Nvidia woos mainstream gamers with the $329 GeForce RTX 3060 and RTX 30-series laptops

Nvidia held its big “GeForce RTX: Game On” event as part of CES 2021 on Tuesday, and as expected, the company revealed a flood of fresh features and hardware for gamers. Not only did Nvidia unveil mobile GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs for laptops, but it also announced a new GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card for the desktop, an expansion of its Reflex Latency Analyzer displays, and plans to support the performance-boosting PCIe Resizable BAR feature that AMD introduced with the Radeon RX 6000-series as AMD Smart Access Memory.

Oh, and Call of Duty: Warzone and the next Five Nights at Freddy’s game are getting Nvidia’s spectacular DLSS 2.0 technology, with Freddy’s wrapping in real-time ray tracing as well.


GeForce RTX 30-series for laptops

Let’s start with the mobile GeForce RTX 30-series GPUs, which will likely be found inside many of the gaming laptops announced at CES alongside AMD and Intel’s newly unveiled notebook processors. Nvidia revealed three mobile chips based on the company’s next-gen Ampere GPU architecture: The GeForce RTX 3080, 3070, and 3060, mirroring what’s available in desktops.

nvidia rtx 3080 Nvidia

The GeForce RTX 3060 may be the most modest offering, but Nvidia’s Jeff Fisher says it’s still faster than any gaming laptop currently available, besting the previous RTX 2080 Super flagship. Nvidia says the mobile chip is 30 percent faster than Sony’s new PlayStation 5 console, capable of hitting 90 frames per second during 1080p gaming.

Modern graphics cards are outpacing 1080p resolution, however. Nvidia says it’s been working closely with panel and laptop makers to make 1440p screens more readily available. The two graphics cards already announced in late 2020 were designed to scratch that itch. The GeForce RTX 3070 is to up 50 percent faster than the RTX 2070 mobile chip it replaces, achieving 90 fps at 1440p. The flagship RTX 3080 hits a claimed 100 fps at 1440p, bolstered by a beefy 16GB of onboard memory.

nvidia dynamic boost Nvidia

Dynamic Boost 2.0 now manages the GPU VRAM power levels as well.

Nvidia says the third-gen implemention of its Max-Q technology in these new GPUs offer twice the efficiency of past iterations. Note that some of those claims are tied into the DLSS feature that’s available only in select games, making the comparison not as straightforward as it seems. The other Max-Q improvements look very compelling, however, with a second-gen Dynamic Boost that intelligently shifts power between the GPU memory as well as the core CPU and GPU, and an upgraded version of Whisper Mode that uses AI algorithms to tune your components to hit an acoustic level determined by the user. The third-gen Max-Q offering also enables Resizable BAR support, which we’ll detail more later.

Look for laptops built using Nvidia’s new generation of GeForce mobile GPUs to launch on January 26, with every major OEM chipping into the more than 70 total models coming. Nvidia says GeForce RTX 3060 laptops will start at $999, RTX 3070 laptops will start at $1,299, and RTX 3080 laptops will kick off at $1,999.

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