Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 Mobile Graphics Cards: A Guide
Let’s take a look at Nvidia’s new graphics cards, naming difficulties, and which laptop is right for you.
At CES 2021, Nvidia made a big (but anticipated) announcement of the next generation of graphics for gaming laptops, namely the GeForce RTX 30 series notebook GPUs. Good news, graphics cards are awesome! Bad news: Nvidia again complicates the user’s task by completely confusing the names.
From removing the Max-Q markings, which makes it difficult for the average consumer to identify the GPU, to graphics with limited performance, all the way to the RTX 3070, whose clock speeds are higher than the RTX 3080, it will give you a headache. What happened to the days when the 80 was better than the default 70?
There are several different aspects at once, as some 30-series Nvidia GPUs are better suited for software developers as well as gamers who are looking for extra fluidity in games, i.e. over 60 frames per second. Understanding the new generation of mobile graphics is a little more difficult, especially since the RTX 30 no longer so obviously matches the numbers on the video card case. But the main thing to take away from this guide is that absolutely everything is monsters in the new series of Nvidia graphics cards.
Luckily, we already got the first laptops with Nvidia 30-series graphics cards, including the latest ASUS TUF Dash F15 and Gigabyte Aero 15 with RTX 3070, Aorus 15G with RTX 3070 Max-Q and Alienware m17 R4 with RTX 3080. They gave us the best. an idea of how good different graphics cards are.
Consider this article as our guide to understanding Nvidia RTX 30 series GPUs so you can better understand which mobile graphics card should be in your next laptop. Not all information is disclosed here, we are also preparing a deeper, full immersion guide.
Nvidia RTX 3060: What You Need to Know?
(Image credit: Nvidia)
The Nvidia RTX 3060 is still an entry-level graphics card capable of outperforming the RTX 3080 in terms of increased clock speeds. Specifically, the RTX 3060 GPU is equipped with 3,840 Nvidia CUDA cores, an increased clock range from 1283 to 1703 MHz and GPU power from 60W to 115W.
If that sounds like gibberish (that’s what the manual is, after all), generally the more CUDA cores a graphics card has, the faster it can perform graphics tasks. In turn, the more the number of CUDA cores, the more realistic graphics are available to the video card.
When it comes to clock speeds, Nvidia tends to consider increasing clock speeds for the sake of running smoothly with a lot of tasks, especially in games.
Powering the GPU Subsystem? It’s a little more complicated here. You can think of this parameter as Total Graphics Power (TGP). As an example, the 115W RTX 3060 can outperform the 80W RTX 3080 depending on the given workload.
Max-Q graphics card markings used to define the end of the range for a laptop GPU, but now that Nvidia or the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) don’t mention if an RTX graphics card is a Max-Q variant, it’s much harder to predict how good a laptop GPU is. This is why you should read laptop reviews before making a purchase.
The RTX 3060 is definitely for those looking for the performance boost over the graphics, making laptops with these graphics cards fantastic mid-range gaming laptops. The potential boost in clock speed and high power mean you’ll get smoother frame playback.
Nvidia RTX 3070: What You Need to Know?
(Image credit: Future)
The RTX 3070 mobile graphics cards appear to be the most popular GPUs in next-generation laptops and are likely to be the most used by OEMs. Specifications include 5120 CUDA cores, clock speeds of 1290-1620 MHz and 80-125 Watts.
Both the Gigabyte Aero 15 and ASUS TUF Dash F15 have been gaming-tested. Running Assasin’s Creed Odyssey (1080p, Very High), the Aero 15 hit 65 FPS, beating the average for gaming laptops (61 FPS) and TUF Dash F15 (51 FPS).
In Grand Theft Auto V (1080p, Very High), the Aero 15 scored 96 FPS, beating the premium gaming laptop average (87 FPS) and the ASUS TUF Dash F15 (84 FPS).
We also ran 4K gaming tests. In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Valhalla tests, the Aero 15 squeezed out 35 and 29 frames per second, respectively. That’s roughly half the frame rate of 1080p results.
The RTX 3070 is definitely becoming a powerful graphics drive, you will notice that the 3070 has a higher clock speed and base engine power than the RTX 3080 and even the RTX 3090, which is crazy. Using a mid-range graphics card on laptops means they’ll be cheaper than RTX 3080 laptops.
Nvidia RTX 3080: What You Need to Know?
(Image credit: Future)
The RTX 3080 boasts 6144 CUDA cores, clocked at 1245-1710 MHz and 50-150 + watts. These specs could potentially disappoint users who spent money on an RTX 3080 in a laptop but didn’t get much clock speed or power, especially when a laptop with an RTX 3070 or even 3060 outperforms. However, the laptop certainly has a high performance potential and better picture detail.
In our review, the Alienware m17 R4 RTX 3080 took full advantage of the laptop’s 360Hz refresh rate. Powered by mobile graphics and 16GB of VRAM, the m17 R4 tested Assassin’s Creed Odyssey at 78fps, above the 60fps average for premium gaming laptops. Compared to the Aorus 17G, which is also equipped with an RTX 3080, but only managed 65 FPS.
During the test in Grand Theft Auto V, the m17 R4 achieved 120 frames per second, well beyond 89 FPS (average in the category), as well as the Aorus 17G (92 FPS).
Anyway, this situation shows different GPU power of the RTX 3080. And while both mobile GPUs showed impressive frame rates, the m17 R4 easily outperformed the Aorus 17G. Moral lesson: Read reviews and testimonials before buying.
Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series showed just how powerful laptops can be. But these are no longer simple totals, where the 70 is better than the 60 and so on, as each 30-series GPU offers different performance and performance potential. Finally, we recommend that you check out our roundup of the best laptops, especially if they come with RTX 30 graphics cards. We’ve got everything you need to dive deeper into the intricacies and intricacies of Nvidia’s RTX 30 series.