Best graphics card for VR gaming in 2024 – top GPUs for Meta Quest, PSVR

Best graphics card for VR gaming in 2024 – top GPUs for Meta Quest, PSVR
Romilly Cotta Updated on by

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We think 2023 is set to be an extraordinary year in tech, which is why we’re helping you find the best GPU for VR.

There’s a buzz in the world of VR – the release of Meta Quest Pro in October, combined with the clout of the Sony’s PSVR 2. Things are moving fast. To add to that, the CES 2023 reveal of the Vive XR Elite and where to buy the Vive XR Elite only makes things more interesting.

Best GPU for VR at a glance

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 Trinity OC

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4080

Base Clock

2205MHz

Boost Clock

2520MHz

VRAM

16GB

Dimensions

356 x 150 x 71 mm

Recommended PSU

700W

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition

Base Clock

1395 Mhz

Boost Clock

1695 MHz

VRAM

24GB

Dimensions

336 x 140 x 61mm

Recommended PSU

750W

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio

Base Clock (MHz)

1410

Boost Clock (MHz)

1830

VRAM

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

323 x 140 x 56

Recommended PSU

600W

There are now over 2,800 VR titles available on SteamVR, meaning it’s worth assessing the performance of your GPU to ensure it can cope with the demands of these new games.

Choosing the best GPU for VR means considering a number of factors. Namely, these include factoring in the refresh rates of your VR headset and the FPS of the games you’re playing. HTC Vive, Meta Quest 2 & Valve Index have refresh rates of 90Hz, 120Hz & 144Hz respectively. To maintain refresh rates and FPS, your GPU will need a large VRAM, high clock speeds and a high volume of processing cores.

Luckily, Nvidia has been busy with their RTX 40-series. Expect to see their flagship included in this article as we choose the best GPU for VR.

We’re also including some high performing, but older graphics cards for those needing to keep the cost down. However, given the asking price of some of these headsets (Meta Quest Pro, we’re looking at you), it’s pretty hard to complete your VR gaming set-up on a tight budget.

So, let’s get stuck in as we pick out the best GPU for VR!

Best overall GPU for VR – ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 Trinity OC

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4090 Trinity OC

ZOTAC Gaming GeForce RTX 4080

Base Clock

2205MHz

Boost Clock

2520MHz

VRAM

16GB

Dimensions

356 x 150 x 71 mm

Recommended PSU

700W

Pros
  • Incredibly powerful performance
  • Excellent ray tracing ability
Cons
  • High power draw

This liquid-cooled card is our top pick GPU for VR, also worthy of a spot in our selection of the best graphics cards for ray tracing.

The Suprim line has the ideal combination of being one of the best Nvidia RTX 4090 cards out there, whilst keeping a relatively small size. The card measures 280 x 140 x 43mm, meaning it can fit in a much smaller case with the motherboard which keeps extra costs like a larger PC case down. That being said, its recommended PSU is 750W, so you might need to consider investing in the best PSU for RTX 4090 to cope with the power hungry card.

The RTX 4090 Suprim is definitely capable of handling everything that VR has to throw at it. With 24GB GDDR6 VRAM, you’ll be able to reach 8K with the right game settings. We can confidently say that this graphics card will deliver on VR frame rates that will never drop below that 90 FPS minimum.

Read More: PSVR 2 Review: elegant but expensive

In fact, this card will easily go over 100 FPS in 4K resolutions, which means games like Half-Life: Alyx can be enjoyed the way they were intended.

This card also ticks additional boxes thanks to special features including ray tracing and variable rate shading which means the graphics rendered by this card will be nothing short of mind-blowing. This should be a priority when looking for the best GPU for VR given that VR is best enjoyed with photo-realistic graphics.

Overall, the only downside to this GPU is the price. In all other areas this GPU’s performance is top-of-the-range.

Runner up for best GPU for VR – NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Founders Edition

Base Clock

1395 Mhz

Boost Clock

1695 MHz

VRAM

24GB

Dimensions

336 x 140 x 61mm

Recommended PSU

750W

Pros
  • Great ray tracing ability
  • 24GB of VRAM
Cons
  • On the expensive side

Though now part of Nvidia’s previous-gen graphics cards, the RTX 3090 is still one of the best GPUs in terms of graphics performance. It runs quietly and cool with three FROZR 2 fans despite its 370W power draw.

Like the RTX 4090, this GPU is well suited to the demands of VR thanks to its 24GB memory. That’s 20GB over the recommended VRAM for VR gaming, meaning you can run VR games in stunning 8K.

Read Now: RTX 4090 vs 3090 – should I buy Nvidia’s latest graphics card?

Expect frame rates to remain well above the 90 FPS minimum, probably reaching the 250 FPS zone in 1080p on ultra settings and beyond 100 FPS in 4K.

To put it simply, there’s a lot to like about this card – and with Nvidia’s release of the RTX 4070 Ti, & 4080 we’re hoping to see a price drop on this card in 2023.

Best budget GPU for VR – MSI Gaming GeForce RTX 3060 Ti

MSI RTX 3060 Ti Gaming X Trio

Base Clock (MHz)

1410

Boost Clock (MHz)

1830

VRAM

8GB GDDR6

Dimensions

323 x 140 x 56

Recommended PSU

600W

Pros
  • Good price for performance
  • Performs brilliantly at 1080p
Cons
  • 4K performance could be better

We’re including this card as the most budget-friendly option for VR gaming.

Retailing at a significantly cheaper price than our other top picks, expect a lower performance from the RTX 3060 Ti.

Don’t worry though, this GPU still hits all the required benchmarks to deliver a good VR experience.

It excels in 1080p and 1440p resolutions at high settings. You might even consider is an entry-level 4K GPU with the right settings, although this is nothing compared to the RTX 4090.

Read More: Best NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti in 2023 – top GPU for gaming

It’s also well regarded for its MSI FROZR 2 fans, which it shares with the RTX 3090 so there’s no need to worry about your card overheating.

Naturally, it does not hit those high FPS like the other cards on this list, but you get what you pay for. Still expect silky smooth VR rendering, generally hitting the 90 FPS mark. However, if you’re planning to play graphic intensive VR titles like No Man’s Sky, you may find the FPS drop slightly below.

Ultimately, the RTX 3060 Ti is a great option for keeping the costs down which should be a welcome thing for most VR gamers. If you’d like to see a greater selection of GPUs we’ve rounded up the best budget graphics cards that should do the trick.

Final word

Gaming has always been pushing the boundaries to reach some form of virtual reality. What with the release of PSVR 2 and other VR headsets on the horizon, it’s clear VR is here to stay in the gaming community. Though the costs may be high, if your imagination is captured by VR, we recommend going for the best that you can afford.

Technology is moving very fast, so it’s definitely worth setting yourself up with a future-proof GPU like the RTX 4090. If that’s not possible though, we all deserve to enjoy VR, so the RTX 3060 Ti will do the job too!

Does a GPU make VR better?

Yes, since a GPU is responsible for graphics rendering, it can help your experience be more realistic whilst achieving high enough frame rates if you’re gaming.

Does VR use a lot of RAM?

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Yes – you’ll need a GPU of at least 8Gb to cope with the demands of VR gaming.

Does a better GPU make VR better?

Yes, the better GPU the better the performance of your VR headset. You’ll find cheaper GPUs may be able to handle games, but you may be sacrificing high frame rates, leading to blur which could make you nauseous if you’re wearing a VR headset.

Do all VR headsets need a PC?

No, this isn’t the case. Many VR headsets allow you to play games using the headset’s internal hardware. This means you can enjoy games without being tethered to a PC.

Is ray tracing important for VR?

Ray tracing is a real-time rendering process responsible for creating incredible real lighting effects in games. A GPU with hardware ray tracing abilities definitely will make your gaming experience more realistic, though it can have an affect of frames per second.

What GPU is recommended for Oculus Quest 2?

The minimum graphics card you should have for Oculus Quest 2 is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 with 8GB of RAM.