Earlier this week, Oculus the company behind Rift and currently owned by Facebook, announced details regarding their Rift product. Requirements were mentioned and so did the release date, which is set for Q1 2016. But there was one important detail that was mentioned which has pissed off a lot of Mac users. Oculus has “paused” Mac development; what this means is that, when Rift is launched in 2016, Mac will not be supported! Now as you can imagine this has upset a lot of people.
Oculus Rift For Mac
Oculus Rift is a VR headset that let’s you experience virtual reality and because of this, it has opened a lot of doors, especially for gaming. New games are going to be developed that will take advantage of the Rift and let you escape reality. The possibilities are endless and the situation so far looks great. But there are few problems that are seriously going to hinder true experience of the VR headset. And, this is related to the technical requirements.
As Rift is going to be a very power-intensive product, the requirements are something that has is going to make you shell out more money than you would have expected. So let’s take a look at the requirements, these are recommended.
- NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290 and greater.
- Intel i5-4590.
- 8GB RAM.
- Windows 7 SP1 or newer
- 2x USB 3.0 ports
- HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture.
If you don’t have the recommended specs, be ready to shell almost a $1000!
The above were recommended specs for PC not for Macs - Mac is not even supported! But why you might ask. Well let’s dig deep into the technical part.
Atman Chief Architect at Oculus explains it best:
A normal game running at 1080p at 60 Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second. Oculus Rift on the other hand runs at 2160×1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays, which requires 233 million pixels per second. The pixel count goes as high as 400 million pixels per second when Rift starts rendering at default eye-target scale. If you take everything into consideration Rift requires 3 times the GPU power compared to 1080p.
Now when you look at the power consumption in terms of GPU, there is currently no Mac that has the capacity to run those numbers. So working for an operating system that will hardly run any Rifts doesn’t make sense. Currently only Mac Pro with the upgraded “D700” GPU option has the power to run a Rift and it costs a staggering $4000!
As you can see the market for the Rift on Mac is almost negligible, that is the reason why Oculus has “paused” working on the Mac - it’s not their fault. If you have to blame someone, blame Apple for not bringing out powerful Macs or “gaming laptops”. Until Apple doesn’t come up with a gaming Mac, the “pause” is going to be here for quite sometime.
Well Apple fans, sorry to say this but the Mac just isn’t powerful enough to support Rift’s specification. If you really want to use the Rift once it comes out, you are better off with a Windows machine.