February 6, 2023

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This is why VR headsets don’t work on many new laptops

From Claus Ludwig
VR headsets like the Valve Index and Oculus Rift & Co work on some gaming laptops, and Intel Alder Lake and Thunderbolt 4 have put an end to that.

If you are running a VR headset on your PC, you are using a display port or a USB-C connection with Thunderbolt 3. On the other hand, many laptops don’t have a dedicated display port, so you have to use Thunderbolt to connect to a VR headset . As Notebookcheck reports, it will be difficult to connect VR headsets to many laptops in the future. If you have Thunderbolt 4 and your current Alder Lake CPU from Intel installed, you can use it Do not connect Valve Index & Co.

Keep your eyes open when buying a laptop

The background is that Intel combined USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 on its 12th-generation Core i chipset, but it made a huge difference. The Port Controller links display port streams exclusively to the Intel iGPU. With earlier Intel CPUs, DP signals could be forwarded to a discrete graphics chip from AMD or Nvidia, so that there was enough graphics performance for a VR headset. With the twelfth iteration of Core i chips, this is no longer the case and VR headsets can no longer be used for gaming on laptops. Intel justifies the decision with better energy efficiency and therefore a longer battery life. Incidentally, Intel has also removed support for Ultra HD Blu-ray from Alder Lake.

If you still want to play Valve Index & Co. On a gaming laptop, you must use a model that has its own display port connection. The VR headset can only be played directly on DP. In theory, laptop manufacturers could also have a second Thunderbolt controller installed on the motherboard, but very few laptop manufacturers would be able to afford these. Some gaming laptops no longer support VR headsets at all. The XMG Neo 15 with Intel Alder Lake, which costs at least 2,000 euros It does not support virtual reality headsets, for example. Not everyone who owns a laptop with an AMD Ryzen can connect a VR headset via USB-C at all, as there is no Thunderbolt support.

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Also worth reading: Intel Alder Lake and Rocket Lake: This is why Blu-ray UHD can no longer be played

VR Laptop Gaming Headset Set:

  • If you own a gaming laptop with Intel Alder Lake, you often can’t use a VR headset on it.
  • Although Intel integrates USB-C with Thunderbolt 4 natively into the chipset with Alder Lake, DisplayPort streams can only be controlled by the Intel iGPU and no longer by discrete graphics chips from AMD Radeon or Nvidia.
  • If you want to play the Valve Index and other VR headsets on a gaming laptop, you have to use a laptop that has a connection to its display port.

source: Notebook check