Desktops

VR-ready gaming PC for $499 means this tech is getting affordable

AMD and CyberpowerPC promise a $499 desktop, as part of an Oculus Rift bundle.

The new CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC.

CyberpowerPC

The idea of an expensive VR headset can induce sticker shock in prospective virtual-reality gamers, with headsets running from $599 to $799 for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

But that's not as bad as the high-end gaming PCs needed to run VR hardware. In CNET's extensive hands-on testing, $2,000 has been the sweet spot for price and performance, although some VR-ready desktops have dropped down to half that with a bundle discount.

PC builder CyberpowerPC and chipmaker AMD have teamed up to announce a new $499 desktop that hits the latest (and recently lowered) minimum-required specs for Oculus Rift. It does this by using AMD components, rather than the typically more expensive Intel and Nvidia parts.

Note that, for now, the $499 system is only available as part of a bundle with the full-priced Oculus Rift headset, bringing the total cost to $1,099. Purchased without the bundle, the desktop costs $649.

The CyberpowerPC Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC includes a 4.2GHz AMD FX 4350 CPU, a Radeon RX 470 graphics card, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive. That's not especially high end, but this PC is half the price of the previous least-expensive Oculus-ready desktop.

The Gamer Ultra VR Desktop PC is available now from Best Buy and Amazon, again as part of a bundle that includes the Oculus Rift headset.

New products from CES 2017: Check them out here.

CES 2017 -- what you shouldn't have missed: Didn't make it to Vegas? CNET shows you what you need to see here.