AMD Radeon RX 480 just made Oculus Rift and HTC Vive PCs more affordable

AMD RX 480 graphics card
AMD RX 480 graphics card

Everyone keeps saying "virtual reality is here," but the price of an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, coupled with building a high-end PC, remains fantastical barrier to entry.

At Computex 2016, that's a problem that may be solved by the AMD Radeon RX 480, an affordable, VR-capable graphics card that promises to deliver the high-end performance of more expensive GPUs.

It costs $199 (about £135, AU$275) for this 256Gbs graphics card that runs at more than 5 Teraflops. Rumors suggest it'll be 5.5 TFLOPS, but AMD isn't being specific in its official announcement.

We do know for sure that the Radeon RX 480 comes in 4GB and 8GB GDDR5 configurations, has a 256-bit bus and requires 150w of power.

It's all backed by AMD's 14nm FINFet Polaris architecture and the first of its kind to HTC Vive and Oculus Rift certified, aiming to compete with GPUs that cost $500 (about £342, AU$690).

Here's the Radeon RX 480 release date

Slashing the price of VR-capable GPUs makes sense. An estimated 100 million consumers are going to enter into the virtual reality space over the next 10 years, according to AMD, calling this card a "catalyst."

It's not only AMD's way of accelerating VR growth for a mainstream audience, but a way to compete with Nvidia's Pascal-based GTX 1070 GPU. Price wars among graphic card is only good for consumers.

While the official unveiling of the Radeon RX 480 has been here in Taipei at Computex 2016 at the very top of June, the graphic card is actually coming out at the end of this month: June 29.

Matt Swider