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Achieving Presence on a laptop @ 75+ FPS w DK2?

dsky9
Honored Guest
Hi, we've been lugging around our 25lb desktop GPU beast for a year now, and its limiting our ability to demo (not to mention the damage its taken through airports). We downgraded to GearVR for a few months, but at this point we really need to show some demos with position tracking, so we need to drive a DK2. Its time to move to a high performance laptop.

our two leading contenders are:

LUKE : MacBook Pro retina 2015 15" / 16 / 500
AMD Radeon R9 M370x / 2GB

or

DARTH: Razer Blade FullHD / 16 / 500
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M / 3GB

Does anyone have performance metrics, specifically on the GPUs, both in Windows mode? Can the MBP achieve the FPS required for presence in demos? I'm also thinking the Razer would be faster because it won't have to deal with the retina resolution...

We need an OSX machine anyways, so the real choice is the MBP with Win7 on a partition (all-in-one machine, preferred if the performance is adequate), or the Razer PLUS a MacBook Air (we'll just call her PADME)

We've heard about the Asus with external desktop GPU, but that's above our portability threshold.

Any insights from devs actually using such a rig IN THE FIELD is very helpful.
Thanks in advance.
7 REPLIES 7

cybereality
Grand Champion
No, there is a good chance none of those machines will work. There are just many problems with laptop chipsets (mostly Optimus/switchable graphics) that means everything will crash.

Look into investing in the new Nvidia GTX 980 laptops (NOT 980M). They are either out (in some regions) or coming very soon (like within weeks).

dsky9
Honored Guest
Thanks @cybereality

A little googling found these:

    Asus GX700
    Clevo P775DM-G
    Clevo P870DM-G
    Gigabyte Auros RX7Y4
    MSI GT72
    MSI GT80


Will keep an eye on release dates. Thanks!

dsky9
Honored Guest
That said... I have seen people demo'ing VR on laptops at SFVR events for more than a year now, with decent results. Anybody out in the dev world who has been using a mobile rig have any data?

Or @cybereality, are you saying that the more recent SDKs (i.e. 0.6, 0.7, 0.8) no longer work on such configurations? Does Oculus plan to certify any laptops as "Oculus Ready" like they are with the coming desktop units?

Constellation
Expert Protege
I have the Asus G751JY which works well with the DK2. There's a lot of G751 models and they all look the same so make sure to get this specific model otherwise you'll end up with NVIDIA Optimus and it's likely nothing will work at all. I think your best bet is to wait until the new models come out as cybereality suggested; I'm doubting the G751JY will be able to run the CV1 very well.

dsky9
Honored Guest
My partner just did some testing, upgrading his 2015 MBP/R9 to Windows 10 and Oculus 0.8.0 runtime.
Basically, the apps that we've optimized for GearVR run perfectly on the Dk2 on that, crash free.

Higher performance apps, i.e. those that require desktop performace, have bad jitter / low FPS... but thats expected.
In either case, it isn't crashing, which is good.

lhl
Protege
(This post had more links but was flagged as "spam" so I've stripped most of them.)

I feel you on the lugging machines around thing. I ended up building a slightly more luggable system at the beginning of the year w/ a Pelican 1430 case, it's made it across 4 continents so far, and is fairly compact - carry-on friendly (fits underneath a domestic economy seat) but total weight (with DK2, keyboard, mouse, and controller all packed in) is still about 17lb. Total price for my build was just under $1800.

If I had to buy a CV1-ready portable system today, I would probably go w/ the MSI GT72S (Model "DominatorProGDragon-004") which has an i7-6820HK (about 80% perf of a desktop i7-6700K) and "Desktop" GTX980 (about 95% performance of a desktop card) - weight is 8.6lb, power supply is probably another 1.7lb, and then 3lbs for headset, camera, and cables. Cost is $3100 for a system w/ 32GB of RAM, tiny SSDs (ridiculously fast 2x128GB NVMe in RAID0), 1TB of slow spinning rust. MSI uses hardware muxing on their higher end gaming laptops, so no worries about Optimus issues there.

Recently I found a page that has been tracking CV1-ready notebooks: http://alteredqualia.com/texts/notebooks-rift/

For me, my ideal would be a VR "deck" form factor like the Scan 3XS NC10 or Gigabyte BRIX Gaming that basically takes laptop parts (board+MXM GPU) and strips out the screen/keyboard, but with the fastest parts possible like the top of the line gaming laptops. The target market may be too tiny right now though, I guess.

dsky9
Honored Guest
@lhl,
thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for!

Did you custom-cut foam inserts for the Pelican? Its awesome that that goes carry-on! If you have pictures of your packing strategy, I'd love to see them.

We do dev (mini-upgrades, software tweaks) in the field as well, so a monitor and keyboard are required, thus leaning towards the laptop. As an interim, we went ahead and acquired the smallest possible 1920x1080, a ViewSonic VX2252 which travels decently.

For the laptop, the Aorus X7-DT (as yet unreleased) is our leading contender currently just due to its beautiful form factor / industrial design.

Awesome link on the alteredqualia page! Will keep tracking it. Thanks!