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.

geforce-gtx-980-notebooks-asus-gx700vo
The Asus GX700VO Notebook with GTX 980 plus enormous water-cooled docking station

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.

SEE ALSO
NVIDIA Announces Flagship GPU 'Titan RTX' with VirtuaLink Connector

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.

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.


  • Don Gateley

    You’ll need one of these to go anywhere with it: http://smile.amazon.com/Heritage-Vinyl-Catalog-13in-H-2in-W/dp/B00006IAA3 :-)

  • Darshan Gayake

    That cooler looks more like Buffalo Hump or Tumor absolute absurd slang to mobility term. This is not laptop certainly with that cooler attached.. no one will put laptop with that tumor on back in their lap… If you are going to use it on desk.. whats point in mobility of laptop.

    weren’t these Alienware-Graphics-Amplifier cheesy things available since 2014 and never got successful due to defying basics of Laptop concept.

  • Darshan Gayake

    This king of thing may emit heat that can melt insides of laptop practically oven in lappy may cuse serious impotency if you are male and dare to keep this king of thing in lap and use
    Gaming Laptops already have non sense battery after feeding behemoth full scale 980 what will be left i do not expect battery life more then 20 Minutes ( Full charging per recommended VR break free session… )
    IMHO …Its not at all LAPTOP its PARTIALLY MOBILE GAMING DESKTOP

  • Darshan Gayake

    More of a PARTIALLY MOBILE DESKTOP as cant think it can service more than 20 Minutes without power supply in VR. Due to heat and that Tumor of Cooler cant kept in LAP. May live roast other parts of lap due to close body design of laptops. Illogical to any thing other than VR Game Demo unit that move place to place where only purpose is GPU HP and Partial Mobility VIa Small footprint.

  • illuzion

    Its looking like a thunderbolt-esque external card with a matching internal scaled card,
    that docks probably going to be required for the full GPU power and when you remove it id imagine your back to shitty shared integrated graphics.
    I’d be impressed if otherwise. Maybe cool….

    • ElectroPulse

      Without having read into it outside of this article, that would be my guess as well… Basically the same thing Alienware did. Graphics card in an external cooled enclosure, with mobile graphics built into the laptop for when it’s not plugged in.

  • brandon9271

    Guys, the specs for this thing are actually pretty impressive!
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2984573/components/nvidia-hits-gaming-milestone-true-desktop-performance-in-a-laptop-with-geforce-gtx-980.html

    It could be super cool for untethered VR in a backpack. I imagine at some point someone will make a laptop type device with no screen or keyboard and larger batteries specifically for this. Not sure what it would be called… Backtop? :)