Nvidia's Mobile RTX 2060 Less Powerful Than Desktop Version (Report)

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You might want to wait before emptying your wallet for an RTX 2060-equipped gaming laptop. Notebook Check reported on Sunday that Nvidia's latest entry-level mobile GPU performs worse than expected--anywhere from 20% to 25%--when compared to its desktop counterpart.

Nvidia previously made it clear whether a GPU was made specifically for a laptop or not. It no longer does so, however, opting instead to use the same name for different parts. Someone could theoretically buy an RTX 2060-equipped laptop without realizing it's not going to offer the same performance that an RTX 2060 desktop graphics card would offer. Consumers have to investigate the matter for themselves.

That's a little problematic when there are slight discrepancies between a GPU's mobile and desktop versions. But according to Notebook Check, the RTX lineup's performance gap is fairly large. The mobile RTX 2070 is 14% to 18% slower than its desktop counterpart; the mobile RTX 2080 narrows the gap to a difference of just 8% to 10%. That at least means the products get closer to parity as they rise in price.

It's unclear how much of this may be a difference may also be due to the difference in thermals from a laptop to a desktop or other circumstances .

Notebook Check said this performance gap means the RTX 2060's performance is just 5% better on average than a mobile GTX 1660 Ti. Although RTX 2060-equipped laptops offer other features besides beefy graphics cards, that difference makes it hard to justify paying more for such a slight performance bump, so thrifty gaming laptop shoppers might be better off settling for a laptop equipped with a mobile GTX 1660 Ti if they want the most bang for their buck.

We've reached out to Nvidia for comment on Notebook Check's claims and will update this post when the company responds.

Nathaniel Mott
Freelance News & Features Writer

Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.

  • Vantage9
    This just in: Water is Wet, Sky is Blue.

    We will continue to update this terrifying situation as developments come in..
  • faalin
    Since when has a mobile GPU ever been up to speed with a desktop equivalent?

    My laptop when bought brand new has a gtx 780m in it. compared to a standard 780 it is nowhere near the same performance.
  • TJ Hooker
    faalin said:
    Since when has a mobile GPU ever been up to speed with a desktop equivalent?
    Since last gen, where Nvidia started using the same names (and GPUs) for their mobile variants as then did for their desktop variants. From the Notebookcheck article:
    This wasn't really an issue with Pascal GPUs because the mobile GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 were only within 5 to 15 percent of their respective desktop GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080 counterparts on average.
    So they've kept the habit of not using unique names for mobile, but apparently gone back to having significant performance differences between mobile and desktop versions.