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The Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 for notebooks extensively tested. And the first results can already be impressive, especially with regard to the compact form factor of the notebook. This article provides you with an overview of the gaming notebooks with RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 that are already available. The graphics processor (GPU) of the mobile Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 is, like the desktop version, manufactured by Samsung using the efficient 8 nanometer process.

However, the two chips are not completely the same: The RTX 3080 for desktop PCs uses 10 GB GDDR6X with a 320 bit wide memory interface and has 8,704 Cuda cores. The memory bandwidth amounts to an impressive 760 gigabytes per second (GB/s), which is a huge leap compared to its predecessor.

The mobile version of the RTX 3080 has only 6,144 Cuda cores and is optionally equipped with 16 or only 8 GB graphics memory of the somewhat slower type GDDR6. The memory interface is also narrower at 256 bits and the bandwidth is only 384 GB/s. In addition, there are almost 40 percent lower boost clock rates and fewer tensor and RT cores (ray tracing). The desktop version of the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 is an extremely powerful card, so the mobile offshoot is taking on a difficult legacy.

This is also reflected in the performance: Just like the mobile GTX-10 and RTX-20 series, the RTX-30 series also relies on the same die (semiconductor wafer) as the desktop versions, only on use optimized in notebooks. A regular Geforce RTX 2080 Super outperformed a mobile RTX 2080 in Max-Q design by around 30 percent in 3DMark's Port Royal benchmark. An RTX 3080 for desktops is around 50 to 75 percent faster in the same benchmark compared to the mobile RTX 3080 Max-Q.

But why do we mention all of this? Quite simply: Anyone who previously believed that they could expect roughly the same 3D performance from a notebook as from a regular RTX 3080 is far off the mark. The form factor and the energy limit of notebooks are the main limits here. But be sure: the RTX 3080 still makes the best of it.

Notebooks with RTX 3070 & 3080
Notebooks with RTX 3070 that you can buy immediately:

  • From 1799 euros: Gigabyte Aorus 15G XC-8DE2430SH
  • From 1899 euros: Gigabyte Aorus 15P XC-8DE2430SH
  • From 1996 euros: MSI GP76 Leopard 10UE-29
  • From 2099 euros: Gigabyte Aorus 17G XC-8DE6430SH
  • From 2169 euros: Gigabyte Aorus 15G YC-8DE2450SH
  • From 2299 euros: Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED XC-8DE5450SP
  • From 2499 euros: Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR XC-8DE4450SP
  • From 2699 euros: MSI GE66 Raider 10UG-261
  • From 2796 euros: MSI GS66 Stealth 10UG-275

Notebooks with RTX 3080 that you can buy immediately:

  • From 3599 euros: Gigabyte Aero 15 OLED YC-9DE5760SP
  • From 3746 euros: Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR YC-9DE4760SP
  • From 3896 euros: MSI GE66 Raider 10UH-260

Dynamic Boost 2.0: increased performance thanks to AI
A novelty of the RTX-30 series for notebooks is the introduction of an improved Dynamic Boost 2.0. If necessary, the technology automatically removes energy from the CPU and feeds it into the GPU, which in practice means an extra of around 15 watts. This is done with the help of AI-supported algorithms and should enable up to 16 percent more performance.

The graphics memory is also included flexibly for the first time. But the power distribution also works the other way around. Because the AI should notice when a game is more CPU-heavy and react accordingly. The technology cannot be deactivated by the user himself if it is activated by the respective notebook manufacturer.

 

Whisper Mode 2.0: AI ensures quiet notebooks
The revised Whisper Mode 2.0 also relies on AI, which constantly keeps an eye on the temperatures and power consumption of the GPU and CPU, as well as the speed of the fans and the frame rates in games. The AI then actively intervenes in fan curves and energy supply in order to maintain the noise level selected in advance by the user.

For the tests of the Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 Mobile, PCWorld was used with the notebook Gigabyte Aorus 17 YC-8DE6450SH equipped with an Intel Core i7-10870H, 32 GB RAM and an RTX 3080 Max-Q with 8 GB graphics memory. The display measures 17.3 inches diagonally and offers a rapid refresh rate of 300 Hz. For the tests, the "Gamer" profile was active for the fans, the CPU and GPU used the boost settings.

To put the results in relation, the same tests were also carried out with a Acer Predator Triton 500 (PT515-52-71V4) which is equipped as follows: Intel Core i7-10750H, Nvidia Geforce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, 32 GB RAM and a 15.6-inch display with a refresh rate of 300 Hz. The "CoolBoost" technology was used during the tests active, which makes the fans spin faster.

 

Frame rates in games
In Far Cry: New Dawn (full HD, ultra graphics) it was 100 to 89 frames per second on average for the Gigabyte notebook with the RTX 3080, which corresponds to an increase in performance of around 12 percent. With Gears Tactics (full HD, ultra graphics) it was around 112 to 98 frames per second for the notebook with the RTX 3080, which corresponds to an increase of around 14 percent.

In the less graphically complex title Counter Strike: Global Offensive (Full HD, "very high" graphics), the lead melts: The Gigabyte model has an average of 336 frames per second, but the Acer notebook pulls around 325 Images per second an increase of only 3.5 percent.

It gets a lot more demanding with Red Dead Redemption 2 (Full HD, preferred quality settings). The gigabyte has an average of 70 images per second, the Acer almost 60 images per second, which is an increase of 18 percent.

 

Ray tracing performance put to the test
The ray tracing tests are no less complex. The activated real-time lighting draws a lot of power. The average frame rate in Metro Exodus (full HD, ultra graphics) for the Gigabyte is almost a smooth 58 frames per second, while the Acer model only has 48 frames per second, which means 20 percent more performance. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider (full HD, "very high" graphics) it is 80 to 63 frames per second for the RTX 3080 model. In Quake II RTX, the notebook with the RTX 3080 is around 30 percent faster.


Synthetic benchmarks
In synthetic 3DMark benchmarks, the Gigabyte competes against the Alienware Area 51M and the Acer Predator Helios 700, which are equipped with a full-fledged RTX 2080 and a high-clocked CPU, but both models are also real heavyweights and require a lot of power. The RTX 3080 actually has to admit defeat in the Time Spy benchmark, but the Gigabyte can once again take the lead in the Port Royale ray tracing test. So if it's more about pure GPU performance, the RTX 3080 Max-Q is more powerful.


Multimedia benchmarks
Good news for content creators: The RTX 3080 for notebooks is significantly more powerful than its predecessor. In terms of Optix performance in Blender, the RTX 3080 only needs 19 seconds to render, while the RTX 2080 Super from the Acer notebook takes almost 36 seconds. It looks similar in IndigoBench, a GPU-based renderer. The RTX 3080 manages 11.3 million samples per second in the bedroom test, the RTX 2080 Super only 6.2 million. In the V-Ray Next render tool, the RTX 3080 Max-Q can even sit in front of the desktop versions of a Titan RTX and RTX 20890 Ti, very impressive!


Conclusion: Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 for notebooks
Overall, we think the GeForce RTX 3080 is actually the best mobile GPU on the market right now. In fairness, it has to be said that if you just have to be better than the previous GPU, the bar isn't particularly high. Just don't let the impressive GeForce RTX 3080 desktop card spoil your expectations.

As soon as we've come to terms with the reality that a laptop is a laptop, an improvement of 15 to 25 percent is an improvement of 15 to 25 percent in graphics-intensive games, and even more in ray-traced titles, then the results are quite respectable.

Would we upgrade from an RTX-20 series laptop? Probably not, unless it's a bigger step, like switching from an RTX 2060 to something faster. It rarely makes sense to upgrade from one generation to the next unless you are doing it because of the tremendous advances in content creation.

Since every notebook is its own complete package, our first review of a new component is not final. We'll get a better feel for the RTX-30 series laptops after testing another half a dozen or more. But it's clear that with a cheap implementation like the one PCWorld tested, the RTX 3080 can indeed do very well.

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