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The constant march of technology is a beautiful thing. As time goes by, PCs get cheaper and faster.
In March last year I wrote about how to build an Oculus Rift Ready PC for under $1,000. Add to that the cost of a VR headset and you were looking at $1,600 (Oculus) or $1,800 (Vive)

Fast forward to August 2016 and now we can build a Virtual Reality PC for under $650, a truly impressive gain in just over a year since the last build. How is this possible?

We have selected the same CPU as before, the recommended minimum with the Intel Core i5-4950 3.3GHz. You can, however, find slightly cheaper alternatives that may be good enough. The real savings come in the form of a reduction in the price of GPU cards, championed by AMD with their new Polaris GPU. AMD introduced their new 14nm Polaris based GPU, the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB with the goal to make high-end gaming available for just over $200. AMD managed to best the performance of the Nvidia GTX 970 making it my new recommended card for budget VR.

For the build below I have selected budget orientated components from reputable manufacturers that exceed the Oculus and HTC recommended minimum specification. The total comes to $649.72 so even once the tax is included; it should bring you in below $700. This price assumes you are bringing your Windows 10 license from your existing PC, if not then you'll need to add another $88.88 for Windows home 10 64-Bit

Budget Virtual Reality Ready PC for UNDER $699
CaseCorsair SPEC-01 RED ATX Mid Tower Case $34.98
PSUCorsair Builder 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply$24.91
MoboASRock H97 Anniversary ATX LGA1150 Motherboard$69.99
CPUIntel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor$189.99
CoolerZalman CNPS5X Performa CPU Cooler$14.99
GPUGigabyte Radeon RX 480 8GB Video Card$239.99
RAMCrucial Ballistix Sport XT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory$34.88
SSDKingston SSDNow UV400 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive$39.99

Windows 10 Home (If not carrying over license from the previous machine)$88.88

Base Total$699.70

Promo Discounts and Mail-in Rebates$49.98

Total Price (Excluding OS)$649.72

This build will essentially bring your total VR Cost (PC + Headset) to $650 + $600 (Oculus Rift) = $1,250 (Plus tax)

View complete part list at PC Part Picker.