Amongst a whole host of new announcements at CES from NVIDIA, the thought of laptops running powerful NVIDIA RTX 40-series GPUs is perhaps the one that is turning the most heads.
From February 8, NVIDIA has announced that its GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs are going to be shrunk down and available in laptops with the launch of a whole new range of machines starting with GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 laptops. These will be followed by GeForce RTX 4070, 4060, and 4050 laptop GPUs later in the month. Prices will start at $999 for that latter trio, but up at the really interesting end and the flagship RTX 4090/4080 machines, prices head north from $1999.
What do you get for that? Quite a lot. NVIDIA reckons you will be able to play the cream of the current crop of PC titles at Ultra settings at over 100fps; collaborate in 3D scenes with Omniverse at a smooth 4K60 with DLSS 3; export videos in half the time with Ada’s dual AV1 encoders; and connect three 4K displays for the ultimate immersive experience in professional-grade driving simulators (N.B. other use cases are available).
The company makes a good argument. It reckons that the new laptops are up to 3x more power efficient than the previous generation thanks to their Ada architecture, which means they should run nicely without burning a hole through your desk (bad) or legs (worse). For livestreamers, new AV1 encoders bring a proper boost in encoding efficiency, enabling 4K60 at 10 Mbps streams, whereas with H.264 users have to use 20 or even 25 Mbps to get good quality at 4K.
For editing video, further efficiency gains come courtesy of the new NVENC dual AV1 encoders in the GeForce RTX 4080 and 4090 GPUs, which can use both encoders in parallel to export videos up to 2x faster.
Will these GPUs have the performance of their desktop counterparts? No. But in bringing tech such as the the AI-powered DLSS 3 frame generation and Ada’s third gen Ray Tracing Cores that accelerate both ray tracing game performance and 3D renders into the laptop arena they definitely raise the bar.
And there will be a lot of them around too. NVIDIA reckons that over 170 different models from most of the big name brands you would expect are being prepped for release with the new GPUs inside. They’re going to be available in a variety of form factors as well, with NVIDIA making a lot of noise about a growth in demand for 14-inch machines.
Elsewhere, the company also introduced the new GeForce RTX 4070 Ti GPU, which it reckons is up to 3x faster than the GeForce RTX 3090 Ti at nearly half the power, thanks to Ada architecture innovations and NVIDIA DLSS 3. Custom cards from NVIDIA AIC partners will be available from tomorrow starting at $799.
And the momentum in the gaming world for the aforementioned DLSS 3 continues to build too, with another 33 games and apps on the way soon and updates to existing titles such as Marvel’s Midnight Sun taking the catalogue up to 50 titles.