Zotac’s VR GO Backpack PC Now Available

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jaber2

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Laptops are cheaper and can fit into your backpack, this isn't a solution this is more like taking advantage of what people want, people want small and portable with more power, this isn't it.
 

kewlguy239

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There's a big difference between a laptop and this PC... namely the battery system. Instead of capping framerates on battery, the VR GO pushes max juice to the components at all times so that you can get the 90 FPS most VR games aim for.

An advanced user could probably figure out how to configure a laptop's OS to let the PC operate with the lid closed and uncap frames on battery (which will drain the battery even faster), but check out some of our reviews and see how long some of these laptops run with Battery Boost enabled. You barely get over an hour in most cases, with some giving an hour and a half. But that's without full-throttle graphics performance. A typical sub-$2,000 laptop can't hang in this manner. Furthermore, cooling becomes an issue if you stuff a laptop into a regular backpack, and it would probably throttle like crazy.

This product was designed for VR specifically. There's no need for the user to alter OS settings or disable battery-saving features, they can just unpack and GO (pun intended). Everything about it was designed for it to be on your back without a fuss.

I can see your point (there are equally-powerful or more-powerful laptops for less), but it's like comparing a tractor to a car because they both have engines. Each device has a specific purpose, and the VR GO's purpose is to immerse yourself even further in VR.
 

kewlguy239

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Exactly. This time next year there may not be much of a backpack PC market. It all depends on how each implementation performs (if wireless adds any latency) and what the purpose is. I can see backpack PCs sticking around for enterprise VR attractions with larger play fields and custom sound stages, and maybe for customers with crumby wireless environments. However, if the Vive wireless adapter doesn't alter the already-awesome experience of VR, then that could have the edge for home users. It's easier to buy a peripheral over a whole new system.
 

problematiq

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According to the manufacture of the Vive wireless pack, (Take with a grain of salt) it is suppose to add latency, but not enough to be noticeable. Also, [strike]I am unsure if they are attaching it to the the homes wireless router or using their own AP. (Access Point)[/strike] Just read up on it, it will be using IEEE 802.11ad (60ghz bout 200 ft range and 6.75 Gbit/s) So it will have it's own private connection to the machine. The downside of using anything over 15Ghz is that pretty much a pang of glass can reflect the signal, so make sure you have LOS. [strike]I was kinda expecting them to use a higher frequency i.g 25 Ghz for their wireless connection to lower the latency. [/strike]

Edit: Added new information.
 

humorific

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Darn! I thought from the name this was going to be a portable system. I was waiting for a true portable solution to use with my drone.
 

Sakkura

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The LAN ports do look a little weird, but they cost next to nothing to implement. And it's not like they're taking up a lot of space that could have been better used for something else.



The jury is still out on the Chinese WiFi kit. It could be trash.
 
Nice start, and as said it's NOT the same as a laptop. What we need now is a massive redesign to shrink the volume further.

I think ideally a VR-capable, Zen + Polaris (or newer) APU + shared HBM2 is going to be the way to go for high-end mobility.
 
BTW, the CPU is a fairly big problem in the short-term. To prevent bottlenecks at 90FPS for demanding games you need to keep the CPU frequency high. That sucks a LOT of power. It doesn't scale so it can be as much as 4x the Wattage for something only giving 2x the performance.

Going forward DX12 and Vulkan games will start optimizing for multi-core at lower frequencies. That will help keep power down.

You can however only get so much out of a CPU so don't expect these tweaks to keep improving things at the same frequency. With Zen almost here, I don't think either company has much left.

You can add some buffers, re-jigger a few things here and there but you can't massively redesign without breaking compatibility (like going with an ARM design).

So again, that means that you'll have a MINIMUM frequency going forward if you want to maintain backwards compatibility with certain games and VR applications.

(Complaints about Intel dragging their feet are not quite accurate for CPU design. As I said you can only tweak things a little bit. AMD is basically jumping to catch up with Intel then I wouldn't expect much more. Intel as a result has concentrated on MOBILE for power efficiency but that all carries over to the desktop anyway.)
 

Sakkura

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No. VR games are not particularly demanding on the CPU. Yeah you need 90FPS, but that's not a problem (unless you want to play BF1 in VR).
 

problematiq

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The kit is made in china (as is most of our electronics) But the wireless adapter is Intel's. (Also most likely made in china)
 

Sakkura

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It was designed in China and demoed in China and only sold in China. And it's separate from the WiFi solution Intel has been working on.
 

problematiq

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You are right, they are not using Intel's wireless. (Sucks) They are using 802.11ad as well though.
 
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