Nvidia brings PC GPUs to Laptops for VR

The HTC Vive VR headset Nvidia
Nvidia's new GPUs will let you enjoy VR on something a little less bulky than the Asus ROG

Nvidia finally confirms what we’ve been wanting to hear: the GTX 1000 Series will be making its way to notebooks very soon. Last year’s GTX 980 was the company’s first foray in bringing desktop-grade graphic cards to laptops instead of the M-series, which was reserved for laptops and slightly clocked down. The GTX 1000 series bring VR-ready capabilities and ensures the near future of next-gen gaming for laptop gamers who love to play games can be mobile.

With Nvidia’s Pascal architecture, it’s finally possible to scale down graphic chipsets to fit into sleek laptops with very little sacrifice on horsepower. The only difference in the series will be a slightly slower clock base on the GTX 1060, the budget-friendly card of the series. All the other cards will be identical and to prove this, Nvidia demonstrated Gears of War 4 on a laptop running the GTX 1080 running on 4K with a constant 60fps.

Breaking down what you’ll see in the next generation of laptops running Nvidia’s 1000 series: the GTX 1080 will run 2,560 CUDA cores at 1,733Mhz with 8GB of GDDR5X memory. The GTX 1070 (which replaces the 980M) will run 2,048 CUDA cores at 1,645Mhz with 8GB of GDDR5 memory, and the GTX 1060 (a budget-friendly successor to the 970M) will run 1,280 CUDA cores at 1,670Mhz with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. As per Nvidia’s benchmarks, the notebook cards perform on par with their desktop brothers, and in some the GTX 1080 on the notebook performed even better than the desktop. We’ll wait to see how they really stack up once the laptops are available for review. Nvidia claims a 150 per cent improvement in performance on the M Series.

Notebook gaming is something that’s been reserved for the niches and for very specific kinds of gamers and generally derided by hardcore PC gamers. With technology moving at the pace it is, we can finally see a future closing in where gaming laptops can be on par with their desktop counterparts with little divide between them and even viable for the larger consumer market. Nvidia forecasts gaming notebook sales to increase by 30 per cent this year while console sales growth stalls. It sounds a little over the top, but we’ll wait and see how well the next generation of gaming notebooks fare.

The Pascal architecture is known for its incredible performance and power efficiency on the desktop, something that will surely be transferred to its notebook counterparts. Gamers can expect a 30 per cent increase in battery life and Nvidia has improved on its battery boost technology to allow a better frame variance while not connected to AC power.

We can expect notebooks with the GTX 1000 Series from major brands such as Asus, Acer, Lenovo, EVGA, Alienware, MSI, HP and more in the near future. Hopefully ready for the holiday season.

However, if you’re waiting for a sleek GTX 1080-equipped notebook, don’t hold your breath. The GTX 1080 (and probably 1070) will be on the heftier side because both promise full VR capabilities. The GTX 1060, however, is promised to come in a sleeker version from some manufacturers at 18mm thin and weighing in at just under 2kg. That’s great for gamers who aren’t bothered with VR-ready machines.

We’ve also been hearing rumours that Apple’s next Macbook refresh will be gaming focused and the above dimensions fit what a 15-inch Macbook could be.