First look at MSI’s GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI When MSI told me they had a new VR Laptop for me to look at, that was boasting the new Kaby Lake i7 7820HK, I was expecting the new GE62VR 7RF. After our look at the GE62VR 6RF I was excited to see what Intel’s latest i7 could do to improve the VR Laptop experience with the HTC Vive. But the box that showed up on my doorstep was bigger, a lot bigger! It was the GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI, one of MSI’s top of the line desktop replacement VR laptop. Let’s have a look at it: GT73VR 7RE TITAN SLI Specifications 7th Gen. Intel Core i7 7820HK processor Chipset Intel HM175 Intel CM238 Windows 10 Pro GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 SLI with ultra performance DDR4-2400, 4 Slots, with 32GB installed (Max 64GB) 17.3″ Full HD (1920×1080), 120 Hz Refresh Rate and 5ms response time panel Exclusive Cooler Boost Titan Technology The X Boost function from MSI technology supports faster storage access speed. Dragon Center provides six functions to get a total control of your personal computer 512GB SSD’s in Exclusive Super RAID 4 (Dual NVMe M.2 SSDs by PCIe Gen3 X4 in RAID 0) 1TB 7200RPM 2.5″ SATA HDD Thunderbolt™ 3 supporting 40Gbps ultra speed data transfer rate, 4K@60Hz monitor output, and portable charging power up to 5V/3A with USB Type-C universal plug Easy Overclocking with MSI SHIFT Technology by Dragon Center Exclusive ESS SABRE HiFi DAC for lossless, high-quality audio Nahimic 2 Sound Technology delivering 360⁰ immersive audio experience Sound by Dynaudio system True Color Technology for increased color contrast and greater image detail Keyboard by Steelseries with full color backlighting SteelSeries Engine 3 with GameSense to personalize your play style Exclusive Silver Lining Printed keys Killer DoubleShot Pro (Killer Gb LAN + Killer 802.11 a/c WiFi) with Smart Teaming Upgraded Killer Gigabit LAN Controller with Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 and Killer Shield Matrix Display supporting surround mode and 4K output up to 3 external monitors Brushed-metal lid and aesthetics line design imprinted with MSI iconic Dragon Tattoo, unleashing the true dragon gaming soul Dimension (WxDxH) 428 x 287 x 24~49 mm Weight (w/ Battery) 4.14 kg 2x 230W AC Adapters (Weight 2.1 kg) So as you can see this is an extreme-end laptop. It’s not just an SSD it’s 2 512GB SSDs in RAID. It’s not just one gaming GTX 1070, it’s SLi GTX 1070s. I had 4 days to play around with the Titan and I installed lots of VR games and spent about 10 hours experiencing the performance in VR. It’s a no brainer that the GT73VR tromped all over our Budget VR PC and even the GE62VR but is the price gap worth it?
Some thought that we might see a HTC Vive 2 at CES and if we did I would have been shocked and I’m glad the HTC squash the rumors but with today’s announcement HTC Vive is starting CES 2017 with a bang introducing two new accessories and new services that is a way is giving us a new Vive Experience. Good news for us Vive owners comes in the way of upgrades to our current Vives, available in Q2 2017, the Vive Tracker and Vive Deluxe Audio Strap are all new accessories that will improve your Vive experience, not to forget the KwikVR and TPCAST wireless accessories available this year. The Vive Tracker, available in Q2 this year, let’s you add motion tracking all sorts of new items like baseball bats guns and gloves and we cannot see that causing destruction in anyone’s home Nooo… The Tracker weighs just under three ounces (90g) and is 99.65mm (Diameter) x 42.27mm (Height). The Vive Deluxe Audio Strap with adjustable headphones, elimates one more nuisance I have with the Vive for I am forever catching my headphon cord when I try to get an arrow out of my back quiver or get my backpack . The headstrap features integrated headphones and a new customizable sizing dial for quickly adjusting the fit The Deluxe Audio Strap will also be available in Q2. Pricing for both the Tracker and Deluxe Audio Strap will be announced by HTC soon.
A 2nd company had entered the HTC Vive wireless market to free VR user from the tether the first on the scene was TPCAST and now we have Scalable Graphics KwikVR . The KwikVR will début at CES next week. I don’t know how well any wireless solution will work with current hardware given the ” under 12 ms” times this might be fine for slow-moving experiences but jump into any fast FPS game and it might be like the video/audio is just a bit out of sinc. I do notice a slight sluggish in games that are GPU capped at 14ms but you do just live with it. the Question is, will the 12ms + 4ms to 14ms from your GPU be too much of a burden? Or will cutting the cables be worth it?
My old buddy Kyle Bennett has another AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance guide this time for Please State Your Name. Please State Your Name uses the Unreal Engine 4 and will be the 13th GPU-intensive title added to our VR Leaderboard and requires use of an HTC Vive system. PSYN is not a game or an “experience” but rather a short film done in Virtual Reality that tells you a story that is about 8 minutes long. PSYN is available for free on Steam. The developer is StudioDisrupt, and here is what they have to say about their film.
The HTC Vive currently has a cord that hangs down from the back of the headset. I have mine hooked up to a modified pull-out clothes line hanging from the ceiling to keep it moving around me during gameplay. Most of the time it’s not really in the way but if I had the option to not have that cord hanging there I’d jump on it. Turns out that option is not too far away. This product is going on pre-order today on HTC Vive’s Chinese site. The TPCAST wireless add-on will set you back about $220 US + shipping.
I got the full tour at MSI’s PAX Australia booth this year and as a VR user I must say I was happy to see the time and effort MSI is putting into VR, not only in the desktop market but also laptops! I got to have a quick look at 3 new VR laptops from MSI and I am dying to get my hands on them in our lab and put them through the paces using our collection of VR Games on the HTC Vive. The GT83VR 6RF TITAN SLI adds and extra bonus that will make gaming on the go easy with a mouse pad/numberpad combo letting you switch them over with the press of a button. But the best thing is that MSI have moved the laptop mouse pad to the left so you can use it in gaming!
Playstation VR? Oculus Rift? HTC Vive? HoloLens? If you are a Playstation gamer get the Playstation VR but if you are a PC gamer you are in the right place and you have choices so read on! Let’s start with Microsoft HoloLens. If you don’t know, Microsoft HoloLens is the first fully self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to interact with high‑definition holograms in your world. It’s not VR it’s MR (mixed reality). Will you be able to play games? Yes. Can you play Elite Dangerous? No! Will you want hololens? YES but for different reasons than the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift. Let’s look at a video to see some of the things you can do!