A powerhouse? A workstation? A laptop that is more than willing to give you an excellent VR experience? This is what folks are saying about MSI’s latest WT72, a chunker of a notebook, currently being dubbed as “the world’s first professional Nvidia VR Ready workstation”. During Nvidia’s annual developer conference, the GPU Technology Conference last week, the company’s professional visualization group announced new plans to develop products and technologies for “both consumer and professional use”. Nvidia is about to launch its new Quadro M5500 video card, the star we’ll be seeing inside the new WT72 Notebook.
The card, comparable to its consumer-oriented GeForce GTX 980 for Notebooks, is for the highest of end laptop (you know, the ones that are intended to replace desktops these days?). The Quadro M5500 is the fastest mobile Quadro to date, specifically targeting the level of hardware entailed in today’s virtual reality headsets. The M5500 includes 2,048 CUDA cores, a 35 percent performance improvement over any other Quadro. According to Digital Trends, this basically means you could hook up an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift to the WT72, get optimal performance, and blaze through the most demanding of tasks.
As far as the notebook’s other hardware, the 8.4 pound, MSI Windows 10 WT72 6QN features a 17.3-inch display, with two configurations for screen resolution, including either 3,840 x 2,160, or 1,920 x 1,080. Beta News says they are True Color Technology screens with Adobe RGB certification for better viewing angles and overall visual accuracy. There is a Super RAID 4 SSD with 256GB of storage, and a SATA hard drive that holds 1TB of storage. As far as processing power, the two options include an Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 chip supported with 64 gigs of DDR4 RAM, and an Intel Core i7-6920HQ chip supported with 32 gigs of DDR4 RAM (in either scenario, there’s a dual fan system to dissipate of all that heat). Connectivity includes an SD card reader, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.1 ports (6 in total). MSI also equipped the powerhouse (I decided it needed to be called a powerhouse) with audiophile-grade Dynaudio speakers featuring Nahimic Audio enhancer. Gulp. Oh, and there’s the new SteelSeries backlit keyboard with Silver-Lining Print “to eliminate eye strain” (Beta News).
VR isn’t just a headset you buy anymore. It’s time for more devices to be VR-capable, and more capable, at that. Laggy and/or insufficient hardware make VR a drag. So, thanks to the launch of the Quadro M5500, both Nvidia and its partners now have the opportunity to launch VR-capable laptops, strengthening their sale platform tremendously. Of course these are going to be expensive, very expensive- especially if the Xeon E3 is the way you are wanting to go. But with the world’s fastest mobile GPU, I’d say coughing up the 5-7 grand for this thing (based on the model you chose) is what MSI deserves.
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