Monday March 04, 2019

Oculus Quest Features an Active Cooling Fan

In a forum AMA that UploadVR spotted over the weekend, Oculus Director of Ecosystem Chris Pruett said that the upcoming Oculus Quest will be "significantly faster" that Facebook's last mainstream standalone headset, the Oculus Go. This should seem fairly obvious, as the Quest will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC instead of the 821 found in the Go, but the chipset change isn't the only thing that will speed up the quest. UploadVR pointed out that the Go already uses a heatpipe to reign in the 821's tendency to throttle under sustained loads, but Facebook is taking things one step farther by adding a cooling fan to the Quest. The AMA also implied that headset and controller tracking is hardware accelerated, as the Oculus staff said tracking "'doesn't affect' performance."

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Quest goes even further with cooling by adding an active cooling fan. This has rarely ever been done with ARM processors. The new Apple TV and the HTC Vive Focus are the only instances on the consumer market we know of. With the active cooling system, Quest should be able to have higher clockspeeds than smartphones or Oculus Go. Everything still needs to be rendered for each eye but the higher clock speed should provide more complex and detailed virtual worlds compared with Go. Of course, Quest will still not come close to the power of a PC.