VR developer focused on creating immersive storytelling experiences.
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January 4th, 2024
So you own a Meta Quest 2 / Meta Quest 3 and you’re looking to take your VR gaming to another level? Well I have great news for you: PCVR graphics are next level compared to standalone VR, and the immersion will blow your mind.
Seriously, you can’t believe how amazing it is to play games on an actual desktop GPU (graphics card) instead of a mobile processor on the Quest 2/3.
With that said, finding a laptop that’s compatible with the Quest 2 or 3 isn’t cheap. VR is extremely GPU-intensive, and powerful GPUs can quickly get expensive. Today, I’ll show you the cheapest options you can look out for, some good-value options, and also the best laptops for the Meta Quest 3 for those who are fortunate enough to afford it. Here we go:
Desktop components are more powerful than laptop components: Even if they have the same name, an RTX 4080 Graphics card on a desktop is more powerful than one on a laptop, since the laptop uses a mobile version of that GPU.
For this reason, always go for a computer for Quest 3 if possible, although I understand this isn’t possible for everybody.
Gaming laptops are prone to overheating: Given how power intensive VR can be, your laptop is going to get really hot.
One thing you can do is place a piece of cardboard at the back of the laptop, so heat dissipates faster. However, there’s very little that can be done about a GPU overheating. Cooling pads have very minimal effect.
The best you can do is play in cool conditions – have an aircon on, or a fan pointing towards the laptop.
Some GPUs are significantly smaller than others: For example, an RTX 4080 GPU is going to be much larger and heavier than an RTX 4060. This should be factored in if you care about portability.
Render Resolution: In SteamVR; there’s a setting called “Render Resolution,” also known as supersampling. Essentially this allows you to change what resolution the game gets rendered at. This can greatly impact a game’s visuals, adding to the immersion while adding a little more stress to your system.
130% render resolution is the “sweet spot” where the graphics start looking good
150% render resolution is ideal if your PC can handle it. Past this point is diminishing returns where you won’t see much gains for the amount of processing power required.
100% render resolution looks okay, but you’ll experience some artifacts in some games.
Below 100% starts to look bad
Although a laptop might pass the minimum specs for VR, I recommend you should aim for a laptop than can render most games at 130% or more if you can afford it.
Choosing the Right GPU
The GPU is the most important component for VR. I recommend you read my guide on the best graphics cards for Quest 3. This guide can apply to laptops as well.
For laptops, my recommendation is:
Aim for an RTX 4060 or RTX 4070 if you can afford it. These are the best-value graphics cards.
Get an RTX 3060 or RTX 2070 Super if you’re on a budget, or look for a sale. Try not to go below these.
Get an RTX 4080 if you want the best possible and can afford it.
The 6 Best VR-Ready Laptops For Meta Quest 2 and 3
The HP Victus Gaming Laptop is a great laptop for the Meta Quest 3. I frequently use this laptop for VR demos (e.g. showcasing VR to friends and family) and it always blows their mind. You can play the most intense VR games with smooth frame rates on this laptop.
Choose this laptop if you’re looking for good-value.
GPU: The HP Victus comes with an RTX 4060 graphics card – which can comfortably run most games on 130-150% render resolution at 72 Hz refresh rate. You’ll even be able to push the refresh rates to 90 Hz for some games.
The great thing about the RTX 4060 GPU is that it isn’t significantly weaker than it’s desktop counterpart. The 4060 on a desktop only performs marginally better than the 4060 on laptop, making this the ideal graphics card for laptop users. It’s also significantly smaller than the other 40-series graphics cards.
Ram: There’s 32 GB of DDR5 RAM – plenty enough for any VR game, and allowing you plenty of multi-tasking capabilities. For instance, you can open 50 Chrome tabs while playing VR. The most you’ll ever need for a VR game is 16 GB RAM.
Storage: It also comes with 2 TB SSD – plenty of storage space and an Intel Core i7-13700HX processor – more than powerful enough for any VR game. SSDs are quicker than traditional HDDs, meaning faster load times for games and applications.
Cheaper Options: There’s also a cheaper option for 1 TB storage, in case you want to save money. I personally need 2 TB, since games are massive nowadays, but if you’re very efficient with using storage and don’t mind uninstalling games, then 1 TB is perfectly fine!
For those looking for an even cheaper option, but want to keep the RTX 4060 graphics card, this is the same laptop, but instead comes with an Intel Core i5-12500H(12-Core) processor – which is still suitable for VR, as it doesn’t rely on the processor as much as the GPU. It also comes with a smaller screen at 15.6″ vs. the previous 16.1.”
The biggest difference maker is this laptop doesn’t have Wi-Fi 6E support – which gives access to the 6Ghz Wi-Fi band. This is only important if you’re planning on using Air Link and have invested hundreds of dollars into a router than can support Wi-Fi 6E. If you’re unsure of what this means, read my post on the best routers for Quest 3.
Ultimately, most routers only support 5Ghz band, so you’re probably fine.
RAM and storage can be customized for different prices. 16 GB of RAM will be enough for VR, however, there won’t be any room for multi-tasking. 32 GB RAM is the sweet spot.
If you’re looking for a budget laptop for the Meta Quest 3, your best bet is looking for a laptop that’s on sale. Ideally, it should have one of these graphics cards: RTX 3060, RTX 4060 or RTX 2070 Super.
GPU: The MSI THINGF63 comes with a RTX 4060 graphics card, which as mentioned above, will smoothly handle all VR games on high render resolution. There’s also an option to swap to an RTX 3060 for a slightly cheaper price. The 3060 is still very capable of handling PCVR on the Quest 3, although you’ll mostly be playing on 72 Hz refresh rate.
RAM and Storage: It comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM, which is sufficient for VR and 1TB NVMe SSD.
Weight: 4.13 lbs (or 1.87 kg) – on the lighter side for gaming laptops.
Despite being a cheap, budget laptop, most people will be very pleased with what this can offer.
All the above laptops are also recommended for Quest 2. This one is just a slightly cheaper option.
Since the Quest 2 has fewer pixels than the Quest 3, it’s not as GPU-hungry. The RTX 3060 can do just fine on a Quest 3, so on a Quest 2, there’s a bit of breathing room to push the render resolution settings a bit higher.
GPU: In terms of graphics cards, this is the lowest I can recommend (for both the Quest 2 and Quest 3) in order to get a good VR experience. The RTX 3060 is similar to the RTX 2070 Super, which my old PC used. You’ll be able to smoothly maintain frame rates of 72 Hz with this laptop, although it might be a struggle to maintain 90 Hz refresh rate.
Most games will run fine on 130% render resolution as well, so the graphics will look really good.
Ram and Storage: There’s 16GB of DDR5 RAM, which is sufficient for VR, although you’ll be limited in multi-tasking capabilities. There’s 512 GB SSD storage, which is quite small, but there’s options for external storage if needed.
The MSI Stealth-17 is a premium level laptop for those looking for the highest performance possible.
GPU: It comes with an RTX 4080 graphics. The leap from RTX 4070 to 4080 is also massive – on average, I was getting 29 higher fps on the 4080!
The 4080 graphics card is designed for 4K gaming and can smoothly render the complex, immersive environments in VR games. You’ll be able to really push the boundaries of VR with this GPU.
Intel Core i9-13900H Processor: This is a high-end, powerful CPU. It’s more than capable of handling the demands of VR gaming, ensuring smooth performance and quick processing.
RAM and Storage: RAM and storage are customizable for different prices. I would go with 32 GB of RAM and 1-2 TB of storage, however, this is up to you.
17.3″ QHD 240Hz Display: The large, high-resolution screen with a fast refresh rate will make regular gaming visually stunning. For VR, the display itself isn’t as crucial since you’ll be using a VR headset, but it’s a great feature for general use.
Also comes with a laptop stand for better cooling.
Pricing can greatly vary depending on RAM and storage, which you can check out here (Amazon).
Overall, those were the best laptops for Meta Quest 2/3.
If you’re looking for value, I recommend choosing a laptop with a RTX 4060 or RTX 4070 graphics card (depending on your budget).
For a cheaper solution, wait until there’s a sale, or get one with an RTX 3060 or RTX 2070 Super.
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