So, there is all the buzz about VR coming to MAC but what does it mean? Well, both VR enthusiasts and developers can use Virtual Reality on their Mac now. If you are interested in know what kind of VR options will be available and what kind of experience you can have then read the answers to some of these common questions to learn more and more about it.
Jump To Section:
- What Brought VR To Mac Now And Why Wasn’t It There Before?
- What Is eGPU Enclosure?
- What Else Is Needed For Handling VR?
- Which Virtual Reality Headsets Will Be Supported?
- How To Get Started?
What Brought VR To Mac Now And Why Wasn’t It There Before?
Virtual Reality actually combines several different technologies but the VR headset is something that actually pulls all of them together. Several of these can be found on the market nowadays but in order to have the top visual experience from the headset, some specific software and hardware requirements are there. Two of these major requirements include high quality graphics card as well as support of specific gaming engines and these were the requirements that Apple wasn’t able to meet previously.
But, at WWDC, Apple announced that it will now offer support for the eGPU enclosures and this will allow for adding bigger graphic cards in MacBooks without even compromising at their quietness. First ever iMad Pro is going to arrive later in 2017 and its internal hardware will be capable to support VR headsets without the need of any extra hardware. Besides, Apple will also extend support for Unreal, Unity Engine and SteamVR. All these software components are critical and ensure that most of the VR games and applications out there are enjoyed on Mac as well.
What Is eGPU Enclosure?
It is a box featuring big graphics card and has to be placed right beside your computer. Thunderbolt 3 is used for connecting the enclosure to the MAC so that it can be able to use the graphics card just the way as if it were a part of your computer system. The support from this big graphics card will allow the Mac to have sufficient graphics power for driving your VR headset.
Currently, $599 bundle is on offer to the developers as they get their hands on a Sonnet-made enclosure and AMD Radeon RX 580 card. However, as Apple will introduce macOS High Sierra by the end of the year, several graphics cards as well as enclosures will be available for the consumers to pick from.
What Else Is Needed For Handling VR?
As of now, there aren’t any minimum requirements specifically available for Mac to support VR. However, here is a minimum requirements list for the Windows PCs as outlined by HTC.
- Processor: AMD FX 8350 or Intel Core i5-4590
- RAM: 4GB
- Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 290 or NVIDIA GTX 970
Apple is already using Intel Core i5-4590 since Mid 2015 in its 27” 5K MAC while MacBook Pro used it in the start of 2015. So, if you have one of those models or the later ones then it probably has the processor you need for VR apps. And with 4GB RAM, the minimum requirements will be met before you add the eGPU enclosure featuring your chosen graphics card.
Which Virtual Reality Headsets Will Be Supported?
There was just one headset on display as well as used in the demos at the WWDC and it was HTC Vive. STeamVR platform is used for powering this headset up and the platform itself was announced in the package supporting VR on Mac.
In addition, SteamVR extends support for several VR headsets and we’re surely likely to see more supported headsets before this fall.
How To Get Started?
There is support documentation available from Apple for the developers as of now where they can find necessary information for getting started with the VR on MAC as well as Metal 2. Epic Games say that Unreal Engine is going to be available from the start of September in preview and it will be released officially in October for macOS High Sierra. For those who are not into development, wait until macOS High Sierra is released officially.
So, you might have had enough on VR coming to MAC as we have tried to cover up most of the queries floating around. If you have any more questions, then you can get in touch through the comments section.