needs that come with VR.

At Xidax, we’re proud to assist our clients with the building of any custom gaming desktop or laptop, including those that need to be outfitted for proper VR performance. Whether you’re building a new machine or simply looking for some hacks to improve your current one in terms of its VR-related performance. Here are some simple approaches that will help ensure your PC is adequately prepared for the demands of virtual reality.

Updated Operating System

Perhaps the single most crucial factor in improving any computer’s performance is to ensure it’s running the most up-to-date version of its operating system, in the case of a gaming computer that needs to be ready for VR. That means you’ll want to have Windows 10 or Windows 11 installed on your machine. This newest iteration of Microsoft’s famous OS has been designed from the ground up to support mixed reality devices.

Keeping your system’s OS up to date is a simple process that should take only a few minutes of your time, and the end result will be a gaming computer that has been set up for optimal performance in VR. In addition, Microsoft pushes out free updates regularly. You don’t even have to do anything. Simply wait for the automatic prompts to show up, telling you that an update is available.

Keep Your Case Clean

Every so often, you should remove the cover to your PC case to inspect the inside for dust build-up. This is especially true of a gaming computer that sits on your desk in an upright position. Other items can bump into it or cause different types of build-ups over time.

When you remove the cover, use canned or dry compressed air to blow out any dust that has collected on fans, heat sinks, and other components that can degrade the computer’s performance over time. Even if you don’t see any evidence of dust, it’s still a good idea to give your system a thorough blowing out since much of the air accumulated there is typically warm and humid.

The more extensive cleaning procedures involve removing specific components (fans, heatsinks, RAM). You can use a correctly set up air compressor for a more thorough scrubbing. (Make sure you have addressed the moisture issue air compressors can cause.) Still, if you’re uneasy about attempting this yourself, it’s probably best to leave these sorts of maintenance tasks to the professionals. Regular cleaning will ensure that your system is ready for VR performance.

Update Graphics Card Drivers

While using a quality graphics card (GPU) is definitely essential for VR. Your GPU should be strongly considered just as vital in many cases as the computer’s GPU drivers. Drivers are the software that works in conjunction with your system to make sure everything is running smoothly and correctly.

It should be noted that VR-ready GPUs will vary by manufacturer. So before you purchase anything, checking your card’s specs for VR compatibility is a good idea. This way, you can ensure that your VR experience will live up to your expectations. A low-end card won’t be able to provide the kind of performance you really need.

However, even if your GPU is VR-ready, there’s a good chance it will be more effective when paired with updated drivers. Though individual manufacturers’ driver software may vary from product to product. Nvidia offers a simple way to update your GPU drivers with its GeForce Experience app. AMD offers Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition for those with an updated card from the company’s RX 400 series or newer.

In practice, you should be updating your GPU drivers as often as possible. These updates will typically include enhancements and optimizations over time that will improve performance and compatibility with a variety of programs, including your VR headset.

HDD vs. SSD – And Defragmentation Needs

While hard disk drives (HDDs) are an older type of storage. They’re still regularly found in new gaming systems. So if you’re going to be setting up a VR gaming system, an HDD is a good idea. Since it offers a lot of storage space for files and data. Although the downside here is that they don’t perform as well as an SSD.

However, if your gaming system has both an HDD and an SSD (a solid state drive), you’ll definitely want to go with the SSD for your operating system. This is because these drives are capable of much faster read/write speeds. In general, you should be using an SSD for your main drive so that you can have a fast boot time and quick access to your most important files.

However, if you go with an HDD, a vital task to perform regularly is to purge and defragment it since this will help minimize the time it takes for your files to load. While a few seconds here and there may not be significant in most cases. These seconds can add up over time (and across multiple uses) to create significant lag during your gaming sessions.

A few HDD defragmentation programs are available, and many of them are free to use. Our gaming computer specialists will be happy to recommend the ideal defragmentation program if you’re in need.

For more on ensuring optimal VR performance for your gaming PC or to learn about any of our gaming computers or other services, speak to the pros at Xidax today.

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