NVIDIA RTX 4090 Mobile is only 60% faster than its desktop counterpart on gaming workloads

Gaming laptops have come a long way in the past few years. The mobile lineup of the GeForce RTX 40 series even brings the second fastest desktop GPU to notebooks with the mobile RTX 4090 or the AD103. The same chip powers the RTX 4080 desktop with 9,728 cores and 16GB of GDDR6X memory. The bus is 256 bits wide and the on-die cache is 64 MB. The only difference between the RTX 4090 Mobile and the RTX 4080 Desktop is memory and clock speeds.

The RTX 4080 desktop is paired with 16GB of GDDR6X clocked at 22.4Gbps, while the RTX 4090 Mobile has 16GB of GDDR6 memory clocked at 18Gbps. On the shader side, the former reaches a maximum boost clock of 2.5GHz, while the latter peaked at 2.4GHz in our tests. With the technical babble, let’s look at the numbers.

The mobile GeForce RTX 4090 was paired with the Intel Core i9-13950HX in the Razer Blade 16 and competed against high-end desktop RTX graphics cards. To make the comparison easier, we limit ourselves to 3DMark TimeSpy, TimeSpy Extreme, FireStrike Ultra and FireStrike Extreme.

In TimeSpy, the mobile GeForce RTX 4090 scores 19,800 points, which are reduced to 10,400 in TimeSpy Extreme. The desktop RTX 4090 is a whopping 56% and 80% faster than its mobile counterpart in TimeSpy and TimeSpy Extreme. Even the RTX 4080 desktop is over 40% faster than the RTX 4090 laptop GPU in this benchmark.

Thermal (click to enlarge)

With notebooks, the performance depends heavily on the thermals and thus the cooling solution. We were quite impressed with the Razer Blade 16’s vapor chamber. While the CPU hits its TJ Max of 100 C, the GPU stays below 80 C throughout the benchmark.

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This is reflected in the frequency chart. The mobile GeForce RTX 4090 maintains an average of 2GHz, with occasional spikes to 2.4GHz, just 100MHz slower than the desktop RTX 4080!

Clocks (click to enlarge)

Moving to FireStrike, we can see the gap between the mobile and desktop parts widening even further. The GeForce RTX 4090 desktop is almost 90% faster than its notebook variant in FireStrike Ultra, with a 70-75% advantage in Extreme. In the second 3DMark test, the RTX 4080 Desktop remains 40-45% faster than the RTX 4090 Mobile.

The thermals and clock charts were almost identical to the above, so we decided to omit them. All in all, the GeForce RTX 4090 Mobile is a potent mobile GPU that’s mainly hampered by thermal and clock limitations.

Clocks (click to enlarge)