NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q may only deliver performance equivalent to a desktop GeForce RTX 2060
NVIDIA’s latest GeForce RTX graphics cards are pretty impressive on the desktop, but it seems that cramming them into laptops is quite a challenging task. Well given that the reference GeForce RTX 2080 sports a 215W TDP, downclocking would have been necessary to fit it into a laptop’s constraints, especially the thin-and-light models. But this might be a bit too much.
The GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q for laptops may come with a base clock of 735 MHz, less than half of the reference GeForce RTX 2080‘s 1515 MHz. Now it’s worth reminding that NVIDIA’s graphics cards rarely ever run at base clocks, but that’s quite a serious step down from the desktop variant. For comparison sake, the GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q‘s base clock is only 31% slower than the desktop GeForce GTX 1080.
What this means is that getting a laptop with a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is no guarantee that you will be getting enjoying excellent gaming performance. The GeForce RTX 2080 for laptops can deliver anything from 37T RTX-OPS to 53T RTX-OPS. A desktop GeForce RTX 2060 is capable of delivering 37T RTX OPS, so your fancy high-end new laptop with a GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q may only be offering you performance on par with a desktop GeForce RTX 2060. Doesn’t sound too good at all, does it?
Of course, this is a worst case scenario. Most manufacturers will probably over-engineer the cooling in their laptops, allowing to enjoy higher boost clocks and thus more performance. Or if you desire the most performance from your gaming laptop, get one with a GeForce RTX 2080, sans Max-Q. That should give you much better performance, as those will be packed into more performance-oriented designs.
NVIDIA has specified pretty conservative figures for their whole lineup of GeForce RTX GPUs for laptops. Gamers who want to enjoy the maximum graphical fidelity should probably still stick to desktops. It’s quite surprising to see NVIDIA do this after the Pascal architecture closing the gap between laptops and desktops.
Pokdepinion: Well it surely would suck to get a high-end gaming laptop only to find it delivers performance on par with an entry-level GeForce RTX GPU.