The beta for Oculus Link doesn’t support AMD graphics cards or some older NVIDIA cards that normally do support the Rift software.
The graphics cards that officially are supported are:
- NVIDIA Titan X
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (and all variants)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (and all variants)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 16-series
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 20-series
No AMD cards are currently supported, and the following NVIDIA cards are specifically listed as currently unsupported:
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060M
Facebook told us that it plans to add support for some of the currently unsupported cards by the time Link exits beta. The company told us it is currently “working directly with AMD” to add support for “as many cards as possible“.
Facebook didn’t provide an official reason for why one card is currently supported over another, which may initially seem confusing given these cards work great with the Rift. However, based on how the company’s engineers describe Link as working, we can speculate as to the cause — at least for NVIDIA cards.
Link is able to send the video output to the Oculus Quest over USB 3.0, despite having much less bandwidth than DisplayPort, because the system compresses each frame before sending it over. All modern graphics cards have a special dedicated video encoding chip for image compression which take this load off the CPU. NVIDIA calls theirs NVENC.
On NVIDIA’s NVENC Support Matrix page, it’s revealed which generation of encoder each card has and how many chips. The GTX 1070, a supported card, has two Pascal-gen chips while the GTX 1060, a currently unsupported card, has just one. It may be that something about how Link currently operates, perhaps the fact that it encodes the periphery separately (at a lower resolution), requires two of the Pascal-era NVENC chips, at least for this initial beta launch.
The GTX 1660 series and RX 20-series use a newer generation encoder, which would explain how those cards work with just one. This newer encoder was also how Facebook improved the quality of Rift’s ASW and Passthrough+ on these cards.
Other Requirements For Link
Keep in mind that you’ll also need to have Windows 10, 8GB+ RAM, and a decently fast CPU suitable for gaming. Facebook specifically recommends an Intel i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater.
You’ll also need a free (and working) USB 3.0 (or above) port on your PC. This can either be Type-A or Type-C, as long as it’s up to speed.
Not all USB cables will work with Link, but Facebook officially recommends this $13 cable. Facebook is also planning to sell a high performance cable of its own later this year in limited quantities and released the cable’s specifications so buyers can find alternatives. You can follow these instructions to run Oculus Rift games on Quest over Oculus Link.