NVIDIA have just announced that their bringing their desktop class GTX 980 GPU to portable computers. Not to be confused with the lower powered GTX 980M, found on many ‘performance’ laptops currently, this initiative supposedly offers identical performance to desktop PC’s running the card.
The company claims that this new class of notebooks, will represent an industry first – notebooks capable of powering next year’s first generation of virtual reality headsets from HTC and Oculus. According to Engadget, the company went even further, stating that the mobile GPU is “fully certified by Oculus,” which presumably means it meets the recommended specifications laid down by the firm earlier in the year. To our knowledge however, Oculus has yet to engage in any sort of hardware certification, so we’re assuming the phrase used by NVIDIA is a notional one.
As this is a full GTX 980 part, it packs 2048 CUDA cores, up to 8GB of 7GHz GDDR5 memory, and 1126MHz core clock, Nvidia claims the new laptop GTX 980 offers around a 30 percent performance boost over its previous flagship laptop GPU, the GTX 980M.
One thing to note, we’ve seen no benchmarking information on notebooks utilising this silicon and this image above, indicates a whopping docking station style cooling solution. What the performance differential the extra cooling when docked is unknown, if notable at all, but given it’s size and presence we’d be surprised if you saw a step change in performance when on the move.
Nevertheless, for developers looking to power demo’s of their work when they’re out and about, this is just about the only option right now capable of matching Oculus’ recommended specifications and, given that the HTC Vive’s closely match the Rift’s in terms display resolution, it’s probably a safe bet the the notebook will perform well for both platforms.