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Vive Wireless PCI Card: PCI over Thunderbolt 3?

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Does anyone know if the Vive Wireless PCI card will work if plugged into an external PCI enclosure connected to a computer via Thunderbolt 3? I would love to use this adapter on my laptop.

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Well I have good and bad news:

 

Good news: it might not be officially supported, but it installs just fine and SteamVR loads up with wireless enabled. Great!

 

Bad news: It's atrocious to actually use. Latency is really bad, turn your head and a half second later the image turns. SteamVR shows excellent frame rate, but the wireless display acts like it's getting nasty latency and losing some frames. It's unusuble as it is if you try to use thunderbolt enclosures.

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My comments are in a reddit thread here https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/9k8thl/has_anyone_tried_the_vive_wireless_card_with_an/

 

In short, would not recommend. It might work OK on a system where Thunderbolt routes directly through the CPU as someone else mentioned but that may only be on Mac notebooks.

 

Waiting on an M.2 riser cable to try directly attached to the motherboard without TB in the way.

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 wrote:

 

Waiting on an M.2 riser cable to try directly attached to the motherboard without TB in the way.

 

Had any luck with that?

I got my m.2 riser: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077WV73LC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

 

And hooked it up to my laptop's M.2 slot Gen3x2

 

 

Detects find and drivers load up, but VR is basically unplayable.

Extremely jerk, like 2 frames per sec and video keeps going white on and off.

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Did you try it with a short thunderbolt cable? I have an eGPU and it uses a short 3-inch cable specifically meant for high-bandwidth thunderbolt 3. The eGPU doesn't work with longer USB type-C cables.

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You'll probably need a short active thunderbolt 3 40gbps cable https://amzn.to/2SG4c7S.

 

I'm still waiting on my enclosure to arrive, but I'll be testing it with the active cable that came with my eGPU to see if it will work. The m.2 port will have higher bandwidth than then TB3, but I really hope it works so I don't have to switch my m.2 ssd back to SATA just to connect the wigig card.

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Just going to pop in and comment that we're still not encouraging customers to attempt this and that the wireless adapter is still certified strictly for desktop usage.

 

There are a number of hardware, driver, and other software limitations that will prevent most eGPUs from working with the wireless adapter. We've been investigating this behind the scenes and have yet to find something that works reliably enough to recommend - most setups just outright don't work. 

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Ok well I got it and tried it. There's no lag or skipping when something simple is shown, like the loading screen in Steam VR. However in game, there is skipping. It's playable, and I'd say about 80% of the way there, but will induce nausea at an accelerated rate.

My Thunderbolt setup is on an ASRock X370 Gaming-ITX, which apparently has a controller that limits thunderbolt to 20gbs on the motherboard side, so it's not running at 40gbps potential. To be clear, I didn't use an eGPU, but rather a generic Thunderbolt 3 expansion chassis that's supposed to do 40gbps.

 

I'm going to swap the motherboard and try out M.2 to PCIE. I know Vive says this doesn't work, but isn't M.2 basically PCIE (except I'd be connecting it with a slightly longer riser cable). The M.2 is supposed to do 32 gbps. Seeing as how my thunderbolt at 20gbps got almost usable results, I'm sure the other guy who did the M.2 setup was doing something wrong. Will report back in about a month when the riser arrives.

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