GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Mobile/Desktop hybrid shows small performance difference compared to the official mobile SKU
We have seen several mid-range RTX 30 Laptop GPUs as desktop cards, but RTX 3080 Ti is something relatively new.
Our readers should be likely familiar with a topic of mobile graphics cards appearing in the desktop form factor. This trend gained popularity approximately two years ago during the height of the cryptomining crazy. Numerous companies, particularly in Asian markets, opted to acquire mobile GPUs and reintroduce them as desktop graphics cards, primarily driven by the desire for financial gain.
Several factors contributed to this phenomenon. Firstly, mobile SKUs lacked the Lite Hash Rate algorithm, making them unhindered for cryptocurrency mining. Secondly, they were more cost-effective to obtain. Furthermore, it appears that NVIDIA took minimal, if any, measures to deter the sale of such cards.
Over time, it became increasingly evident that these hybrid GPUs had no rightful place within desktop setups. The primary issue with these cards was the absence of official driver support. Users frequently encountered significant challenges in locating functional drivers or resorted to utilizing drivers provided by the sellers, which often carried malware.
Additionally, some users resorted to selling modified drivers for these cards, exacerbating the situation by introducing extra costs. That problem collides with RTX 30 Laptop GPUs on desktop main advantage, which was their affordability. These cards could be acquired at a significantly lower cost than traditional desktop GPUs, which continued to maintain their popularity, particularly in the regions of Asia and South America.
Multiple such models existed, some offering interesting specifications, occasionally surpassing their desktop counterparts. The primary focus was on the RTX 30 mobile series, with a particular emphasis on RTX 3060, 3070, and 3080 cards. What we have not yet seen though was RTX 3080 Ti Mobile converted to a desktop variant. Fortunately, one of our readers, Mattia Carnevali, has shared crucial information on this graphics card, in this case, from one of those unknown Chinese companies “XR”. Notably, this card is compatible with GPU-Z software and has a functional driver, which happens to be the latest version available. This is due to Mattia’s use of one of the modified drivers provided unofficially.
An important consideration is the distinction in specifications between mobile GPUs and their desktop counterparts. For instance, the RTX 3080 Ti on mobile, while being the flagship GPU, was equipped with a GA103 GPU rather than the GA102 found in desktop models. This led to a notable gap between the two, with the desktop variant boasting a GA102 GPU featuring 10,240 CUDA cores, 12GB of GDDR6X memory, and a bandwidth of 912 GB/s. In contrast, the mobile version utilized the GA103 GPU with 7,424 CUDA cores and 16GB of GDDR6 memory, resulting in a lower bandwidth of 512 GB/s due to reduced memory speed.
Furthermore, there is the issue of power specification. The default TDP (Thermal Design Power) of the RTX 3080 Ti for desktop usage is 350W, while mobile variants were available in various configurations, some as low as 150W (Total Graphics Power). The hybrid mobile/desktop models did not support the highest power settings, which had a direct impact on clock speeds.
|3DMark Time Spy|
|RTX 3080 Ti (Desktop)|
|RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU|
|RTX 3080 Ti Mobile on Desktop|
In 3DMark test, which was supplied by our reader, shows minimal performance difference between the official mobile and mobile turned desktop versions. That’s despite major power differences. As it turns out, the card can still boost relatively high (up to 1.9 GHz) and there is a lot more thermal headroom available.
Certainly, the hybrid card may exhibit performance on par with the official mobile version. However, the advantages stemming from cost and performance should be weighed against the limitations that come into play. These limitations include the absence of official NVIDIA driver support, limited warranty coverage, and reduced options for display connectors. These factors may overshadow the performance benefits, making the decision to opt for such a card a more complex one.
Hence, even with the graphics card exhibiting relatively good performance, we can’t recommend the purchase of such graphics cards. The reader who acquired this card also procured several other custom models, such as the RTX 3080M 8GB and 3080M 16GB, but these acquisitions are intended for a side project and strictly for scientific purposes.
|NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 Specifications|
|VideoCardz||THIS RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU on Desktop||RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU||RTX 3080 Ti|
|GPU||GA103 (GN20-E8)||GA103 (GN20-E8)||GA102-225|
16 GB G6
16 GB G6
12 GB G6X
Many thanks to Mattia Carnevali for the data.