Oculus 2 Ready Laptop

ivoru84

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Hi Folks,

Just joined this amazing community, this is my first post!

I'm willing to buy a "VR ready" laptop, I would like to keep the budget under 2500 euro.

I own an Oculus 2, my first VR, I love it!

My expectations are that I want obviously to be able to play most of the "HEAVY" and "LATEST" VR games available on PC on the different platforms (Half-Life Alyx, Falcon Age, Resident Evil, Project Cars and so on) probably i miss many other games..

I will be mainly using link cable (Virtual Desktop is also an option but my wifi can be a problem!)

I'm in Europe so I would like to buy the laptop in EU to avoid custom and import fees.

I've experience in the past assembling desktop, and my fear is to spend lot of money and have incompatibilities issues (CPU,GPU,USBs and so on..)

I won't be playing PC games without VR, this will be exclusively used for the VR, so if I've issues it's going to be a disaster!

I'm finding very hard to understand what to buy, for example I thought to pick what i consider at the top in the market, eg Alienware m17 R4 or similar, but then I found out there may be incompatibilities issues with the GeForce RTX™ 3070/3080 series because of the lack of USB within the graphic card itself, oculus team itself replied to many users that this card may be not yet fully supported.

Also I will start with Oculus2 but i would like to buy something that would allow me to upgrade to a better VR in the future.

Have you guys any laptop to suggest, what can be the best option here? I want to be sure it will 100% works with Oculus 2 and most of the VR on the market.

I've been looking on VR ready laptops from Oculus website, but there are no preset configuration (e.g. falcon northwest), I still need to decide the hardware and I'm really confused about it.

PS: The reason i choose a laptop instead of a desktop is that i've no space to play with the VR in any of the room I can put the Desktop in and as said the wifi may be not enough strong to allow play me through virtual desktop..

Thanks a lot
 

BassTek

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The Quest 2 works fine with the 3080 in my desktop. Nvidia dropped the USB-C VR port on their cards because the VR standard that was going to use it died before it was fully implemented, so I wouldn't be too worried about it. For Quest 2 all you need is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 capable port somewhere on the laptop and it should be fine.

As far as upgrading to future headsets, currently you would need a displayport or mini-displayport connection to handle the Reverb G2 or Index. It's tough to say what future versions of those headsets will require.

So in short, get a laptop that has a 3080 and a USB 3.1 Gen 2 capable port along with a displayport port and you should be good to go for the next while.
 

sharknice

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I'm not sure about laptops, but I would reconsider trying to get a wireless solution working. For any game you're walking or turning around a lot it's a much better experience.

I bought a $72 wifi 6 router and only use it for the Oculus Quest 2 and it works flawlessly for PC VR. Even if you couldn't get it working it's a very small amount of money compared to what you would spend on a laptop. The router is actually less expensive than the official Oculus link cable.
 

Dvater

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You can use the internal Wi-Fi in your laptop if you set it up as a hotspot. It's what I do with my 2080 laptop and it works fine.
 

equinox654

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From my experience and from what I have read a hotspot isn't optimal. I used the hotspot first day that I had my quest and the latency was 10ms higher than with a wifi 6 router. Not that big of a deal, but I would get stutters.
Bought a wifi 6 router and it is as smooth as butter. The wifi 6 router only has my pc and quest 2 connected. Even just my phone connecting can cause stutter.

A router is worth the price of admission to vr with a quest 2. Image quality wise it blows away all the other head sets i've ever used and not getting tangled in a cable or having it pulling on your head is worth it.

Hell my computer and router are in my office and I play in the kitchen. I can be watching tv in the living room. Grab my quest off the counter and jump into steam vr with out ever touching my pc.
 

Dvater

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Bought a wifi 6 router and it is as smooth as butter.

What did you have before? Does the Quest 2 properly use Wifi 6? I have a tri-band AC3200 router now with a 5GHz band especially for the Quest 2 and even playing in the same room, direct line of sight, with the router I still get hiccups and stutter. My PC is directly connected to the router as well and my specs are somewhat decent (i9-10850K, 64GB DDR4-3200, 2080Ti, 2TB nVME),

I just figured that slight stutter and stuff was just the nature of the beast.
 

equinox654

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What did you have before? Does the Quest 2 properly use Wifi 6? I have a tri-band AC3200 router now with a 5GHz band especially for the Quest 2 and even playing in the same room, direct line of sight, with the router I still get hiccups and stutter. My PC is directly connected to the router as well and my specs are somewhat decent (i9-10850K, 64GB DDR4-3200, 2080Ti, 2TB nVME),

I just figured that slight stutter and stuff was just the nature of the beast.
I was using the wifi built into my cable modem. It is 5ghz but its ac wifi. Early morning it was fine, but not perfect. With my wife and son and all the associated devices connected even low load will cause stutter. Even on my new ASUS RT-AX58U, I have to disconnect my phone before playing.
Also, tried hot spot as I have decent intel wifi built into my mobo. My understanding is that the windows network stack is not good enough to get good latency and consistency.

It isn't just plug and play either. I used a wifi scanner on my phone to find an empty channel. I turned off the 2.4 ghz radio on the new router, forced it to 80mhz and AX only. Any load other than virtual desktop is going to cause stutter.

A big thing for me was I had to uninstall anything that monitored the gpu. I have an asus mouse and corsair keyboard. I had to uninstall that software and kill any remnants that still pop up in the task manager. The nvidia drivers are still fucked. Any rgb or gpu monitoring/overclock software causes stutter in vr.

In alyx I get a hickup maybe every 5 or 10 minutes. On lighter games they seem to never stutter now.

And yes the quest uses wifi 6. I connect at 1.2gbit with wifi 6.
 
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Dvater

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Interesting...maybe I'll have to play around with it and my settings as I have a lot of monitoring software. Sounds like as far as the actual wireless I'm still doing OK in terms of actual tech...
 

equinox654

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Interesting...maybe I'll have to play around with it and my settings as I have a lot of monitoring software. Sounds like as far as the actual wireless I'm still doing OK in terms of actual tech...
AC should still be fine, just make sure its using 80mhz and kill the monitoring software. Also try HEVC at like 60 mbit if you are using h.264 at 100mbit.

I run VR HIGH on virtual desktop with my 3080. I noticed yesterday that boneworks was acting funky. I checked and it was outputting at around 3000x3000 per eye which is 18megapixels per frame. It was beating the encoders ass. So make sure you are outputting a sane resolution.
I scaled it back to near what virtual desktop outputs and it smoothed it out. Medium looks fine by the way.

Here are the resolutions vr desktop outputs
Low: 1728x1824 Medium: 2016x2112 High: 2496x2592



I think the main perk of wifi 6 is that I can play in another room. AC isn't as forgiving.
 

sharknice

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AC should still be fine, just make sure its using 80mhz and kill the monitoring software. Also try HEVC at like 60 mbit if you are using h.264 at 100mbit.

I run VR HIGH on virtual desktop with my 3080. I noticed yesterday that boneworks was acting funky. I checked and it was outputting at around 3000x3000 per eye which is 18megapixels per frame. It was beating the encoders ass. So make sure you are outputting a sane resolution.
I scaled it back to near what virtual desktop outputs and it smoothed it out. Medium looks fine by the way.

Here are the resolutions vr desktop outputs
Low: 1728x1824 Medium: 2016x2112 High: 2496x2592



I think the main perk of wifi 6 is that I can play in another room. AC isn't as forgiving.

Not really. The range is basically the same.

Wifi 6 simultaneously transmits and receives which significantly reduces latency. That's the biggest difference, that also means less slowdown while more devices are connected, but I still limit it to just my Quest 2.

Also just having higher bandwidth helps with latency even though you aren't using all of it because the frame takes less time to transfer.

Which is why you may not want to max out your bitrate, even though your system can handle it, it will increase latency. You really need to experiment and tweak to get the balance you prefer.
 

bobzdar

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My Asus G14 works well with it, only game it has performance trouble with so far is msfs2020 (which everything has trouble with). Alyx runs well on high settings. The new zen 3/rtx 3070 g15 should mow through everything but I don't know if there are any hidden issues, I just know the g14 has no issues, just plug it in and go. Using the link cable but also works fine via virtual desktop for wireless.
 
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Can't comment on the Quest 2 specifically (used to have a Rift CV1, now have an Index) or anything specific to the European market, but my OMEN X 2S that I've had for a few months taught me a few things about VR on gaming laptops:
  • Good thermal performance is CRITICAL. This laptop tends to run hot when gaming, even in flat/monitor mode, and the moment the RTX 2070 Max-Q hits 85C, it starts to intermittently throttle, which is jarring enough on a monitor and almost certainly nauseating in VR. Get something that will keep itself cool under load, and make sure it has room to breathe underneath.
  • Do not expect a given laptop GPU to even come close to its desktop counterpart. The aforementioned RTX 2070 Max-Q? Worse than a desktop RTX 2060. This isn't helping matters when VR wants as much GPU as you can afford, and benefits big time from performance on the caliber of a desktop RTX 3080 and even 3090 - which just aren't possible in laptops due to the enormous TDP.
  • The Quest 2 interfacing over a compressed USB stream means you don't have to worry about this nearly as much, but if you go to an Index or other PC-driven VR HMD in the future, be mindful of whether your laptop of choice has DisplayPort, or a USB-C port that can be adapted to DP with a passive adapter. Full-on USB-C docking stations with multiple ports will generally not work. Maybe I'd have better luck trying a TB 3.0 docking station/port replicator, but the simple USB-C to DP adapter just works.
    • Also consider the spacing of those ports; having a DP that's nowhere near any USB-C ports is going to make plugging in something like an Index quite awkward if there's not enough slack between the individual cables at the end.
  • Some laptops will slowly drain the battery under load even when plugged in, and others will throttle themselves if given an AC adapter that's too weak. HP generally opts for the latter; even the 130-150W PSUs provided with my work fleet ZBook 15s aren't enough for the OMEN X 2S, which ships with a 230W adapter, and it gives you a warning notification and throttles hard, making a lot of games borderline unplayable. To its credit, though, the battery never drained when plugged in.
I do wish this thing had noticeably better performance than my old GTX 980-equipped desktop in VR, but nope, it's nowhere near as good in DCS as said desktop when I tested it with an RTX 2080 for a day (was borrowing it for troubleshooting purposes, and admittedly a little benching). Though to be fair, DCS is like No Man's Sky in that both are horridly unoptimized in VR performance (hell, performance in general for DCS) and practically require an RTX 3080 to run smoothly, and even that may not cut it.

Hopefully, you find a laptop that holds up under sustained load and doesn't cost too much. I'd be interested in seeing how the latest crop of RTX 3070/3080 laptops stack up for VR.
 

reaper12

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I'd be interested in seeing how the latest crop of RTX 3070/3080 laptops stack up for VR.
I think the 3xxx laptop cards aren't great. They don't even come close to the performance of their desktop counterparts. It's the old bait and switch naming scheme.
 

sharknice

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I think the 3xxx laptop cards aren't great. They don't even come close to the performance of their desktop counterparts. It's the old bait and switch naming scheme.

Even different laptops using the same card will have different performance, because they don't give them adequate power. Nvidia made some new rule for laptop makers to try to stop that.

Also the cooling on laptops is typically just inadequate. So much that laptops with better cooling and lower end cards can outperform laptops with higher end cards.

You basically can't look at the specs alone, you need to look at actual hardware performance reviews from reputable reviewers.

If your main use is gaming, it's definitely not a good choice unless you absolutely need it to be mobile.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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Desktop is better, but laptop PCVR is doable:

I want to confirm my Razer Blade 240 Hz laptop with RTX 2080 Max-Q works fine with Quest 2 -- streaming overheads included. I'm able to play PC VR with full quality if I put the laptop on a good laptop cooling pad and keep the laptop plugged into its 230 watt power brick. If my Blade 15 can do it, I'm sure all 15" Blades can (the 240Hz, 300Hz, 360Hz models with RTX graphics) -- as long as cooled adequately.

The good thing is the Blade is an all-metal monobloc gaming laptop like a black MacBook, and the GPU heatsinks directly to the chassis, so it's easy to add additional cooling externally -- it stops the thermal throttling stutters. And I appear to be getting 1080 league performance instead of 980 league performance.

It won't be as performant as a tower PC, but you can at least surpass a desktop GTX 1080 (when subtracting wireless streaming overhead), if you add a good laptop cooling pad to your laptop to avoid thermal throttling issues.

Search Amazon for "laptop cooling pad", a decent one is almost mandatory for usable laptop PCVR (check the reviews for a good one). They generally look like these:

1619197424205.png


When the Quest 2 v28 firmware hits, I will test the built-in WiFi 6 of the Razer Blade with wireless AirLink and see if I've got a mobile wireless PCVR Quest 2 rig.

It's not why I got the Razer Blade, but a mobile PCVR rig is certainly doable -- if you have an RTX-league chip in your laptop.
 
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bobzdar

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Desktop is better, but laptop PCVR is doable:

I want to confirm my Razer Blade 240 Hz laptop with RTX 2080 Max-Q works fine with Quest 2 -- streaming overheads included. I'm able to play PC VR with full quality if I put the laptop on a good laptop cooling pad and keep the laptop plugged into its 230 watt power brick. If my Blade 15 can do it, I'm sure all 15" Blades can (the 240Hz, 300Hz, 360Hz models with RTX graphics) -- as long as cooled adequately.

The good thing is the Blade is an all-metal monobloc gaming laptop like a black MacBook, and the GPU heatsinks directly to the chassis, so it's easy to add additional cooling externally -- it stops the thermal throttling stutters. And I appear to be getting 1080 league performance instead of 980 league performance.

It won't be as performant as a tower PC, but you can at least surpass a desktop GTX 1080 (when subtracting wireless streaming overhead), if you add a good laptop cooling pad to your laptop to avoid thermal throttling issues.

Search Amazon for "laptop cooling pad", a decent one is almost mandatory for usable laptop PCVR (check the reviews for a good one). They generally look like these:

View attachment 350265

When the Quest 2 v28 firmware hits, I will test the built-in WiFi 6 of the Razer Blade with wireless AirLink and see if I've got a mobile wireless PCVR Quest 2 rig.

It's not why I got the Razer Blade, but a mobile PCVR rig is certainly doable -- if you have an RTX-league chip in your laptop.

Did you test the built in wifi with air link yet? I tried it via VD a while back on my Asus G14 and it was a no-go, but planning to give it another go with updated drivers all around as that was quite a while ago. It worked fine via router, but I would like a self contained portable VR setup that doesn't tether the headset to the laptop if possible without having to bother with a router.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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The Razer has built-in 11ax WiFi. AirLink works via the built-in WiFi, at lower bitrates. But if you want an Internet connection at the same time as AirLink, you still have to Ethernet the laptop to the router.

I do get better results with an external WiFi adaptor (one of those USB3 adaptors with two huge antennas). Currently testing out a BrosTrend unit that has 2 oversized 20-centimeter antennas, that spouts out of a thumbdrive-sized dongle. It's probably the smallest USB WiFi that has a signal as strong as a router.

Your laptop CPU will be routing all those WiFi packets, but not a problem with 6-core / 12-thread gaming laptop if you adjust performance settings a bit. Make sure your networking thread is not starved during AirLink operation, you may have to test thread priorities to keep USB WiFi a bit more performance -- you need low latency for WiFi processing, and USB WiFi is like a softmodem of sorts -- so pay attention to not CPU-starving your WiFi drivers. Lock the laptop in Performance Mode, disable power management, and blow a lot of external air at the hot metal laptop.

For a completely Ethernetless connection including Internet, I am going to install "Connectify" app to attempt something slightly more complex (simultaneous bridging + hotspotting):

1. WiFi Internal (Razer WiFi locked to 2.4 GHz) to connect to my Internet connection
2. WiFi External (USB 2-antenna WiFi locked to 5 Ghz) to connect to Quest 2 via AirLink

Once I've done that I'll report that. You do not need a good WiFi Internet connection for Quest 2 -- just good peer to peer WiFi between the laptop and Quest 2; that's the important part for AirLink or Virtual Desktop. I'm hoping I can achieve 150-200 Mbps AirLink this way. Obviously, an external router may be superior, but by isolating 5 GHz airwaves in the immediate vincinty of my laptop, only to AirLink, I may be able to achieve acceptable untethered mobile PCVR performance.

You still need one wire though: A power outlet! A non-thermally-throttled gaming laptop definitely need to draw ~200 watts of electricity for successful PCVR.

If you want to go completely wireless (offgrid), you need one bigass power bank to supply that, internal battery mode for laptop PCVR is not able to be enough for quite noticeably better than Quest 2 built-in GPU graphics.

Off-Grid tip: For a completely offgrid PCVR including electricity, you can use one of those massive 250-watt or 500-watt lithium power bank (with AC outlet) such as a Jackery Power Station (google) for two hours of PCVR - typically about lunchbox sized, though there are dictionary-book size ~200 watt units (amazon) that may have enough heft for an hour of PCVR. Personally, I don't need this total offgrid-ness as I'm at the level of "demo at the family house" (plenty of AC outlets for laptop), but I've heard of people successfully using these camping battery banks.
 
Last edited:

bobzdar

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The Razer has built-in 11ax WiFi. AirLink works via the built-in WiFi, at lower bitrates. But if you want an Internet connection at the same time as AirLink, you still have to Ethernet the laptop to the router.

I do get better results with an external WiFi adaptor (one of those USB3 adaptors with two huge antennas). Currently testing out a BrosTrend unit that has 2 oversized 20-centimeter antennas, that spouts out of a thumbdrive-sized dongle. It's probably the smallest USB WiFi that has a signal as strong as a router.

Your laptop CPU will be routing all those WiFi packets, but not a problem with 6-core / 12-thread gaming laptop if you adjust performance settings a bit. Make sure your networking thread is not starved during AirLink operation, you may have to test thread priorities to keep USB WiFi a bit more performance -- you need low latency for WiFi processing, and USB WiFi is like a softmodem of sorts -- so pay attention to not CPU-starving your WiFi drivers. Lock the laptop in Performance Mode, disable power management, and blow a lot of external air at the hot metal laptop.

For a completely Ethernetless connection including Internet, I am going to install "Connectify" app to attempt something slightly more complex (simultaneous bridging + hotspotting):

1. WiFi Internal (Razer WiFi locked to 2.4 GHz) to connect to my Internet connection
2. WiFi External (USB 2-antenna WiFi locked to 5 Ghz) to connect to Quest 2 via AirLink

Once I've done that I'll report that. You do not need a good WiFi Internet connection for Quest 2 -- just good peer to peer WiFi between the laptop and Quest 2; that's the important part for AirLink or Virtual Desktop. I'm hoping I can achieve 150-200 Mbps AirLink this way. Obviously, an external router may be superior, but by isolating 5 GHz airwaves in the immediate vincinty of my laptop, only to AirLink, I may be able to achieve acceptable untethered mobile PCVR performance.

You still need one wire though: A power outlet! A non-thermally-throttled gaming laptop definitely need to draw ~200 watts of electricity for successful PCVR.

If you want to go completely wireless (offgrid), you need one bigass power bank to supply that, internal battery mode for laptop PCVR is not able to be enough for quite noticeably better than Quest 2 built-in GPU graphics.

Off-Grid tip: For a completely offgrid PCVR including electricity, you can use one of those massive 250-watt or 500-watt lithium power bank (with AC outlet) such as a Jackery Power Station (google) for two hours of PCVR - typically about lunchbox sized, though there are dictionary-book size ~200 watt units (amazon) that may have enough heft for an hour of PCVR. Personally, I don't need this total offgrid-ness as I'm at the level of "demo at the family house" (plenty of AC outlets for laptop), but I've heard of people successfully using these camping battery banks.


I have a usb cell modem and a power inverter with dual batteries in my Jeep, so complete off grid is possible.

I'd rarely, if ever, actually do that. I'm just curious if it can be done properly without a router as that's a bit of a pita to bring along. If not I'd probably just go wired link for portable pcvr even if it's not quite as immersive.
 

Chief Blur Buster

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https://www.amazon.com/Powkey-Portable-42000Mah-External-Smartphones/dp/B0713XJBG2/
I have a usb cell modem and a power inverter with dual batteries in my Jeep, so complete off grid is possible.

I'd rarely, if ever, actually do that. I'm just curious if it can be done properly without a router as that's a bit of a pita to bring along. If not I'd probably just go wired link for portable pcvr even if it's not quite as immersive.
I am able to use a single WiFi AirLink connection with the Internet disabled but a lot of software/games expect an Internet connection, and it's nicer to use the VR menu interface (videos, store, etc) with an Internet connection.

I am still trying to coax my laptop to use 2.4 GHz WiFi (for Internet) and 5 GHz WiFi (for Quest 2) to have the Internet on a separate WiFi band as my Quest 2 AirLink.

I haven't yet succeeded, but I have tried the following
Microsoft Windows makes it fairly difficult to do such an unusual operation. I often end up AirLink with just 2.4 GHz as an example, or lack of Internet connection -- perhaps one of you network professionals might be able to figure out how to assign separate WiFi adaptors / frequencies for Internet connecting vs AirLinking at the same time.

AirLink seemed to work most reliably with no Internet connection (offline play) with the Razer's laptop internal 11ax connection which is able to connect to the Quest 2 at 1200 Mbps.

Until this is fixed, mobile PCVR AirLink works best while offline (no Internet), or with wired Internet

As soon as I try to enable WiFi Internet simultaneously, I lose that AirLink speed -- and as soon as I try to add a 2nd WiFi adaptork, I get either errors, no Internet, or inability to separate the frequencies (unable to do Internet at 2.4 GHz only on a 2nd WiFi adaptor). Theoretically a 2.4 GHz adaptor shouldn't interfere a separate 5 GHz adaptor, but Windows 10 don't play nice with a dual-WiFi + separate Internet adaptor versus hotspot adaptor.

Ideas welcome from network professionals to allow me to have my cake & eat it too.
 
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sethk

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If you have 2 adapters visible to Windows only assign the gateway address to one - that’s the one that will provide internet.
The one that is for your headset should have no gateway - run the command :
route print
..from a command prompt to check. The adapter with the 0.0.0.0 address is the one routing internet traffic. I would use the built in wifi vs USB to test this split connectivity first before trying to split the 2.4 va 5ghz on a single physical adapter.
 
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