Nvidia’s next-gen graphics have finally arrived in laptops, and as you can see in our review of the GeForce RTX 3080 GPU for laptops, the mobile version of the Team Green “Ampere” architecture spits out frames at a dizzying speed. But the performance you get from RTX 30 series mobile graphics chips will not necessarily be the same even between two laptops with the same. Equipment inside.
A laptop with GeForce RTX 3070 may not be as fast as another. And it’s even possible that in some cases a slower GPU is theoretically faster than more expensive models.
Yes, you might see a GeForce RTX 3070 laptop that can match or possibly outperform an RTX 3080 laptop in some games, although we’ll need to see more analysis before we can definitively declare it. Either way, you’re going to want to do a lot more homework than before to buy a gaming laptop.
This is all due to some fundamental changes that Nvidia has made to the specifications of the GeForce RTX 30 mobile GPUs. Here’s what you need to know.
Don’t Miss: All Confirmed Nvidia RTX 3060 Laptops.
GeForce RTX 30 Series cores for desktops and laptops
Antes de profundizar en la potencia y la velocidad de reloj -lo que realmente hay que buscar en los portátiles para juegos de Nvidia ahora- vale la pena señalar que estas GPU GeForce RTX serie 30 no son las mismas que se encuentran en las tarjetas gráficas de office. The laptop versions of the RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 do not have the same number of CUDA graphics cores as the desktop models.
- RTX 3080: 8,704 desktop CUDA colors versus 6,144 mobile CUDA colors
- RTX 3070: 5,888 desktop CUDA colors versus 5,120 mobile CUDA colors
- RTX 3060: 3,584 desktop CUDA colors vs. 3,840 mobile CUDA colors
This is a huge change from the last two generations of Nvidia mobile chips. On the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series, the notebook versions of GPUs were identical to their desktop siblings, but simply tuned to consume less power and achieve slower clock speeds. Not anymore.
Nvidia also did not perfectly tune the GPUs of the RTX 30 series notebooks. The GeForce RTX 3080 for mobile suffers from a considerable reduction compared to the desktop version, as it loses over 2,500 CUDA cores.
On paper, the RTX 3080 for gaming laptops has much more in common with the RTX 3070 desktop card. The RTX 3070 for laptops has suffered a considerable, if not ridiculous, blow in its own CUDA core count, while the laptop version of the RTX 3060 has more cores than the desktop graphics card. A madness.
These are still great mobile graphics options, don’t get me wrong. But don’t expect the same performance from a five-pound laptop with a scaled-down version of the RTX 3080 that you’d get from a massive three-slot desktop card. If you want to know more, our GeForce RTX 3080 Notebook GPU review dives into the differences.
Max-Q power and turbidity
The biggest problem for buyers is the extreme flexibility that laptop manufacturers have when it comes to configuring an RTX 30 series GPU in their offerings. The minimum and maximum GPU subsystem power limits vary widely for each GPU, as do the available clock speed options.
These factors are interrelated, as the amount of power pumped into a GPU dramatically affects clock speed and overall performance. But laptops need cooling systems that can dissipate the heat that comes from them, which is why Nvidia allows the wide range of configurations available per GPU.
The GeForce RTX 3080 chip power rating for laptops between 80 and 150 watts allows the chip to accommodate both thin and light laptops and bulky desktop substitutes.
None of this is new. Chip suppliers and laptop manufacturers have been balancing raw performance, superior efficiency, and cooling needs for years.
The design of a laptop is important. But the problem is, now you won’t necessarily know what kind of rough performance to expect when you buy a laptop that has a certain GeForce RTX 30 GPU in it.
Nvidia even removed the Max-Q sub-brand that previously applied to GPU names, knocking out another mobile-class benchmark performance signal. Nvidia introduced its Max-Q technology in the chips in GTX 10 series notebooks, the first to match the CUDA core count of their desktop counterparts.
The Max-Q versions of the GeForce chips had reduced wattage to dramatically increase their power efficiency, allowing the creation of small gaming laptops that are common today, but were unicorns back then.
Reducing these aspects meant that the Max-Q versions would naturally be slower than full portable GPUs, but they were also labeled as such. The GTX 1080 was faster than the GTX 1080 Max-Q, which was slightly faster than the GTX 1070, which was faster than the GTX 1070 Max-Q, and so on. It all made sense.
While previous versions of the Max-Q only referred to the full power of a chip, Nvidia claims that the third-generation version of the Max-Q, which debuted with the series gaming laptops RTX 30, “is more comprehensive. And constitutes a holistic set of platform technologies and a design approach to building powerful and thin notebooks,” according to a statement to Hot Hardware.
Now in addition to fine-tuning raw power, the Max-Q brand also incorporates Nvidia’s Dynamic Boost 2.0 intelligent power management technology, a new Whisper mode that uses AI to achieve configurable sound levels, switching Advanced Optimus graphics and support for resizable BARs.
To complicate matters further, laptop manufacturers can choose which advanced features they support.
All of them are great and welcome technologies, without a doubt. But confusing the meaning of Max-Q without providing another way to locate lower frame rate GPUs makes purchasing a gaming laptop much more difficult.
Which gaming laptop is the best?
Now that Max-Q is no longer just an indicator of GPU power consumption, you will no longer see “Max-Q” after the GPU name on an RTX 30 series laptop even though the creator has reduced the power and speed of the clock. You will only see RTX 3060, RTX 3070, and RTX 3080 laptops.
Does the gaming laptop you are considering buying have a much lower 60W version of the RTX 3060 chip, or a full 115W setup with clocks at max? Something in between? What is faster in esports gaming, a 125W version of the RTX 3070 or a GeForce RTX 3080 80W laptop? Can RTX 3080 laptop read 4K like desktop graphics card? What if it is a model of 150 W or more?
Did you know that a GTX 2070 Max-Q laptop is usually not as powerful as a standard GTX 2070 laptop. It’s more of a game of chance now, unless the specific patterns are carefully considered first.
Nvidia, for its part, encourages – but does not require – its laptop partners to report the total graphics power (TGP) of a chip. “We encourage OEMs to report clocks and other technologies supported by the laptop, such as Advanced Optimus, Dynamic Boost 2, etc.,” the company tells Hot Hardware.
“Ultimately, like all features and specifications of laptops, it is up to the OEM to market what their particular laptop configuration supports.”
Once you have a laptop in your hands, determining its courage shouldn’t be difficult. “To be more transparent about the exact capabilities of a laptop, the RTX 30 series notebooks now display more information than ever before, listing exact TGPs, clocks and supported features,” Nvidia said. .
“You’ll find it on the dashboard, which now shows maximum horsepower (TGP + Boost) and support for key features like Dynamic Boost 2, WhisperMode 2, Advanced Optimus and more, all under the umbrella of Max. Q. “
Reviews matter more than ever
However, this is only useful after purchasing a GeForce RTX 30 gaming laptop. We haven’t seen any examples of vendors listing the TGPs and clock speeds of their portable GPUs on the internet, even if Nvidia recommended it, not even alone. website.
It is a penalty. The most rugged gaming laptops with ruggedized cooling solutions tend to use the most powerful iterations of a GPU, but that’s not always true.
If you can’t find information about the TGP and clock speed of your GeForce RTX 30 gaming laptop online, you’ll need to turn to formal reviews, such as our GeForce RTX 3080 mobile GPU review, which was tested on a Gigabyte Aorus 17 laptop – or on reports from other users to find out exactly what you’re going to get.
Hopefully a website or Reddit thread will pop up with these details as laptops start to go on sale, especially since Nvidia includes this information in its control panel. Software. Our roundup of the best gaming laptops will come in handy when we have looked at more models.
But for now, buy smart: a GeForce RTX 3070 laptop can perform very differently from another, and in the right way, a 3070 machine might even take a low-power 3080 laptop. It is complicated.
Oh, and Nvidia offers the GeForce RTX 3080 mobile chip with 8GB or 16GB of memory. Good luck there.