It may be the best virtual reality headset we've tried so far, but the HTC Vive isn't going to come cheap. With a US asking price of $799 and with rumoured UK pricing hovering around the £690 mark, it's a pricey product before you even factor in the beastly PC you'll need to power it. So you'll probably want to at least check if your current computer can handle the Vive and its SteamVR software before you start looking for upgrades or smashing the piggybank for the headset itself.
And now you can check. Valve's posted the SteamVR Performance Test to its Steam games download portal, letting you put your PC through its paces, running benchmarks to check its suitability for demanding VR applications.
"The SteamVR Performance Test measures your system's rendering power using a 2-minute sequence from Valves Aperture Robot Repair VR demo," reads the description.
"After collecting the data it determines whether your system is capable of running VR content at 90fps and whether VR content can tune the visual fidelity up to the recommended level. For machines that are not VR Ready the tool can help determine whether capabilities are bound by Graphics Card, CPU, or both."
If you're looking for a feel for what you're going to need, the test's recommended specs are quite interesting, if possibly a little misleading:
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
Processor: Intel® i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or greater
That's by no means hugely demanding, but you'd have to expect that to only deliver on the lower end of the visual fidelity spectrum. Heck, it's likely to only represent the minimum rig needed to get the test running, let alone in any impressive state, so that's probably not best used as a measure of a VR-capable system.
Still, for those looking to give it a go, it's nice to see Valve has put a lot of effort in even on this benchmarking test; staring the robots familiar to anyone who's played Portal, it'll make you pine for a fully-fledged VR Portal game for sure. [Steam]