CES 2022 is now underway, and Nvidia has taken to the virtual stage to announce its latest additions to the Ampere mobile graphics card family, with the long-rumored GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti finally being unveiled, alongside the 4th generation of MAX-Q technology.
Gaming laptops have become pretty formidable over the last few years, and with the ongoing chip shortage making desktop GPUs difficult to source for a reasonable price, we expect that an increased number of PC gamers will be interested in snapping up a powerful, portable alternative.
Some gaming laptops also have the additional advantage of being suitable for hybrid environments, with toned-down designs being used as everyday work and study devices alongside gaming or streaming.
With that, it's little wonder that we're seeing the addition of two new mobile graphics cards for gaming laptops to better allow consumers to buy a device that's optimized for your exact needs – be that creative work, demanding AAA games or a full streaming-ready setup.
The RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti join the current lineup of RTX 3000 series Ampere gaming laptops, providing amazing features such as raytracing for incredibly realistic global illumination and light effects, and DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling) for an AI-powered boost to your framerate.
Cut to the chase
- What are they? Nvidia's new powerful laptop graphics cards
- When are they out? February 1 2022
- What will they cost? RTX 3070 Ti laptop prices start from around $1,499 (£1,100, AU$2,100), RTX 3080 Ti laptop prices start from around $2,499 (£1,850, AU$3,500)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti & 3080 Ti Mobile release date
Both the RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti laptops will be released on February 1 2022. The launch dates across different laptop brands and models are varied, but some manufacturers will have laptops containing the RTX 3080 Ti or RTX 3070 Ti mobile GPUs available to preorder by late January 2022, with the ability to purchase directly from retailers estimated for Q1 2022.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti & 3080 Ti Mobile Specs
The new GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU will reportedly be rocking 7,424 CUDA cores alongside the confirmed 16GB of super speedy GDDR6 memory (the fastest ever shipped in a laptop GPU) over the 6,144 featured in the standard mobile RTX 3080, which is pretty darn impressive when you consider the full desktop RTX 3080 graphics card has 8,704 cores and 10GB GDDR6X.
Another comparison is the desktop GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, the flagship of the previous generation of Nvidia gaming hardware that has 11GB of GDDR6 VRAM and 4,352 CUDA cores, which looks pretty meager when stacked against what can now be achieved in a slim gaming laptop.
While only the vRAM was confirmed on the RTX 3080 Ti Mobile, we got even less information regarding specifications for the RTX 3070 Ti, with Nvidia simply stating that we can expect laptops equipped with the GPU to be up to 1.7x faster than the RTX 2070 Super.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 Ti & 3080 Ti Mobile performance
Nvidia claims that the RTX 3080 Ti Mobile delivers higher performance than the desktop TITAN RTX, and can achieve over 120+ FPS at 1440p. It also estimates that the less powerful RTX 3070 Ti Mobile will be 70% faster than current RTX 2070 Super laptop GPUs, capable of delivering 100+ FPS at 1440p. Given gaming laptops with RTX 2070 Super hardware achieve impressive results even with the current generation of AAA games, this is an impressive step-up in regards to performance.
What is Max-Q technology?
Max-Q takes its name from the aeronautics industry, where it refers to the maximum amount of aerodynamic stress an aircraft can handle. In the computing world though, Nvidia has borrowed this and taken it to represent the idea of pushing maximum efficiency, as well as maximum performance to find a sweet spot for both while maintaining reasonable levels of heat.
Originally unveiled at Computex 2017, this means that thinner, lighter gamer laptops are within reach with every passing generation of the Max-Q technology. This 4th incarnation promises the ability to control your laptop’s CPU in order to carefully balance or redistribute performance, power, and temperature as required to maximize the optimization of the Nvidia GPU.
As with the GPUs, not much was actually revealed alongside the announcement, though Nvidia included claims for features like “Rapid Core Scaling” which can allegedly provide up to a 3x boost to performance by turning off some GPU cores while overclocking others, and a “Battery Boost 2.0” that might extend the battery life of your laptop by up to 70%.
We won't know the accuracy of these claims until the laptops start appearing in the wild and benchmarks are published, but if these promised boosts do prove true then Nvidia-powered gaming laptops are going to be capable of some seriously impressive performance in the coming few years.
- Check out all of TechRadar's CES 2022 coverage. We're bringing you all the breaking tech news and launches, everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.
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Jess is a former TechRadar Computing writer, where she covered all aspects of Mac and PC hardware, including PC gaming and peripherals. She has been interviewed as an industry expert for the BBC, and while her educational background was in prosthetics and model-making, her true love is in tech and she has built numerous desktop computers over the last 10 years for gaming and content creation. Jess is now a journalist at The Verge.