NVIDIA has, of course, announced the release of their new RTX 40-Series GPUs for next-gen gaming laptops in 2023. This new line of graphics cards will indeed bring some exciting changes to the gaming laptop market, with a boat-load of extra VRAM and wider power limit ranges. In this article, we're going to take a closer look at the specs and features of the new RTX 40-Series, and compare them to the still very powerful (and popular) RTX 30-Series.
RTX 40-Series Graphics for Gaming Laptops
The RTX 40-Series includes five different graphics card options for gaming laptops: the RTX 4090, 4080, 4070, 4060, and 4050. One of the most notable changes in this new line of graphics cards is the increased VRAM. The lowest tier - that is still a great little spec for Esports and less demanding titles - GPU, the RTX 4050, now has 6GB of VRAM, while the RTX 4060 moves up to 8GB compared to the 6GB found in the previous RTX 3060, RTX 2060, and even GTX 1060 before that. This uplift essentially means the GPU is able to handle and display more intricate images and textures on the graphics chip, leading to improved performance.
Improved Power Efficiency
Another welcome change (for the gamers out there who don't like their legs toasted) in the RTX 40-Series is the wider power limit ranges. Previous generation mobile RTX 3070 GPU started at 80W minimum. The RTX 4070 can go as low as 35W, which is made possible due to the improved power efficiency that NVIDIA cannot stop talking about - for good reason. As anyone in a black and bright green t-shirt will tell you, NVIDIA's new Ada Lovelace architecture can compete against last gen 30 series with just 30% of the power.
Naturally, many have dismissed the screenshots and demos with a handful of salt, citing very little parity between last generation and new generation. For one thing, RTX 30-Series GPUs don't have DLSS 3, so it's hardly apples vs apples. The first benchmark news we saw from GeekBench and NotebookCheck.net suggest bad drivers and low wattage might be the reason we haven't observed these lofty claims from Team Green just yet. Time is a great healer, however, and NVIDIA will be on the driver patch track right now righting this.
NVIDIA is showing some pretty big gains in gaming performance with the new RTX 40-Series as well. In a comparison graph, NVIDIA has demonstrated a 1.5x boost in games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla or Red Dead Redemption 2, games that don’t currently implement DLSS 3. The massive 3x to 4x improvements are seen in games with Ray Tracing enabled. However, it's important to take these results with any remaining grains of salt and remain sceptical until we can get some trusty benchmark data.
RTX 4090: Less CUDA, But Still Powerful
NVIDIA also announced the flagship, scene-stealing RTX 4090 graphics for laptops, which may sound crazy, but it's important to note that the laptop version of the RTX 4090 has a significant 68% less CUDA cores compared to the desktop version. The fat has been trimmed for a mobile chassis, and this of course means that the laptop version will have less power and performance compared to the desktop version. To be fair, this is like trying to compact a Lamborghini Gallardo inside of a Ford Fiesta, so there's bound to be sacrifice. However, even with the reduced CUDA cores, the RTX 4090 for laptops will still be a powerful graphics card for gaming and other demanding tasks, and deserve their 40-Series nametag.
RTX 4090 Mobile GPU
- CORES: 9728
- TMUS: 304
- ROPS: 112
- MEMORY SIZE: 16 GB
- MEMORY TYPE: GDDR6
- BUS WIDTH: 256 bit