Coming up on the end of 2015 and heading into Q1 2016. We are looking forward to the first wave of consumer VR devices. But is the supporting PC hardware ready?
It has been a while since NVIDIA and AMD released their high end cards. NVIDIA released their latest 980 Ti back in April 2015 and AMD released their high end Fiji card at CES in January. When can we expect the next batch of high-end GPU hardware?
AMD is officially waiting until the release of the Rift before it releases their next dual Fiji GPUs. AMD recently confirmed to AnandTech that the company’s previously announced double Fiji card, codenamed Gemini will not be available until 2016. When it does go for sale, AMD will position Gemini as the perfect card for virtual reality gaming.
The product schedule for Fiji Gemini had initially been aligned with consumer HMD [head-mounted display] availability, which had been scheduled for Q415,
HMDs are now expected to be available to consumers by early Q216...we’re adjusting the Fiji Gemini launch schedule to better align with the market.
Unlike many games today which are not specifically targeted at multi-GPU set ups. VR devices are a perfect fit for multi-GPU rigs. Virtual reality can easily use two GPUs at once since scenes must be rendered twice and split perfectly between each GPU.
NVIDIA is said to be readying its multi-GPU beast based on the firm's Maxwell architecture. The card will sport a pair of GM200 GPUs which would make it a very powerful card indeed. The GeForce GTX 980Ti and GeForce GTX Titan X, run with a single GM200. According to the rumor mill some cards are already in the hands of reviewers.
All this sounds great, but what about cost? Dual-GPU cards will not be cheap so expect prices north of $800. Remember Oculus recommends a NVIDIA GTX 970 as the minimum but it you want all the graphic settings turned on, then you'll need to pay up.
I hope all the VR fans out there are saving their money as 2016 looks like an expensive (and exciting) year.