The Wolfe Graphics Amp Can Make Your MacBook VR-Ready

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Virtual Reality is here and by all accounts it's something that has to be experienced. However, Mac owners have found themselves left in a VR void since Apple laptops historically lack the specs to support VR headsets like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. According to SlashGear, the path to Mac-powered VR might lie in a Kickstarter campaign for a product called The Wolfe (starting at $399).

The Wolfe is essentially a graphics amplifier, similar to what Alienware, Asus and Razer are offering for their laptops. For the uninitiated, a graphics amp is basically a house where your desktop GPU lives. Once connected to your laptop, it bypasses the notebook's GPU in favor of the desktop, allowing the system to tap into the extra graphical oomph.

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The Wolfe

PC graphics amps typically allow owners to add a desktop GPU of their choosing whether its Nvidia or AMD. I personally know the joys of using a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 GPU with an Alienware 13. However, the Wolfe only comes in two flavors: the Wolfe, which uses a GTX 950 or the Wolfe Pro which starts at $540 and has a GTX 970. However, Wolfepack Inc., the company behind the Wolfe has stated on its Kickstarter that it might add a configuration with a GTX 1060 GPU in the future.

Although the Wolfe would give Macbook Pro and Air owners a significant boost in power for traditional gaming, it doesn't meet the rigid standards that HTC and Oculus require. The Wolfe Pro's 970 GPU is the minimum Nvidia desktop GPU that supports high-end VR headsets.  So if you're looking to start exploring virtual realms the Pro is your go-to box.

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The Wolfe

Both the Wolfe and the Pro copy the Macbook's iconic minimalist design, delivering a 2 pound, 7.8 x 5.4 x 2.6-inch silver box in the case of the Wolfe. The Pro is a bit heavier at 3.2 pounds. However instead of a half-eaten apple, you get a badass backlit wolf's paw imprinted on the front. Towards the back, you'll find 3 DisplayPorts, HDMI, DVI-I and a Thunderbolt port along with the power jack. The Thunderbolt jack is compatible with Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3 systems so you can use it on just about any Thunderbolt-enabled notebook. You can also daisy chain a couple of Wolfes if one just isn't enough.

Since the campaign has already hit its $50,000 goal with 28 days left to go, I'm hoping that I'll see the Wolfe in Laptop Mag's office in the future. I guess you can say that I'm hungry for the Wolfe.

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1 comment
  • The1fed Says:

    I think they might be walking into a minefield here... TB3 adds considerable latency, which is bad for past-paced gamers and really bad for VR because it will seriously worsen the motion-sickness factor. That's why TB3 eGPU solutions have not become mainstream, and presumably why MSI and Dell/Alienware have stuck to a direct PCIe connection for their solutions.

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