Nvidia RTX 3070 Laptop vs Desktop GPU Review

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 5,042   +5,650
I think the biggest question in my mind is whether or not you need as much power on a laptop as you do on a desktop display.

Do I really need to play games on a laptop using ray tracing?

You’re not playing in 4K.

Sure there are some people who will hook their laptop to a monitor in order to use it daily as a desktop replacement but that isn’t me. I use my gaming laptop as a travel computer. I don’t even use it at home.


 

Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,562   +1,124
Yeah mobile GPUs have never been equivalent to desktop GPUs and tech reporters and enthusiasts have been complaining about it since forever.

I guess the marketing department don’t want to market the mobile parts look inferior to the desktop parts. I imagine anyone who buys a laptop like this probably doesn’t have the option to buy a desktop and the marketing department don’t want to make these people feel like they are sacrificing much if they go for a laptop.

Of course, these laptops are expensive. If you buy one without reading reviews etc and expect desktop performance in a mobile laptop GPU then that’s on you really.
 

enemys

Posts: 251   +269
TechSpot Elite
Yeah mobile GPUs have never been equivalent to desktop GPUs and tech reporters and enthusiasts have been complaining about it since forever.
They kinda have been at the end of Maxwell and during the Pascal era. GTX 980 in laptops was the first "desktop-class" mobile GPU, released with much fanfare from Nvidia as a different card from the previous GTX 980M. And it actually held very close to a regular 980: https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-980-Notebook.150599.0.html

This was the reason why starting with 10xx series Nvidia dropped the "M" suffix in model names entirely. Performance parity with desktop became a big part of their marketing for a while. Except for Max-Q models, 10xx mobile chips where often within 5-15% of desktop counterparts in games. There were of course some outliers, but generally the performance delta was small - and notebooks used the same chips as desktops, only clocked lower and possibly better binned. You can check it on https://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.13849.0.html - just search for GTX 1060/1070/1080, allow both desktop and laptop GPUs and see the results. This also mostly holds for non-Max-Q variants of mobile 16xx GPUs - the performance gap might be slightly higher there, but it's still pretty small.

Then came the Max-Qs, the 2xxx series, multiple TDP variants and while the names stayed the same, the performance of mobile GPUs started lagging behind. Nvidia also started using different chip configurations or even different chips in notebook variants altogether... And now the disparity is almost as big as before, only model names are more confusing.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 158   +189
They kinda have been at the end of Maxwell and during the Pascal era. GTX 980 in laptops was the first "desktop-class" mobile GPU, released with much fanfare from Nvidia as a different card from the previous GTX 980M. And it actually held very close to a regular 980: https://www.notebookcheck.net/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-980-Notebook.150599.0.html

This was the reason why starting with 10xx series Nvidia dropped the "M" suffix in model names entirely. Performance parity with desktop became a big part of their marketing for a while. Except for Max-Q models, 10xx mobile chips where often within 5-15% of desktop counterparts in games. There were of course some outliers, but generally the performance delta was small - and notebooks used the same chips as desktops, only clocked lower and possibly better binned. You can check it on https://www.notebookcheck.net/Computer-Games-on-Laptop-Graphics-Cards.13849.0.html - just search for GTX 1060/1070/1080, allow both desktop and laptop GPUs and see the results. This also mostly holds for non-Max-Q variants of mobile 16xx GPUs - the performance gap might be slightly higher there, but it's still pretty small.

Then came the Max-Qs, the 2xxx series, multiple TDP variants and while the names stayed the same, the performance of mobile GPUs started lagging behind. Nvidia also started using different chip configurations or even different chips in notebook variants altogether... And now the disparity is almost as big as before, only model names are more confusing.
I can second that: I have a GTX 1070 in my laptop and in my desktop, and they are indeed in spitting distance. Of course their TDP is much closer (150W vs 120W), and the mobile variant (weirdly enough) hase MORE cuda cores (2048 vs 1920), so no wonder they are close. For the 3070, with such a huge TDP difference (and noticably less Cuda cores), they don't stand a chance to offer comparable performance...just bring back the "M" moniker, no shame in that.
 
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EdmondRC

Posts: 136   +108
After owning a couple gaming laptops, I'm truly perplexed as to their purpose. I still played games at home 99% of the time, typically on a larger monitor. When I did take my laptop with me it was always a burden. I couldn't take it on business trips because I already had to tote my work laptop with me. I ended up taking on vacations, but of course I didn't really use it. At the end of the day, it sat at home, plugged into a monitor, just like a desktop PC. The portability wasn't worth the premium and loss of performance. I'm not saying this is true for everyone, and of course there is the market that uses the GPU for their productivity and graphic design, but I tried to like gaming laptops and I just never found they had any value to me.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 158   +189
Tim, a question if I may: do you think temperatures may have influenced the result by a noticeable margin?

Considering that laptops are usually delivered with the absolute bare minimum heatsinks that would prevent the GPU to actually unsolder itself from the motherboard, I wonder if cooling design has a role here (better cooling=lower temps=higher boost=smaller performance gap). What do you think?
 

Aryassen

Posts: 158   +189
After owning a couple gaming laptops, I'm truly perplexed as to their purpose. I still played games at home 99% of the time, typically on a larger monitor. When I did take my laptop with me it was always a burden. I couldn't take it on business trips because I already had to tote my work laptop with me. I ended up taking on vacations, but of course I didn't really use it. At the end of the day, it sat at home, plugged into a monitor, just like a desktop PC. The portability wasn't worth the premium and loss of performance. I'm not saying this is true for everyone, and of course there is the market that uses the GPU for their productivity and graphic design, but I tried to like gaming laptops and I just never found they had any value to me.
It was vastly different for me: like you, I had to carry around the "working" laptop, but that didn't hold me back to carry around my personal one. There were always (sometimes really silly) limitations on the working one, so having my own was useful not only for leisure, but to support my work as well. Spending months and months on the road or commuting on a weekly basis, not having my gaming laptop with me would have been a noticable downside. I'm not sure how many other guys are there like me, but I know I wasn't the only one :)
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,521   +3,820
After owning a couple gaming laptops, I'm truly perplexed as to their purpose. I still played games at home 99% of the time, typically on a larger monitor. When I did take my laptop with me it was always a burden. I couldn't take it on business trips because I already had to tote my work laptop with me. I ended up taking on vacations, but of course I didn't really use it. At the end of the day, it sat at home, plugged into a monitor, just like a desktop PC. The portability wasn't worth the premium and loss of performance. I'm not saying this is true for everyone, and of course there is the market that uses the GPU for their productivity and graphic design, but I tried to like gaming laptops and I just never found they had any value to me.
It was vastly different for me: like you, I had to carry around the "working" laptop, but that didn't hold me back to carry around my personal one. There were always (sometimes really silly) limitations on the working one, so having my own was useful not only for leisure, but to support my work as well. Spending months and months on the road or commuting on a weekly basis, not having my gaming laptop with me would have been a noticable downside. I'm not sure how many other guys are there like me, but I know I wasn't the only one :)
I was on both sides of the fence. When I lived in an apartment, was moving a lot, and had to spend several hours a week at the laundromat, a gaming laptop was great. Many hours of civ V were had, and I didnt have to move a desktop setup everytime I went somewhere else.

However, it was never convenient. When traveling, I'm either driving or preoccupied, so no gaming can be done. At home I have a desktop that gets used. On vacation I'm on vacation. Once I moved to a house the use case for a gaming laptop vanished.

These days iGPUs are powerful enough to handle many games. Tongfang finally made the laptop I wanted (big iGPU, big battery, good screen, no dGPU) in the mechrevio1, sold as the thinn 15 in the USA, its powerful enough to run civ, tropico, xcom, battlefront, ece while also getting long battery life. I woudlnt want to play newer games on a hot running, loud, heavy gaming laptop these days.
 

VEGGIM

Posts: 35   +7
I was on both sides of the fence. When I lived in an apartment, was moving a lot, and had to spend several hours a week at the laundromat, a gaming laptop was great. Many hours of civ V were had, and I didnt have to move a desktop setup everytime I went somewhere else.

However, it was never convenient. When traveling, I'm either driving or preoccupied, so no gaming can be done. At home I have a desktop that gets used. On vacation I'm on vacation. Once I moved to a house the use case for a gaming laptop vanished.

These days iGPUs are powerful enough to handle many games. Tongfang finally made the laptop I wanted (big iGPU, big battery, good screen, no dGPU) in the mechrevio1, sold as the thinn 15 in the USA, its powerful enough to run civ, tropico, xcom, battlefront, ece while also getting long battery life. I woudlnt want to play newer games on a hot running, loud, heavy gaming laptop these days.
It mostly depends on what graphics of games your playing. Some games I have cannot handle a vega. Assetto corsa for example
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 196   +179
Yep, and for slim laptops, the performance for the 3080 laptop is even more worse than the desktop version. The GS66 Stealth laptop has the same performance for the 3070 and the 3080, so no increased performance if you buy the 3080 laptop vs the 3070 laptop.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 2,521   +3,820
Yep, and for slim laptops, the performance for the 3080 laptop is even more worse than the desktop version. The GS66 Stealth laptop has the same performance for the 3070 and the 3080, so no increased performance if you buy the 3080 laptop vs the 3070 laptop.
Thermal/power throttling in action. Ampere, much like fermi, is jsut too hungry for the full die to be useful in mobile. Ideally, the GA 106 die should have been as big as mobile ampere should have gone, power limits become too difficult to deal with once you go past 100 watts.
It mostly depends on what graphics of games your playing. Some games I have cannot handle a vega. Assetto corsa for example
Well yes, but I have a desktop to play games like that.

To me, a laptop with a powerful iGPU has a huge back catalog of games that run perfectly without requiring a dGPU, those that need the extra power I can play at home.

IMO with so many games available today I dont need to have all of them playable on the go. I mean how much time do I spend gaming away from home? Not much. If I still mvoed frequently it'd be different, but moreso because a 17 inch gaming laptop is easier to move to a new place then a desktop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, ece are.
 

VEGGIM

Posts: 35   +7
Thermal/power throttling in action. Ampere, much like fermi, is jsut too hungry for the full die to be useful in mobile. Ideally, the GA 106 die should have been as big as mobile ampere should have gone, power limits become too difficult to deal with once you go past 100 watts.

Well yes, but I have a desktop to play games like that.

To me, a laptop with a powerful iGPU has a huge back catalog of games that run perfectly without requiring a dGPU, those that need the extra power I can play at home.

IMO with so many games available today I dont need to have all of them playable on the go. I mean how much time do I spend gaming away from home? Not much. If I still mvoed frequently it'd be different, but moreso because a 17 inch gaming laptop is easier to move to a new place then a desktop, monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, ece are.
There's one thing this does show, that the whole ampere efficiency thing was probably a lie. cause it would be closer not the opposite. It shows how power hungry ampere actually is.
 

ziffel66

Posts: 112   +188
Not sure what the point of these articles are, when the product, for all intents and purposes, does not exist. Might as well be reviewing a Ferrari supercar.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,055   +969
To think of all the heat production and fan noise when gaming something worthy of the GPU, ......nah.... I'll pass. For hardcore gaming, I would prefer to stick with a desktop system.

For me, for a laptop, I prefer to use an integrated graphics for the reduced heat production and reduced fan noise. And I prefer to handle a cooler laptop, both on my hands and when I put it on my lap. And I play games that don't require intense graphics prowess. There are lots of games that don't need the dGPU. And there are lots of emulations and games in them that one lifetime is not enough to play them all.

For high end gaming, a laptop needs to be tethered to a wall power socket anyway. Unless one wants to play only for an hour or so. But then need to plug in for charging again. Why not just use a desktop which is cheaper and can install more powerful graphics card in it?

Some argue that they can't carry a desktop everywhere. Yes, you go somewhere to work. Not going be gaming every given opportunity everywhere you go right?
 

glenn0411

Posts: 16   +17
During xmas 2020, costco sold a msi raider, ge75 17 inch, 16gb ram, 512 ssd, 1tb hdd that was $1199.
looking at amazon prices.....dont see a 3070 anywhere near this pricing......these 3070 laptops need to come way down......in the $1500-$1700 range.
 

VEGGIM

Posts: 35   +7
To think of all the heat production and fan noise when gaming something worthy of the GPU, ......nah.... I'll pass. For hardcore gaming, I would prefer to stick with a desktop system.

For me, for a laptop, I prefer to use an integrated graphics for the reduced heat production and reduced fan noise. And I prefer to handle a cooler laptop, both on my hands and when I put it on my lap. And I play games that don't require intense graphics prowess. There are lots of games that don't need the dGPU. And there are lots of emulations and games in them that one lifetime is not enough to play them all.

For high end gaming, a laptop needs to be tethered to a wall power socket anyway. Unless one wants to play only for an hour or so. But then need to plug in for charging again. Why not just use a desktop which is cheaper and can install more powerful graphics card in it?

Some argue that they can't carry a desktop everywhere. Yes, you go somewhere to work. Not going be gaming every given opportunity everywhere you go right?
Well I travel internationally like every single year. And also I'm taken out on the weekend to go to someone's house most of the time.(if we didn't have covid) it's also not like I can staple a battery onto a desktop. That's just impossible. And the ones that do have them and large and can probably only last minutes or hours on it.

Using the igpu only basically cuts more than half the games that can be used without lagging.
 
I purchased the Asus Rog Zephyrus g14 laptop over the summer (24gig model). Should I upgrade to the RTX 3070?
 
We all know laptops will never offer same performance as desktops - period. But I have to look at laptops on it's own merits. I buy one for portability and limited space in the home. But I do get the naming is misleading - are we heading back to the 'M' branding?

Retailers here in the UK and even OEMs, they are still not publishing the wattages for laptops - if I were to buy one, I'll be giving retailers a round of 20 questions! Suffice to say, I currently have a MSI GL65 with a rtx 2060 at 115 watts; and still happy with that its giving me.