Nvidia’s New Laptop Graphics Cards Boast VR Support, 75% More Performance

Gaming laptops are one of the most debated topics in all of tech because of the performance over value they offer. Thankfully after the latest announcement from Nvidia, the gap between desktop and laptop performance will get even smaller.

The green army has revealed three new laptop GPUs, the 1080, 1070 and 1060. These are not mobile versions of these cards (hence no “M”) but rather almost entirely similar to their recently-announced variants and hence very similar in performance.

The cards are VR ready and based on the 16nm Pascal architecture. Nvidia has previously used its desktop GTX 980 cards in laptops and this year it is going all out on this route.

Plainly put, the new GPUs are within 10-percent of the performance of their desktop counterparts, and offer a boost of up to 75-percent over the last generation. The aging desktop GTX 980 (no surprises) also can’t hold a candle to these cards. As we’ll see, the differences lie primarily in their clock speeds.

At the top-end of this range is the 1080, which has 2560 CUDA cores and base/boost clocks of 1556/1733 Mhz (compared to 1607/1773 for desktop). It carries 8 GB of 10 GB/s GDRR5X speed with a 256-bit interface and 320 GB/s interface.

It is followed by the 1070, which has a higher number of CUDA cores than its desktop variants at 2048 (vs 1920) and has base/boost clocks of 1442/1645 Mhz (vs 1506/1683 on desktop). It also has 8 GB of GB/s GDDR5 memory, 256-bit interface and 256 GB/s bandwidth.

According to Nvidia, all current 980 running machines should be able to accept 1070 just as easily. While the 1080 supports overclocking, the 1070 will get the feature in near future.

The lower-end 1060 which should sit in ultrabooks and other svelte setups comes with 1280 CUDA cores, base/boost clocks of 1404/1670 Mhz and 6 GB GDDR5 memory with 8 GB/s speed and 192 GB/s bandwidth.

Laptop GPUGTX 1080GTX 1070GTX 1060
Base Clock1556 Mhz1442 Mhz1404 Mhz
Boost Clock1733 Mhz1645 Mhz1670 Mhz
CUDA cores256020481280
Memory Speed10 GB/s8 GB/s8 GB/s
Memory Bandwidth320 GB/s256 GB/s192 GB/s
Memory Interface256-bit256-bit192-bit
GFLOPs (base)796759063594
Texture Units16012880
Texture Fill Rate277.3 GT/s210.6 GT/s133.6 GT/s


All of this means nothing if we don’t get good gaming performance figures so Nvidia has covered that front, too. Paired on a machine with 2.6 Ghz Core i7-6700HQ, the 1080 achieved fps of 147 on Overwatch, 145 on Doom, 130 in Metro Last Light, 126 in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, and 125 on Rise of the Tomb Raider, running at 1080p on ultra settings at 120 Hz.

Nvidia is making a big deal of near-QHD G-Sync displays at 120 Hz in laptops which are included in the launch lineup for these GPUs.

Obviously, battery life is going to be a huge concern as the desktop GTX 1080 chugs on 180W of power, and BatteryBoost will fix the frame-rate and downclock the GPU, which still leaves playable experience for a card of this caliber. Being desktop graphic cards, they also support goodies like VRWorks and Ansel.

The first systems running on the GPUs have already been announced, coming courtesy of MSI and Origin PC. They start at $1599 for the MSI GS43VR Phantom Pro with a 14-inch 1080p display, 2.6 Ghz Core i7, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB hard drive and the lower-end GTX 1060M. If you want to go big, you can get a GT83VR Titan SLI with two GTX 1080s, 2.9 Ghz Core i7, two 512 GB SSDs, 1 TB hard drive and 64 GB RAM for a ‘measly’ $5099.

Acer, Alienware, ASUS, EVGAm Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, Razer and others have also committed to using Nvidia’s latest graphics units, because of course.

Nvidia predicts that VR-ready laptops can be had for as little as $1299. We are looking forward to that day though for now, let’s just bask in today’s announcement.