New Development Test Rig!

Interested in building your own VR rig? Here is a list of the components I now have or may get – will be trying to keep this updated.

After working on the regular distribution of UDK for a few weeks on a HP laptop that was not really designed for gaming I decided to throw in the towel!  The last straw was the Oculus Rift version of UDK -> I found that it made my machine lag just a little more than I could bear!

The Oculus Developer Wiki provided some performance information for a sample of graphics cards.

It was really tempting to buy a laptop.  In particular, I was drooling over the Razer Blade, but unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) it was not yet available in the UK.  After much deliberation, I nearly bought a Razer Hydra from EBay, nearly bought this Alienware laptop, nearly bought an MSI gaming laptop… but in the end I thought that a decent desktop made sense.  The weight of the gaming laptops were very heavy and the graphics cards they came with seemed like a poor deal when compared to their desktop cousins.

I’ve used a place in Tottenham Court Road (London) before called YoYo Tech and they had this beast (Yes, that’s right… it’s called “Firepower Titanium” and they spell “Firepower” with a 7… as in “Fi7epower”…. I know… anyhow, here’s the specification:

  • i7 3770k 3.5Ghz Processor
  • nVidea GeForce GTX 680 2GB DDR5 Graphics Card
  • Z77 Chipset Motherboard
  • 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory
  • 120GB Solid State Drive
  • 2TB Hard Disk Drive
  • Blu-ray Combo Drive
  • Coolermaster 690 II Case
  • 600W Powersupply
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
  • Free Bullguard Internet Security

CPU Overclockable to 4.5Ghz….

I wanted to GTX 680 2GB graphics card (US/UK)  and a stable/proven build (according to the Oculus Dev Wiki the GTX 680 achieved 160/250 FPS on Tuscany whilst in Unity 1280 x 800 and 400/500 fps on Tuscany C++.

Are all graphics card this big these days??

Are all graphics card this big these days??

I even went to the YoYo Tech store to look at the unit before purchasing, but on the way I went past a place called Epsilon and they made me an offer I could not refuse (YoYo would not negotiate even after I let them know that there was a better deal just around the corner).

In the end I paid a tiny bit more and ended up purchasing a nameless beast from Epsilon:

  • i7 3770k 3.5Ghz Processor (Option to overclock to 4.5+GHz)
  • GTX 680 2GB DDR5 Graphics Card
  • Z77 Chipset Motherboard
  • 32GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory (Vengeance RAM)
  • Corsair liquid CPU cooling system
  • 240GB Solid State Drive
  • 2TB Hard Disk Drive
  • Blu-ray Combo Drive (Pioneer)
  • Coolermaster 690 II Case
  • 750W Powersupply
  • Windows 7 Professional 64bit
  • AVG 12 months

Bolded items beat the YoYo configuration; in the end they could not offer me anything better.  It took a quite a bit of negotiating at Epsilon, but this was a breeze compared sitting in front of my old laptop waiting for it to struggle along – thank you Epsilon engineers 🙂  One of the guys (Mark – I think) had heard about the Oculus Kickstarter too.  I chatted to him as he built a 4 graphics card rig destined for bitcoin mining (!).  I said that I would try and bring the unit in for him to see once I received it.

Hasan built the unit on the spot and ran FurMark for around an hour to make sure the graphics card was stable before I lugged it back home.  Great bunch of guys who obviously know their stuff so would recommend them if you are in London and want to just have it all happen in the same day.  The only thing I would advise though is – do your homework before going!  These guys will give you an awesome deal, but you better know what you want 🙂

FurMark - designed to weed out bad graphics cards or bad builds.  Very Spartan-like.

FurMark – designed to weed out deficient graphics cards or poor builds. Very Spartan-like.

Now UDK flies… even on the Necropolis map… I can feel my blood pressure going down a few points… ahh…

Welcome to the world of fancy BIOS...

Welcome to the world of fancy BIOS…

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