Back when the original NVIDIA RTX graphics cards released, we noticed that the VirtualLink USB Type-C port was not compulsory for the RTX 2060 and RTX 2070.
More of the new NVIDIA RTX Super cards now support VirtualLink, but still far from all of them.
What is VirtualLink
VirtualLink is a new USB-C single cable standard for future VR headsets and the GPUs/laptops they connect to. It’s intended to simplify the setup process of VR and ensure compatibility with USB and power requirements of future headsets. It also allows gaming laptops to guarantee support for VR.
It provides headsets with a minimum of 15 Watts of power and 10 Gbit/sec of USB data. That’s more power than three USB 3.0 ports would provide, and as much data as two would. Furthermore, VirtualLink GPUs must include a standards compliant USB controller for this data.
If you’re not sure why it’s important, here’s Why The VirtualLink USB-C Port Matters.
RTX Didn’t Make It Mandatory
While the RTX Founders Edition cards had VirtualLink, many partner cards did not. On the most affordable RTX GPU, the 2060, just one partner card featured the port.
Check out our list of Every Graphics Card And Laptop With The VirtualLink USB-C Port for a full rundown.
This decision could have consequences in the long term. Consumer PC VR headsets will need to continue to support legacy ports, which may mean shipping with a power adapter and increased costs.
RTX Super Is Better, But Still Lacking
A total of 7 partner RTX 2060 Super cards feature the VirtualLink port:
- EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER XC ULTRA GAMING [08G-P4-3163-KR]
- EVGA RTX 2060 SUPER XC ULTRA GAMING [08G-P4-3163-KR]
- ASUS ROG Strix GeForce® RTX 2060 SUPER [ROG-STRIX-RTX2060S-8G-GAMING]
- ASUS ROG Strix GeForce® RTX 2060 SUPER™ Advanced edition [ROG-STRIX-RTX2060S-A8G-GAMING]
- ASUS ROG Strix GeForce® RTX 2060 SUPER™ OC edition [ROG-STRIX-RTX2060S-O8G-GAMING]
- GIGABYTE RTX 2060 SUPER™ GAMING OC [GV-N206SGAMING-OC-8GC]
- GIGABYTE AORUS GeForce® RTX 2060 SUPER [GV-N206SAORUS-8GC]
That’s a big change over the one original 2060 card. But that still means the majority of cards do not support VirtualLink. Meanwhile, no AMD GPU on the market supports VirtualLink, not even the recently released RX 5700 XT.
NVIDIA and AMD are both founding members of VirtualLink, so it is possible the companies make it mandatory in their next architectures.