It took a lot of help from friends and family, but I’ve finally got a desktop VR solution that I can begin experimenting with. I got the HP Windows Mixed Reality headset off of craigslist for a decent price when Microsoft was bundling the headsets during the christmas season. Numerous people got the headsets to get a cheaper laptop and then unloaded the HMDs on craigslist for cheap. I’m alright with that. Unfortunately, at the time, I was running an Intel Core i7 950, a first generation i7… Windows Mixed Reality requires processors that include the AVX instruction set which were not included in the i7s until the second generation. Womp. Womp.
It took a month or two, but I was able to get a hold of an i7 3770 out of a Dell Optiplex 9010. With some minimal alterations to my cooling fan wiring I was able to get the Dell board in my Corsair case. My full size GTX 1050ti is a tight fit because of where the motherboard’s power plugs are located, but it runs! 😀