Nvidia’s $999 Gaming Laptops with RTX 3060 Now Available
Gamers holding back on buying a gaming laptop with Nvidia’s RTX 3080 or RTX 3070 mobile GPUs for a cheaper option are now in luck. As of this week, Nvidia announced that gaming notebooks will be shipped with the entry-level GeForce RTX 3060 mobile GPU. At the beginning of this year, Nvidia presented all three mobile cards of the 3000 series at CES and found that the laptop variants have the same ampere architecture as the company’s desktop graphics cards.
Laptops powered by the RTX 3060 graphics cards have 3,840 CUDA cores as well as 6 GB of GDDR6 memory and a 192-bit memory bus. One major change this year is that Nvidia doesn’t require laptop manufacturers to explicitly state whether gaming notebooks use a Max-Q or Max-P design, which is likely to cause confusion in the market when gamers try to decipher the respective design variant laptop model is used.
Nvidia lists this RTX 3060 mobile card with a power of 60 W to 115 W and clock rates from 1283 MHz to 1703 MHz.
Buyers pay attention to different configurations
An early review comparing two different configurations of the XMG Apex 17 laptop was posted on Hardware Unboxed and TechSpot and gives us some insight into the effects of power and thermals on performance.
The first model combines the GPU from Nvidia with the processor from AMD. The test determines that the RTX 3060 is clocked with a boost speed of 1,702 MHz and supports Dynamic Boost and Resizable Bar, but not Whisper Mode or Advanced Optimus. According to Videocardz, this is probably the best mobile RTX 3060 configuration offered with 115W total graphics power (TGP).
A second XMG Apex 17 test laptop paired the Intel processor with the RTX 3060 from Nvidia. The GPU is clocked here with a slower boost speed of 1,425 MHz and has a TGP of 80 W. Unlike the AMD model, this configuration does not support the Resizable Bar, but it does have Whisper mode. According to TechSpot’s written review, both models are equipped with Dynamic Boost.
The review found that the RTX 3060 with an 80W TGP was about 19% faster than the RTX 2060 with a slightly higher TGP of 90W when comparing the frame rates of games across different titles, including Gears 5 , Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Metro Exodus, The Division 2, Resident Evil 2, Borderlands 3, and more. The RTX 3060 with 115 W TGP is 22% faster than the RTX 2060 of the previous generation.
The notable difference in performance could also be due to the case size. Although both XMG variants are similar, TechSpot found that the AMD Ryzen 5000 variant comes with a slightly larger chassis that offers better cooling. This, in turn, allows the GPU to operate at a higher power rating for better performance.
Discerning gamers looking to get the maximum performance out of their mobile rigs should read reviews to ensure they are getting the mobile GPU configuration they want, especially now that the Max-Q and Max-P labels are no longer in use .
In addition to the XMG Apex 17 laptops, Nvidia’s shopping portal lists several additional RTX 3060 notebooks starting at $ 999. These mobile rigs include the MSI GF65, MSI Stealth 15M, and MSI GS66. More models from more manufacturers will soon hit the market in the coming months. During the company’s CES presentation, Nvidia executives promised 70 different notebook designs using the full range of 3000-series GPUs.
Nvidia’s wallet-friendly RTX 3060 desktop graphics card will be available later this month. On the desktop, the RTX 3060 connects the Ti cards RTX 3090, RTX 3080, RTX 3070 and RTX 3060 from Nvidia.