Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU Review: A New Era in Mobile Gaming
GPU Design and Architecture
AD103 Silicon: The Heart of the RTX 4090 Laptop
Built on the AD103 silicon, the RTX 4090 Laptop GPU maximizes what can be achieved within the size, power, and cooling constraints of a laptop. With 9,728 shader units, it mirrors the desktop RTX 4080 in several specifications, including a 16GB memory capacity and a 256-bit bus.
Controversy in Branding
Despite sharing the RTX 4090 branding with its desktop counterpart, the mobile version sees substantial downgrades in GPU die, core configuration, clock speeds, memory bandwidth, and power limit. This has raised concerns about potential misleading branding for everyday customers.
Gaming Performance Benchmarks
High Refresh Rate Gaming at 1440p
In games like Watch Dogs Legion at 1440p and Ultra settings, the RTX 4090 Laptop GPU demonstrates its prowess. It averages 108 FPS, signifying a 59% performance improvement over the 3080 Ti Laptop at a similar 150W power limit.
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Dominance Over Other High-End Laptop GPUs
The RTX 4090 Laptop GPU easily outperforms other high-end options such as the RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 Ti, establishing a new benchmark for gaming laptops.
Ray Tracing Performance
CPU Limitations in High-End Titles
In games like Far Cry 6, the RTX 4090 Laptop faces more of a CPU bottleneck, especially with ray tracing enabled. This highlights the GPU's potential to push the limits of current CPU capabilities in laptops.
Comprehensive Gaming Analysis: 20 Game Average
RTX 4090 Laptop vs. RTX 3080 Ti Laptop
A broad comparison across 20 games reveals an average 48% performance improvement of the RTX 4090 Laptop over the RTX 3080 Ti Laptop, at power ranges of 150-175W. This significant gain is attributed to Nvidia's new architecture and process node.
What We Learned: A Leap in Laptop Gaming Performance
Impressive Gains Without Power Increase
The GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU showcases a substantial performance leap, with 50 to 60 percent improvements over the RTX 3080 Ti Laptop. This is particularly remarkable as it's achieved without an increase in GPU power, a limitation in laptop design.
Ideal for High Refresh Rate and Ray Tracing
The RTX 4090 Laptop is well-suited for 1440p high refresh rate gaming and excels in ray tracing. It even ventures into 4K gaming territories, often without the need for upscaling.
The Verdict: A Game-Changer in Laptop Gaming
New Possibilities for Gamers
With the GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, Nvidia introduces new possibilities in laptop gaming. Its performance enhancements are some of the most significant seen in recent years, especially notable given the power constraints of laptops.
Future of Laptop Gaming
This GPU sets a new standard for future gaming laptops, offering a glimpse into what can be expected in terms of performance and capabilities in mobile gaming.