MSI Outs The World's First VR-Ready Mobile Workstation

MSI has announced a new version of its 17-inch WT72 laptop specifically tailored for software developers working in virtual reality. Packing in an Nvidia Quadro M5500 8GB GPU, it can be used in conjunction with HTC Vive or Oculus Rift as a complete VR workstation solution for animation and design professionals. (We just want one to play Bullet Train on.)

MSI WT72 was already one of the most powerful business laptops on the market when it launched in 2015. The addition of a dedicated Quadro M5500 graphics card provides the grunt required to design, render and explore virtual environments in a mobile setting; be it a 360-degree movie, a virtual-reality video game or a professional VR application.

Here's a look at the new GPU powering the laptop's VR chops:

Quadro M5500
CUDA Cores 2048
Boost Clock ~1140MHz
Memory Clock 6.6GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 256-bit
FP64 1/32
TDP 150W
Architecture Maxwell 2
VR Ready Yes

The laptop also comes with a choice of CPUs ranging from the Xeon E3-1505M v5 to the Intel Core i7-6700HQ. Other noteworthy specs include a 256GB SSD, 1TB hard drive, six USB 3.0 ports, Thunderbolt 3 and a Blu-ray burner. You can also upgrade the display to a 4K panel.

According to Nvidia's senior director of professional graphics Sandeep Gupte, the MSI WT72 will provide one chief advantage over traditional VR workstations -- in short, it allows creative professionals to work on the road and show working demos to clients outside of the workplace.

"These high-end content creators working in 3D animation, VR content and 4k or 6k video really care about horse power. People working on creating VR content can keep working on a customer or partner site," Gupte explained.

"They will be able to look at their content and show it to others. They can make adjustments [to their code], put on the headset and then make more corrections as necessary. It's just a lot more convenient."

Presumably, the laptop could also be used by gaming enthusiasts looking for a mobile VR solution that fits in a briefcase. (It certainly looks the part with its sleek black styling and blue-lit keyboard.) However, with prices starting north of $5000, you might be better off sticking to a desktop.

Lifehacker travelled to GTC 2016 in San Jose, California as a guest of Nvidia.


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