Notebookcheck has published a report suggesting that NVIDIA and OEMs will no longer clarify whether GeForce RTX 30 Series mobile GPUs are of the Max-P or Max-Q variety. These designations reflect whether a laptop is equipped with a normal or power-limited graphics solution, respectively, which is sure to introduce confusion for users. What’s worse is that lower-tiered variants (e.g., GeForce RTX 3060) running at a higher wattage could potentially outperform higher SKUs that are restricted by a lower wattage in certain scenarios.
“[…] the flagship RTX 3080 ‘Laptop GPU,’ as NVIDIA would like to call it, offers a configurable TGP ranging from 80 W to 150+ W,” the author explained. “The RTX 3070 Mobile offers an 80 W to 125 W range while the RTX 3060 Mobile can be tuned between 60 W and 115 W. These TGP ranges correspond to actual clocks. The RTX 3080 Mobile, for example, can offer up to 37% increased clocks at the higher-end of the TDP range compared to the base 80 W variant.”
“What this means is that a 115 W RTX 3060 Mobile can potentially outperform an 80 W RTX 3080 Mobile depending on the given workload. The lack of explicit power details in the laptop specs can potentially complicate matters for the end user, who would generally assume that mention of an RTX 3080 Mobile automatically implies higher performance.”
The implication is that gamers who are in the market for an Ampere-powered laptop will have to double down on their research. Notebookcheck’s report appears to be accurate based on various listings of GeForce RTX 30 Series laptops by major manufacturers, as they fail to clarify whether the GPUs are of the Max-P or Max-Q flavor.
GeForce RTX 30 Series Mobile GPU Specifications
|GeForce RTX 3080|
|GeForce RTX 3070|
|GeForce RTX 3060|
|NVIDIA® CUDA® Cores||6144||5120||3840|
|Boost Clock (MHz)||1245 – 1710 MHz||1290 – 1620 MHz||1283 – 1703 MHz|
|GPU Subsystem Power (W)||80 – 150+ W||80 – 125 W||60 – 115 W|
|Memory Size||16GB or 8GB||8 GB||6 GB|