Laptops with Nvidia RTX 3000: Frequently Asked Questions

Notebook Alienware m17 R4 (RTX 3080)

Laptops with Nvidia RTX 3000: Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about Nvidia RTX 30 series graphics cards.

Nvidia’s latest line of graphics cards, the RTX 3000 series, has garnered a lot of attention from desktop users. Now it’s the turn of mobile devices. New graphics cards can be found on a wide variety of laptops, from gaming laptops to next-generation ultrabooks.

These 30-series GPUs are built on Nvidia’s Ampere microarchitecture, which takes everything from Turing (RTX 2000) GPUs and then becomes faster and more power efficient.

So, what exactly does the RTX 3000 graphics cards offer to justify the title of “next generation”? Let’s see.


Ray tracing plays an important role in next generation games. It was implemented with 10-series video cards, where it offered limited software rendering, but only received serious performance on 20-series video cards. Ray tracing is a process that allows games to show real-time natural reflections on shiny and translucent surfaces, instead of using low quality preset lighting and rasterization methods that only look like reflections.

The result is more believable reflections and a better “presence” of materials on the screen. Ray tracing also helps create more detailed lighting effects that behave just like real light sources. You just need to look at Minecraft RTX with active ray tracing once to understand the potential of this technology.

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Alienware m17 R4. (Image credit: Future)

Expect ray tracing to play an increasingly important role in modern games, you can find ray tracing in most AAA games today, including Call of Duty: Cold War and Cyberpunk 2077.


Ray tracing may make most of the headlines, but deep learning supersampling (DLSS) is the main feature that enables ray tracing. What’s the point of beautiful ray tracing if it eats up framerate? This is where DLSS and tensor (smart) cores come to the rescue. Both technologies rely on the capabilities of an AI neural network to predict the image data that the next frame will contain, resulting in a reduction in the workload on the graphics card to render that frame. The end result is an increase in frame rates despite heavy graphics settings.


RTX 3000 graphics cards come with a suite of streaming and video creation tools: GeForce Experience, Nvidia Broadcast, and Nvidia Studio for capturing and streaming audio/video signals. Each solution takes advantage of AI cores to speed up render times, improve streaming quality, and reduce background noise.


Max-Q is Nvidia’s solution for GPUs that are much better suited to mobile devices. This is a separate class of video cards that includes several technologies at once that help increase battery life, reduce the noise level of a video card under load, and much more. Two key features of this technology are Dynamic Boost and WhisperMode, both of which have been redesigned from RTX 2000 graphics cards to optimize performance with AI support DLSS – that’s right, now DLSS not only improves frame rates, but also saves your battery and extends its life cycle .

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Nvidia RTX 30 graphics chip

(Image credit: Nvidia)

Dynamic Boost helps your system consume power more efficiently while boosting performance. WhisperMode provides controlled noise reduction with minimal battery drain and reduces laptop heat.

Then there’s Advanced Optimus, which intelligently switches between graphics chips (either a discrete Nvidia RTX 3000 graphics card or a less demanding integrated GPU chip) depending on the workload. You can customize how and when the graphics will switch. When you’re not using a powerful 30-series graphics card all the time, you’re extending your laptop’s battery life.


Video cardRTX 3080 LaptopRTX 3070 LaptopRTX 3060 Laptop
CUDA cores614451203840
Clock frequency (MHz)1245–17101290–16201283–1703
TDP (W)50 – 150+80 — 12560 — 115
video memory8 — 16 Gb GDDR68 Gb GDDR66 Gb GDDR6
RT cores2nd generation2nd generation2nd generation
Tensor cores3rd generation3rd generation3rd generation

The 30-series graphics cards rely on Nvidia’s new Ampere architecture, which adopts the Turing 20-series design. Changes include a new 8nm manufacturing process that has shrunk from the previous generation’s 12nm. The overclocking frequency has increased from 1590 MHz on the RTX 2080 to 1710 MHz on the RTX 3080, and the amount of available video memory has increased to 16 GB on the flagship RTX 3080, while the rest of the graphics cards of the previous series were limited to 8 GB. The TDP (power consumption) for the RTX 3080 was 115W, which puts the graphics cards on par with the previous generation, although laptops can consume more than 150W in some configurations to improve performance by reducing battery life.

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Alienware m17 R4 (RTX 3080)

Alienware m17 R4. (Image credit: Future)

When it comes to mobile graphics cards, the RTX 3080 will remain the market leader for some time to come.

Laptops with RTX 3000 graphics cards have been on sale since the end of January.

Several laptops were unveiled at CES 2021 and were the first to feature 30-series graphics cards.

Acer showed Triton 300 and Helios 300, Gigabyte released a new series of four G-Series mid-range laptops, offering combinations of AMD / Intel processors. Gigabyte also showed off a new line of high performance laptops, including the latest Gigabyte Aero 15, Aorus 15G and Aorus 17G, which will hit the market with 30-series graphics cards. We’ve also seen the Alienware m17 R4 which is also powered by the RTX 3000.

Read the complete RTX 3000 Mobile Graphics Guide.

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