The Creators Update is the next major update for Windows 10 that brings a slew of new features and improvements, including virtual reality and mixed reality support.
However, you’ll need newer hardware to take advantage of Windows 10 VR with the Creators Update. The good news here is that virtual reality won’t break your bank, as the new experience doesn’t require very powerful hardware. In fact, any newer Intel Core i5 device, may do just fine.
Windows 10 VR minimum hardware requirements
Below you can see the minimum hardware requirements to use virtual reality on Windows 10.
- Processor: Intel Core i5 Dual-Core with Hyperthreading, which can be mobile, desktop, or equivalent
- Graphic: Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU
- Memory: 8GB Dual Channel required for integrated Graphics
- Video Output: HDMI 1.4 with 2880×1440 at 60 Hz or HDMI 2.0 or DP 1.3+ with 2880×1440 at 90 Hz
- Hard Drive: 100GB SSD (preferred) or traditional HDD
- Ports: USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode
- Networking: Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories
Virtual vs. mixed reality
The reason why virtual reality only requires modest hardware is because, in this experience, you’re immerse into a pre-defined virtual environment that doesn’t really need much processing power.
On the other hand, in a mixed reality experience, you’re immerse into a mix of real and virtual, and you can move around freely. This means that the experience requires more processing power and special hardware to do real-time scanning of the environment.
HoloLens is the perfect example of a complete mixed reality. Microsoft’s headset features a proprietary HPU (Holographic Processor Unit) that works alongside the CPU and GPU — something you won’t even find on new computers once the Windows 10 Creators Update rolls out.
Device makers like HP, Lenovo, Dell, Acer, and Asus will be some of the companies trying to push virtual reality in 2017 with affordable VR headsets for Windows 10. However, these devices will be cheap for a reason, they will only be good for virtual reality, not for a complete mixed reality like HoloLens.