What's the minimum hardware spec needed for a VR ready laptop?

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Mattthr, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. Mattthr

    Mattthr Newbie

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    I'm in the market for a new gaming laptop in the UK. Because you can't easily upgrade the components in laptops, I'd ideally like to buy one that has the potential to run VR. However, my day to day needs do not demand that much GPU power, so I'd like to buy the minimum hardware spec I can get away with.

    I know I could wait until the headsets come out and a new generation of GPUs is around to support them, but I'd prefer to make the purchase now if possible, as it'll save me a bit of tax.

    So I've done a bit of research and my understanding is that Oculus are suggesting desktop grade GTX970 is the minimum. That would suggest that a 980M ought, in practice, to be able to support an Oculus Rift. However, I believe I'm right in saying that the 980M is still integrated rather than a separate board, and that it uses Nvidia Optimus. To be frank, I don't entirely understand what this is, nor why it's a problem for VR.

    I also know that there's a new desktop grade 980 out, suitable for laptops. This is expensive and doesn't have wide distribution. I also don't know whether this is board mounted/uses optimus or not. I also don't know if it's G-Sync enabled, as this seems to be a good idea for VR.

    I was originally looking at the Asus ROG G752VT as it seems to offer excellent value for money. But it's got a 970M, which I suspect isn't going to be enough and is going to run into the optimus problem.

    So the baseline question is: what's the mininum specification I need to get a laptop-ready VR.

    Bonus points if you'd be kind enough to break this down into:

    • What's Nvidia Optimus and why is it a problem for VR?

    • Is the "desktop" 980 significantly better for VR than the 980M, and is it Optimus/G-Sync/separate card?

    • Will my preferred option of the Asus ROG be enough, at a push, for a Rift?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  2. MrDJ

    MrDJ Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    hi
    im out of touch with new tech as my lappy is 3 years old now and a lot has changed since then.

    what country are you from?

    have a hunt for clevo laptops which imo are the best you can get. they are also user upgradable without voiding the warranty.
    uk look for mySN
    usa look for xoticpc

    optimus is two graphic options. general use uses intel graphics and as soon as you do something demanding it will swich to the dedicated graphics card from nvidia or amd. and yes they are seperate and not one chip.
     
  3. Mattthr

    Mattthr Newbie

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    Hi - thanks for taking the time to help me out. I'm in the UK.

    Ah, I'd heard of Clevo laptops, but I didn't realise mySN were a retailer.

    I've been looking at this site - http://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/laptops/4/ - as they seem to offer very good value for money. I also thought they were a Clevo reseller. Are those machines the same as the mySN ones?
     
  4. MrDJ

    MrDJ Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    im the worst person to ask about them ever since a couple of members were shafted by their very misleading warranty.

    mysn come with a standard 2 years warranty http://mysn.co.uk/

    ive certainly tried the rest out there and had many laptops since they were first invented.
    my first ever gaming lappy was from alienware and it was a joke. returned after 19 days for refund. then this great forum pointed me to clevo and i havnt looked back ever since. original is over 8 years old now and still used for basics every day. updated 3 years aago when mysn came to the uk and thats also going strong with no issues.
    i personally wont buy any other make now.
     
  5. waynewww

    waynewww Notebook Enthusiast

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    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
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  6. A-leo

    A-leo Notebook Guru

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    gtx 980m still adequate for vr especially when you overclocking it to surpass gtx 970
    the problem is optimus and minimum refresh rate is 90 hz for monitor
    but i heard intel will allow screen overclocking with their hd graphics control panel
     
  7. Tmets

    Tmets De-evolving to Amoeba

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    Nvidia doesn't release GPUs on an MXM card, or integrated, or with VRAM, they only release the GPU. It's the laptop manufacturer that puts that GPU on board, integrated or MXM, and adds the VRAM. There are no different versions of the 980m, it's just implemented differently with different memory. Don't think it's all up to Nvidia, because it just isn't.
    As I understand it, the issue with Optimus is that the iGPU is always connected to the panel, even if the dGPU is used, it still has to go through the iGPU, hence the performance issue. There are some laptops without Optimus. Anything with SLI, or a desktop GPU, and some others like the Clevo P750/770/870, MSI GT80 and Asus G752. Occulus do also recommend a desktop GPU which those Clevos do have. Whether there is anything else that would stop it working, I don't know, but you can ask in the model specific forums.
     
  8. TPNxl

    TPNxl Newbie

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    Buy a notebook with a GTX 980 notebook card (not a 980m, but a full 980 in an MXM card slot!) These have the performance of a full Desktop GTX 980.
     
  9. Galm

    Galm "Stand By, We're Analyzing The Situation!"

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    To clarify: The 980m is close to the minimum requirements, but is in fact below them. However, in reality it would probably work. Even with an OC most 980ms do not match the 970. The GTX 980 on the other hand is powerful enough and will definitely work smoothly. The 980m WILL most likely work well enough, but the GTX 980 is GUARENTEED to work smoothly. If you went and got a Clevo with a desktop cpu and a GTX 980 you would be good to go.
     
  10. TPNxl

    TPNxl Newbie

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