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Nvidia hits gaming milestone: True desktop performance in a laptop with GeForce GTX 980

Gordon Mah Ung | Sept. 23, 2015
Nvidia somehow managed to cram a desktop GPU into a laptop. Read on to find out how.

That's on today’s games of course. The strength of G-sync is that in two to three years, when new games drag the frame rates to low ranges, it’ll still look good on a G-sync laptop.

Fer real? Looks like it

If you still can’t believe Nvidia has all the performance of a GeForce GTX 980 in a laptop you’ll have to peep this. To prove it’s real, Nvidia showed off a Clevo laptop outfitted with a laptop GeForce GTX 980 and a desktop—yes desktop—Intel Skylake Core i7-6700K CPU running next to small-form-factor desktop PC with a desktop GeForce GTX 980 and Core i7-4770K. Here’s the screenshot I snagged of the score from the desktop PC here after it finished:

desktop980
And it’s true. Although there is a difference in CPUs, the GPU score between desktop and laptop GeForce GTX 980 (that’s not confusing) is equal. Click on image to enlarge.

Here's proof of the GeForce GTX 980 in a laptop's performance right here, boom:

clevo980
Proof: This is a screenshot of the results from a 3DMark on a Cleveo laptop with Nvidia’s new GeForce GTX 980 that promises desktop performance. Click on image to enlarge.

Of course, we’ll withhold judgement until we actually see a machine in our hands but it’s highly unlikely the company is making this up to fall flat on its nose. Stranger things have happened in tech but for now, we take it at its face value.

Besides 3DMark Extreme, we were also allowed to run Tomb Raider at 1920x1080 on both GeForce GTX 980 parts. I also threw in the results from our reference desktop with a Core i7-4770K. 

geforce gtx 980 laptop
Nvidia’s new laptop GeForce GTX 980 compared with two desktops with the, umm, desktop GeForce GTX 980. Click on image to enlarge.

Before you go off one-third cocked about the CPUs being different among the tested systems, keep in mind that again, this is not the final verdict, this is just the results of the demo to whet your appetite. You can also look at the GPU score in 3DMark Extreme above which isolates just graphics performance. The two parts, according to 3DMark, perform the same.

Conclusion

Nvidia has actually been working up to this day for some time. With the original launch of the GeForce GTX 980m in Oct. 2014, the company said it had gotten mobile to within 75 percent the performance of its desktop counterpart. This was seen as quite an accomplishment when compared to the 2012-era GeForce GTX 680, which was about 60 percent the performance of its desktop counterpart, and the 2010-era GeForce GTX 480 which was 40 percent of the desktop GPU. Today we have the laptop GPU hitting true 1:1 parity with its equivalent desktop part—albeit almost a year after the introduction of the desktop part.

 

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