NVIDIA VR Ready Program And VRWorks SDK Empower Developers For The Virtual Reality Onslaught

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2016 is shaping up to be a big year for consumer virtual reality (VR) headsets. The Oculus Rift is now shipping to customers, and the HTC Vive is following closely behind. Then in October, the PlayStation VR will transform the PlayStation 4 gaming experience. But in order for gamers to take full advantage of their newfangled VR headsets, developers actually need the tools to develop immersive virtual environments.

That’s why NVIDIA is launching its VR Ready program to ensure that developers have the tools and technology backing them to create virtual experiences, covering a wide spectrum of fields including medical, digital content creation, manufacturing/construction and architectural design. VR Ready would be nothing without hardware partners to help lead the development push, and luckily NVIDIA has the backing of HP, Dell, and Lenovo, who are all offering VR Ready workstations.

So what exactly makes a PC VR Ready? Well, it starts with the graphics hardware, which NVIDIA knows a thing or two about. On the desktop side, NVIDIA offers Quadro M5000 and M6000 Series GPUs that can be equipped with up to 24GB of memory per card, and can be doubled-up and used in SLI configurations. For mobile workstations, NVIDIA offers the Quadro M5500 with 8GB of RAM.

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Also on tap is NVIDIA’s VRWorks SDK, which offers a number of tools to help develop VR applications including Context Priority, Multi-res Shading, Warp & Blend, Synchronization, GPU Affinity and GPU Direct.

The hardware partners that we mentioned before have a number of professional workstations that are VR Ready including the Lenovo ThinkStation P500/P710/P910, HP Z Workstation, and the Dell Precision T5810/T7810/T7910/R7910. NVIDIA has also enlisted the help of MSI, which has introduced the world’s first VR Ready mobile workstation: the WT72. The MSI WT72 can be equipped with sixth generation Intel Core i7 and Xeon processors, but the star of the show is the NVIDIA Quadro M5500 GPU and its 2048 CUDA cores.

MSI NB WT72 Skylake Photo15

“The NVIDIA VR Ready MSI mobile workstation will help virtual reality become a natural part of our daily lives by making the creation and enjoyment of VR content easy,” states Bob Pette, NVIDIA VP of Professional Visualization.  “MSI has a solid reputation for delivering outstanding machines, and the WT72 is no exception.”

The Quadro M5500 isn’t the only productivity enhancer included with the WT72, as you’ll also find a 17.3-inch UHD 4K (3840x2160 16:9) display, support for up to 64GB of ECC DDR4 memory, six USB 3.0 ports and Thunderbolt connectivity.

Stay tuned for more on VR Ready and other hot graphics technologies as HotHardware reports live from NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference this week.