TSMC’s 4nm transistors work wonders for the mobile RTX 4090 GPU. (Image source: TechPowerUp)
The new mobile RTX 4090 GPU is still limited to 175 W TGP, but with a little tinkering it manages to get a few more points in the 3DMar Time Spy test compared to the 400+ W RTX 3090 Ti. The generational leap in efficiency is pretty amazing thanks to the jump from 8nm to 4nm transistors.
While the performance difference between laptop- and desktop-grade Nvidia GPUs of the same generation clearly depends on the performance limitations of the mobile versions, it’s still impressive to see how much more efficient GPUs can become from one generation to the next, especially in the case of a mobile one RTX 4090. Jumping from Samsung’s 8nm nodes to TSMC’s 4nm nodes, an overclocked RTX 4090 laptop GPU can now beat a desktop RTX 3090 Ti, as per Reddit user Kelzs as well as their own Notebookcheck tests have shown.
According to our comparison tool, the desktop RTX 3090 Ti GPU can achieve an average of 21,645 points in the 3DMark Time Spy test. The RTX 4090 laptop GPU, on the other hand, can score 22,254 (MSI TItan GT77 – possibly factory overclocked) and can even push it to 22,339 with a 250MHz overclock on the Razer Blade 18. These gains are not only limited to synthetic tests, but can also occur in content creation and some games. What’s particularly impressive is that the laptop GPU is capped at 175W, while the previous generation desktop GPU required 400+W. Granted, a new RTX 4090 laptop could cost more than double compared to a desktop RTX 3090 Ti card, especially when we look at Razer’s prices, but apparently that’s reasonable for mobile solutions these days.
It should also be noted that the performance gap between top-of-the-line desktop and laptop solutions has widened slightly since the last generation. Our Time Spy test comparing the RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU and the RTX 3090 Ti desktop model shows a ~57% performance gap for maximum Time Spy results between the two previous generation GPUs. Comparisons between the desktop RTX 4090 and the laptop RTX 4090 show a performance gap of 62%. Of course, Nvidia doesn’t even use the same SKUs for these models since the laptop RTX 4090 is just a stripped-down desktop RTX 4080 with limited TGP. Yet somehow the mobile efficiencies over last-gen desktops are still not to be scoffed at.
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Details here Desktop RTX 3090 VS Laptop RTX 3080 Ti Desktop RTX 4090 VS Laptop RTX 4090 Razer Blade 18 with overclocked RTX 4090 (Image source: Reddit)
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Bogdan Solca – Senior Tech Writer – 1946 published articles on Notebookcheck since 2017
I entered the wondrous world of IT&C for the first time when I was about seven years old. I was immediately fascinated by computer graphics, whether they came from games or 3D applications like 3D Max. I’m also an avid sci-fi reader, an astrophysics fanatic, and a crypto geek. I started writing PC related articles for Softpedia and some blogs in 2006. I joined the Notebookcheck team in the summer of 2017 and am currently a Senior Tech Writer mainly covering processor, GPU and laptop news.
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