Nvidia not only announced that it would disable the RTX 4070 Ti GPU for desktops at CES today a new range of RTX 4000 series laptop GPUs. Nvidia claims that the new GPUs will offer big performance and power efficiency gains, especially for the low-end GPUs that ship in the gaming laptops that most people buy.
The RTX 4000 series laptop GPUs use the same Ada Lovelace architecture as the desktop parts and will come with the same architectural advantages: DLSS 3 support, hardware-accelerated AV1 video encoding, and a more efficient manufacturing process that Nvidia wants to improve on Energy -Efficiency. (Nvidia didn’t provide any details in their presentation, but presumably it’s the same custom 5nm TSMC process used for the desktop Lovelace cards).
We don’t have exact specs for any of the GPUs, and most of Nvidia’s performance comparisons have been pretty abstract. We know there will be GPUs in the 4050, 4060, 4070, 4080, and (for the first time in laptops) 4090 classes. We also expect manufacturers to be able to set specific performance targets for each GPU, offering better performance in designs that can handle it while optimizing power efficiency in thinner and lighter laptops. We know that every GPU will continue to use “ultra-low-voltage” GDDR6 memory instead of GDDR6X, just like the previous generation RTX 3000 series laptop GPUs.
We also know that an unnamed Lovelace GPU (believed to be the 4090) can beat an unnamed Ampere GPU (believed to be the RTX 3080 Ti) by various amounts across games. These abstract performance comparisons are made more difficult because the performance charts provided by Nvidia typically also enable DLSS and other features, making it harder to see how the GPUs stack up relative to each other in games and apps that don’t support those features.
But the most concrete chart compared an unnamed Lovelace GPU to the RTX 3050 and RTX 3070, showing that the Lovelace GPU (almost certainly the RTX 4050) could perform at the same level as the RTX 3070 while only using 40W instead 120 W consumed. RTX 3050 GPUs are popular in thin and light designs like the Dell XPS 15 and Surface Laptop Studio, and it’s great to give these laptops RTX 3070-level performance without sacrificing RTX 3070-level heat, fan noise, or cooling capacity are required.
Nvidia only releases a new line of mobile GPUs about every two years, which means the RTX 4000 series will likely be the chips powering gaming laptops and mobile workstations from this year until sometime in 2025. The RTX 4000 series laptop GPUs will be available now on February 8th (for the 4080 and 4090) and February 22nd (for the other GPUs), although it will likely take much longer to see the established 3000 series series in most laptops have completely replaced. Prices vary, but they start at $999.
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