EVGA Releases GeForce GTX 980 Ti VR Edition

Subject: Graphics Cards | February 10, 2016 - 05:59 PM |
Tagged: VR, vive vr, Oculus, evga, 980 Ti

You might wonder what makes a graphics card “designed for VR,” but this is actually quite interesting. Rather than plugging your headset into the back of your desktop, EVGA includes a 5.25” bay that provides 2x USB 3.0 ports and 1x HDMI 2.0 connection. The use case is that some users will want to easily connect and disconnect their VR devices, which, knowing a few indie VR developers, seems to be a part of their workflow. The same may be true of gamers, but I'm not sure.

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While the bay allows for everything, including the HDMI plug via an on-card port, to be connected internally, you will need a spare USB 3.0 header on your motherboard to hook it up. It would have been interesting to see whether EVGA could have attached a USB 3.0 controller on the add-in board, but that might have been impossible (or unpractical) given that the PCIe connector would need to be shared with the GPU (not to mention the complexity of also adding a USB 3.0 controller to the board). Also, I expect motherboards should have at least one. If not, you can find USB 3.0 add-in cards with internal headers.

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The card comes in two sub-versions, one with the NVIDIA-style blower cooler, and the other with EVGA's ACX 2.0+ cooler. I tend to prefer exposed fan GPUs because they're easier to blow air into after a few years, but you might have other methods to control dust.

Both are currently available for $699.99 on Newegg.com, while Amazon only lists the ACX2.0+ cooler version, and that's out of stock. It is also $699.99, though, so that should be what to expect.

Source: EVGA

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February 10, 2016 | 06:21 PM - Posted by RadioActiveLobster

The Consumer version of the Rift uses "3x USB 3.0 ports plus 1x USB 2.0 port" and 1x HDMI(per their spec page)

They seem to be a few ports short...

February 11, 2016 | 02:00 AM - Posted by holyneo

Good point, I have no place on my case to install this anyways....not even a drive.

February 11, 2016 | 09:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

1x USB3.0 for the HMD itself, 1x USB3.0 for the included Constellation camera, and 1x USB 2.0 for the XB1 controller wireless adapter. for 2x USB 3.0 and 1x USB 2.0 for the stock setup.

If you later pick up Touch (the tracked controllers) then that's an extra USB 3.0 port for the included additional Constellation camera. If you buy extra cameras for extra tracking coverage, those also need USB 3.0 ports.

February 11, 2016 | 09:57 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Well the assumption is that your case will have two more USB 3.0 front panel connectors.

February 11, 2016 | 03:43 PM - Posted by assassngreed

Additionally, let's assume you have that extra USB 3.0 expansion on your motherboard. It's been my belief since I saw this product that EVGA jumped the gun on manufacturing these front panel connectors, and when Oculus changed the req spec to 3x USB 3.0 they just "F*ck" and shipped them anyway.

February 10, 2016 | 09:28 PM - Posted by Shambles (not verified)

So you can unplug your front USB headers to connect these front USB headers, what an amazing idea!

February 11, 2016 | 09:58 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Many motherboards now have two different USB 3.0 front panel headers, which is what this is targeting, clearly.

February 11, 2016 | 11:24 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Only newer X99 and Intel 100 series chipset based motherboards have dual front USB 3.0 headers. older motherboards(exception being Gigabyte Z87 boards) all had single internal USB 3.0 header. even in case of newer motherboards not all boards have dual USB 3.0 headers so this is bummer.

February 11, 2016 | 02:29 AM - Posted by Benjamin E Smith (not verified)

This actually seems seriously useful.

February 11, 2016 | 05:09 AM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

OR I just could've bought the friggin' add-in card separately, no?

February 11, 2016 | 08:41 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hmm... +$80 for two USB ports and an HDMI port.

February 11, 2016 | 10:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey, it probably cost 10 bucks to put the mini-HDMI port on the end of the card. Most 5-1/4" bay adapters with USB ports are under 15 bucks, as well, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say 20.

So they added about 30 bucks to the cost to manufacture and ship the card. How else is Nvidia going to profit if they don't charge 80 bucks for it?

I mean, they're so broke and hurting so much, they have to make profit wherever they can, right?

Oh, wait, my bad, they're just milking.

February 11, 2016 | 03:41 PM - Posted by mrvco (not verified)

Or you could save some money and give your PC case the ol' reach around and use existing ports.

February 12, 2016 | 08:49 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"How else is Nvidia going to profit if they don't charge 80 bucks for it?"

EVGA buys the chips from Nvidia. EVGA is getting all the markup from this, Nvidia gets exactly the same as from any other non-reference 980ti board.

February 12, 2016 | 05:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You are correct; that should have said EVGA, not Nvidia. That would be my mistake.

February 11, 2016 | 11:17 AM - Posted by funandjam

I get it, it's a matter of convenience, oh but the VRReady branding is giving me a VRReady headache!

lol, even Paul from Paul's Hardware made fun of the branding:

"At last, GPU that supports VR "

February 22, 2016 | 03:42 PM - Posted by Scottly (not verified)

Why not add a 3-4 port USB 3 hub so you don't eat up all of your onboard USB 3.0 ports?

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