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Vinay Kesari @vinaykesari
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Just received the most incredible early birthday present ever from partner-of-the-decade @sowmyarao_ (yes, my love can be bought with the right stuff) 💖💖💖😻😻😻 #OculusRift #MuchExcite
Best thing - this is a 2 part present. One being the Rift itself, the second being the pleasure to be derived from researching and tinkering and rummaging for deals, to find the most cost effective way to power the Rift.
It's going to be a good birthday month 😬

PS: Also shout out to @karthikb351 for being the kuruvi and transporting a package of record proportions. 😘😛
(okay rest of this thread is going to be about graphics cards, PC builds, complaining about the impact of crypto mining on GPU prices (it's insane), and general geeking out, so feel free to mute it if that isn't your jam)
Ok, so small tragedy in the midst of this - I thought my laptop (Dell XPS 9560 w/ GTX 1050 4GB) would just about manage to power the Rift since it meets the recently revised minimum specs. Turns out it can't :(
HDMI output connects only to the Intel integrated graphics, so the GPU can't actually output to the Rift. Has the raw power, but the hardware is hobbled. :( :( And apparently there's no workaround.
So that leaves 2 options - buy an eGPU for the laptop (expensive), or try to upgrade my 7.5 year old desktop so it can power the Rift (also expensive, and perhaps foolhardy). Currently gingerly unpacking the desktop that hasn't been touched since the movers handled it. 😨
Here we have our two contenders - on the left, my trusty, rusty, once mighty desktop that I assembled with mine own two hands. On the right, store-bought gleaming carbon-fibre goodness. Who will win?
#CPUPorn (marred by gobs of Delhi dust though, ugh)
Aaaaaand we have our first casualty of the move - fan+heatsink has come loose. Hope nothing's broken! 😱
Two of the bolts are inaccessible, so will have to remove GPU and power supply. Time to find a screwdriver.
Okay all clear now to dive in and fix those bolts.
Seems reasonably stable now, doesn't seem like anything is broken. Does anyone know if it's ok to just put it back on though? Feels like I'd need to reapply thermal paste etc. (which I obviously don't have on hand).
Will I fry the processor if I run it in this state? That would be a sad end to this first generation i5.
Going to try running it anyway. Haven't unpacked monitor so will have to plug it into TV.
Errrr... Wtf is a mini-HDMI port doing on this GPU? How have I never noticed this? Been using DVI to hook up monitor so far.
I knew my hoard of cables would come in handy some day. No, I am not a bomb maker.

Mini-HDMI to HDMI cable from ancient Sony camera bundle found.
Goddammit #RookieMistake
Ugh. Need to clean out that crud.

Also, super confusing of Microsoft to have both batteries align in the same direction. This is literally the only device I've ever seen that does this.
It's alive. IT'S ALIVE!

Also, ~30 sec. boot time into Win 10 for a 7.5 year old machine really isn't shabby. Proud of my baby.
Ok installing the Oculus software to see what errors it throws up. And yes, it's a 4.9 GB download. Thank god for ACT and Bangalore broadband speeds!
Ok taking a break to put 3 month old to sleep. This could take anywhere from 10 mins to 1.5 hours.
Current status -

USB 2.0 ports on this ancient Gigabyte motherboard work, despite Oculus specs saying it needs 2 USB 3.0 ports. Forums say it will work, but tracking might not be as accurate.
Rift can't be plugged into HDMI thanks to the mini-HDMI port in the Zotac GPU. Doesn't matter anyway, since the GTX 750Ti on this machine has zero hope of powering the Rift.

Good thing - no other errors thrown up yet.
So where we are is:

1. eGPU + laptop ruled out for now because of prohibitory cost of eGPUs.

2. Need to evaluate the minimum upgrades required to this desktop (which has been ruled functional) to let it power the Rift and deliver a decent experience. Upgrades I see so far are:
Upgrade 1: GPU

Need to ideally find a GTX 1060 6GB card that doesn't cost a bomb. Thanks to the crypto mining craze, that's going to be hard. Reddit has a great thread on this - basically prices are inflated by 50%-100%! So need to find a great deal, or go down 2nd hand route.
Any advice on this welcome. Has anyone tried a second hand card? Is it a terrible idea? Where does one find these mythical dirt cheap cards discarded by disillusioned crypto miners? Does someone have a spare high end card lying around that they want to sell?? So many qns.
Potential problems with Upgrade 1: Motherboard only supports PCIe 2.0, while all new cards are PCIe 3.0. Though PCIe 3.0 is backwards compatible, don't know what effect it will have on performance. Will Oculus be usable?

Have a 450W power supply, which might not be enough.
Upgrade 2: USB 3.0 PCIe card

While sensors will run on USB 2.0, conventional wisdom seems to be that you need at least 2 sensors running on USB 3.0. These expansion cards are just about Rs. 1k, so seems like a worthwhile upgrade.…
(not going to bother getting a card with 2 separate USB host controllers like some forums suggest. Seems like overkill)
Friendly reminder: Unless you're actually interested in the arcane details of this OculusQuest™️, please MUTE THIS THREAD! It's likely going to drag on for weeks. You have been warned.
OculusQuest™️ resumes. WILL THIS BE THE DAY?

Have work in Central Bangalore, so going to squeeze in a stop at the mythical SP Road to try find a good deal on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060. First stop: Golchha Computers.
Btw, first option was a pre-owned GPU. But multiple problems with that -

OLX/Quikr - there be scammers

Techenclave and Erodov - Great enthusiast communities. But classifieds deals on the exact hardware I want are few and far between + sellers know value of what they're selling.
This means negligible savings, even if I wait indefinitely for the GPU I want. So buying a new GPU makes financial sense + instant gratification FTW.

h/t @booleanbalaji for the and reccos
SP Road here I come.
SP Road scenes.
About to enter the belly of the beast. h/t @booleanbalaji
Golchha Computers is, incidentally, the natural habitat of beasts such as the Bahubali 3 and Mr. Golchha:
Mischief managed. Mr. Golchha incidentally informs me that this card used to retail for 60% of the current price until 6 months ago. In the intervening period, his sales of the GTX 1060 and more powerful cards have gone up ~10x from around 500 pieces to 5000. #FML #CryptoDouches
Heading to Natraja to refresh essential bodily fluids. What to order @PaladinContent?
Goddamn this place is an oasis. Meaning it is both a welcome sight, and bloody hard to find.
Nom @ Lakshmi Natraj Refreshments. Capital recco from @PaladinContent.
Always wanted a thicc gold chain
Here goes nothing.
And so it goes.
Put baby to sleep ✔️
Complete badly timed Windows update ❌

What are the odds - at the exact moment I try to power up the Rift, Oculus manages a screw up of epic proportions that's disabled all Rifts worldwide 😂 (there is a work around though). So much drama.
Almost all systems are a go! Processor issue was expected given how old it is - hopefully it won't be a bottleneck. 🤞🏼
This is almost Kafkaesque now. Can't plug in the Rift because - wait for it - there's only one HDMI port on this Zotac card!! And it's being used to output to the TV. Remaining ports are 3xDisplayPort and 1xDVI. FML.
Will either need to find a DisplayPort-HDMI converter plug, or dig out my monitor that has a DVI input. Joy.
Proceedings have now shifted to my trusty Dell monitor, 2048x1152 resolution display from 2010 🤘🏼 Given it's the desktop's original companion, I would have said it was fated if I were the type of person who believed in such things.
Omg omg omg omg
Afsos. While everything technically works and I can actually see images on the headset, there's crazy lag and tearing + tracking just won't work.
Possible issues:
- Core i5 760 just isn't cutting it
- MoBo USB host controller getting overwhelmed (USB 3.0 PCIe card may help?)
- New GeForce driver has broken Rift compatibility (please let it be this!)…

Foiled for now, will try again in the morning.
OculusQuest™ update: It wasn't the GeForce driver. Reverted to the 388.59 drivers but that made no difference.

This is arriving today (cheapest of the upgrades), so we shall see if USB issues did us in. Will also try run VRMark to see if it can help me divine what the issue is.
Ok, all set for attempt no. 2.
Apparently Win 10 supports this controller natively. Uninstalled the drivers and now devices are being recognised, but then failing again :( Perhaps a 7.5 year old motherboard just can't handle the data throughput of 2 USB 3.0 devices even over the PCIex4 port?
A family crisis meeting was called. Quick decisions were reached. This may be the most impulsive and bratty thing I've ever done, don't judge me!

Also, @DunzoIt to the rescue! I truly think I've become Bangalorean today.
So friends, it is on.

Last time I truly nondified inside a PC was in 2012, helping build @alokpi 's PC.

Wish me luck.
Ok baby is up (and no one else is) so this is going to have to wait. :)
Start 'em young, as @SriSriAshwin was saying.

Also if you were wondering, yes, that's a baby changing mat under the CPU. As it turns out they're a great surface for this kind of work. Just soft enough, static free.
CPU deconstucted. Now to get the boatloads of Delhi dust off everything. Will be using 2 hard drives, the optical drive, SMPS, RAM, cabinet, in the new build. GPU is new, hence no dust.

(Does the SMPS looks like a stylised Medusa's head to anyone else? Just me then?)
Goddamn getting the dust out of all the cabinet's crevices may actually be the most time consuming part of all this.
Processor, stock cooler and motherboard unboxed.
New and old motherboard side-by-side.

Need to retool cabinet slightly to receive the larger new board.

Fits snug as a bug in a rug. The power of standards never ceases to amaze me. This is an 8 year old cabinet, perfectly accommodating the latest generation Intel X370 chipset.
Processor installed. It has this satisfying weight to it - hard to describe, but it makes you feel powerful holding all those flops in your palm.

Stock cooler OTOH is underwhelming, will replace it with something better soon. Comes with thermal paste pre-applied.
Adding in drives, GPU, wiring all the connections.

Just one last step left - add in the older DDR3 RAM...
...except, of course, this motherboard only supports DDR4. Apparently DIMM slots aren't backwards compatible! 😭😭😭 How tf did I not know this? Why did no one on Twitter warn me??

#afsos #FML #SinkholeForMoney
Ok Bangalore Twitter, where can I get DDR4 RAM on a Sunday evening? Any SP Road shops open? Any good samaritan has some lying around? Please RT for good karma.
It's happening again.

Praise be to @_sankaushik for his timely recco.
Update: after one cancelled task, finally got second Dunzo guy to pick it up, only for him to call and tell me he's just 3 kms away but has a flat tyre. Not making this up, promise.
I have just been added to a Dunzo task that involves a Dunzo guy picking up my Dunzo package from a retired hurt Dunzo guy, and then Dunzoing it to me. #MetaDunzo #PeakDunzo
The plot thickens.

Hope the partner is ok.

Does this mean there will be a 3rd Dunzo guy completing this task?
Update: He's ok.
It's here. Going to go collapse in an exhausted heap now - it's been an eventful evening for other, unconnected reasons too. Night folks.
The hardware part of this build is finally complete. Phew.

Components replaced: GPU, motherboard, processor, RAM
Components retained (for now): Cabinet, SMPS, HDDs, optical drive (lol)
Leads to a deeper philosophical question though - how many components need to be replaced for this to be considered a new PC? Guess we have a - wait for it - PC of Theseus problem on our hands. <hysterical laughter>

Yes, I could have done with more sleep, thank you for asking.
Also struck by how this PC build is a metaphor for aging.

On the left we have the now-discarded RAM of youth. Sleek, sexy, raging against the dying of the light.

On the right we have the RAM of one's 30s. Doesn't wear pants unless absolutely necessary. Has god picture (?!).
Here goes nothing.

That LED lighting on the board 👌🏼 💯

All components appear to have been properly installed. Except didn't hear the PC speaker beep on bootup. Might have reversed polarity on the connectors.
This is what's happening now:
Ok, drivers installed. CPU/GPU temperature hovering ~40°C while idling, which is a good sign.

Installing VRMark to stress test and benchmark the PC before trying to use the Rift. Don't want any surprises.
This baby is crushing it. ~160fps in the Orange Room test.
Results are in, and this build lands exactly where intended - above the Oculus recommended specs, below a high-end rig.
Results are in, and this build lands exactly where intended - above the Oculus recommended specs, below a high-end rig.
CPU and GPU max temperatures within range after running VRMark Orange, Cyan, and Blue tests back to back. Feel confident enough to put it under some real VR stress now.
It works! And how.

Have spent only about a half hour total in VR, but I could sense myself going into a flow state within minutes.

It's a transcendent experience. Everyone needs to try this.
I cannot think of a virtual experience more immersive than this. You can see the pixels initially, but they quickly melt away once you realise YOU CAN SEE YOUR OWN HANDS IN VR! I had a stupid smile on my face for a whole minute after I first saw that.
It's not the visual element that makes you lose yourself in the moment - it's the motion tracking, which is so much more fluid and high fidelity than I expected.
The last time a piece of new technology blew me away like this was 2010, when I got my first Android smartphone (the Samsung Galaxy Spica). I'd had smartphones before (Blackberries) but touchscreens changed everything.
The Rift isn't for everyone - if you've followed this thread, you'll know it's a sinkhole for your money, and slightly fiddly to set up. But it's one of those experiences that's like nothing else. There's no real frame of reference or ability to compare, because it's ALL NEW.
It'll be 2-3 years easy before high-end consumer VR becomes more compact (ie. untethered + full body tracking w/ only onboard sensors) and affordable (ie. not requiring your children to get scholarships because you spent the college fund). Until then this is the best you can get.
(also have I mentioned @sowmyarao_ is the best?)
Will post more pictures + video over the next week once I get more hands on time with the Rift.
Wait, you thought that was it? No more drama? Have you learnt nothing from this thread?

No, that's not a stylised butterfly. That's a cracked liquid crystal display. 😭

A slightly expensive lesson in VR safety, this. Thankfully no one was hurt.

OK bye now.
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