Dell powers up Precision desktops for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive

The 'VR ready' Precision desktops will have cutting-edge graphics cards and Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips, with up to 22 cores

Virtual reality is poised to change PC configurations, and Dell is packing serious horsepower in its new Precision desktops as a way for users view and create VR content.

The desktops will be equipped with high-end graphics cards and Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips, which have up to 22 cores.

You can't get more horsepower or cutting-edge technologies in a desktop, and these computers will run the most demanding games and applications.

The new Precision Tower 5810, 7810 and 7910 desktops also support up to 4TB of SSD storage and 1TB of DDR4 memory. The new Precision lineup also includes a Rack 7910 desktop, which looks like a rack server.

The sheer computing power could lead to some desktops generating a lot of heat, which can be dissipated with liquid cooling.

VR headsets like Oculus Rift have already shipped, but content is still lacking. There's a need for more powerful desktops to create stereoscopic video for the headset.

Content for Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive can be created with the desktops, Dell said, but the headsets won't ship with the PCs.

The desktops are certified as "VR ready," meaning they meet the hardware criteria to create and edit VR content. As part of the certification, desktops need a minimum of a quad-core chip running at 2.5GHz to create content for Oculus Rift, and a quad-core chip running at 1.6GHz for HTC Vive.

Buyers of the VR-ready desktops have a choice of GPUs, including Quadro M6000, Quadro M5000, GTX 970 or GTX 980 from Nvidia, or FirePro W9100 or Radeon R9-390X from AMD.

Dell's VR-ready certification is different from "Oculus ready" or "HTC Vive optimized," which describe desktops optimized for the specific headsets. Dell and HP already bundle Oculus Rift headsets with select PCs.

Additional tweaks in the Dell PCs can improve system performance. Dell has added 22 profiles, so the systems can be auto-tuned for specific tasks. The desktops can also be used for movie editing or engineering applications.

The desktops will ship starting on April 5 with Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, or Linux. The prices weren't immediately available.

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