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Nvidia Silently Optimizes GeForce RTX 2070, 2060 Mobile GPUs for Performance

Nvidia Turing Silicon

Nvidia Turing silicon (Image credit: Nvidia)

German laptop manufacturer Schenker revealed to news outlet ComputerBase this week that Nvidia has quietly refreshed its GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 Mobile cards.

The revised GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 Mobile retain the same model names as the original versions. Therefore, the only way to differentiate the new model from the previous model is through the codename. As a matter of fact, many of the specifications from the original models are carried over in the revised models. Apparently, all Nvidia did was upgrade the memory and regulator, and that alone was enough to help squeeze some more performance out of the cards for gaming laptops.

Both the GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 Mobile utilize GDDR6 memory, and they will continue to do so. According to Schenker, the memory on the revised models operate at 1.25V as opposed to 1.35V. The lower-powered memory brings two main benefits: reduced power consumption and generated heat. As a result, the GPU can use the freed-up headroom to hit higher boost clocks and provide improved performance while still staying within the TGP (total graphics power) limit.

Specs

Graphics CardCodenameTGP (W)
GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile (Refresh)N18E-G1R115
GeForce RTX 2070 MobileN18E-G2115
GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile (Refresh)N18E-G1-B115
GeForce RTX 2060 MobileN18E-G180

The Schenker representative noted that the refreshed versions of the GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 Mobile outperform their originals by substantial margins within the same power consumption. He suspects that a better yield in chip production somewhat plays a part, but Nvidia hasn't confirmed that.

The GeForce RTX 2070 Mobile retains the same 115W TGP rating. But since the memory is more energy efficient, the graphics card comes with a higher boost clock speed.

The GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile benefits the most from Nvidia's GDDR6 treatment. The regular version comes with a 80W TBP. Nvidia is reportedly offering its partners a vBIOS updates that increases the threshold to 115W. That's a 43.8% increase and will ultimately give the GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile a very healthy performance boost. 

But don't expect every GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile to have up to 115W of breathing room. As the Schenker spokesman noted, laptop makers are still free to use a different TGP limit and don't have to change the name of the graphics card. This is understandable, as cooling capacity varies from laptop to laptop. The problem is that unless the manufacturer strictly specifies it, there is no way of knowing which version is under the hood until you take the laptop home.

The Schenker rep said he believes we'll see public benchmarks for the refreshed GeForce RTX 2070 and RTX 2060 Mobile graphics cards on April 15.