NVIDIA RTX 4090/4080 Laptop GPU performance and TGP tested
ComputerBase test power scaling of NVIDIA’s latest mobile graphics.
The problem of lower-end SKUs crushing flagship SKUs simply because they have more power headroom is well known and documented. This has become a real issue two GeForce generations ago, which forced NVIDIA and laptop makers to disclose more information on TGP (Total Graphics Power) of each RTX Laptop GPU added to each system.
However, customers who would not look at the TGP numbers, may end up overpaying for higher-end GPU models which are power throttled. In that case, one could have just as easily bought a cheaper laptop but with more power dedicated to the GPU.
ComputerBase tested two laptops: MSI TITAN GT77HX V13 and XMG Neo 16 E23, equipped with RTX 4090/i9-13950HX and RTX 4080/i7-13700HX specs respectively. Each system offers maximum TGP configuration for the GPU, which is 150W plus 25W for Dynamic Boost (power dynamically allocated between CPU and GPU). These platforms were used to test power scaling of each GPU.
They chose Shadow Warrior 3 at 1440p resolution with max details to showcase the performance per watt scaling in one graph. The RTX 4090 accepts the lowest TGP setting at 80W, while RTX 4080 can be lowered to 60W.
They came up with the following conclusions.
- The fastest RTX 4080 laptop GPU with AD104 GPU operating at 150 watts is as fast as the RTX 4090 laptop GPU with AD103 at 125 watts. Even more powerful configurations of the mobile RTX 4090 are definitely faster than a mobile RTX 4080.
- The smallest configuration of the 4090 (80 watts) is 30 percent more powerful than the smallest of the RTX 4080 (60 watts).
- In the range from 80 to 150 watts, the lines of both models run almost parallel, with lower TDPs the RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 laptop GPU are therefore somewhat closer together than with higher ones.
- The RTX 4080 laptop GPU requires almost exactly 20 watts more to achieve the same performance as the RTX 4090 laptop GPU.
There is a chance that RTX 4080 may end up being faster than RTX 4090, but this will require at least 20W more power to reach RTX 4090 performance. That said, the flagship NVIDIA GPU has indeed better power efficiency, but may not always justify the price increase for the laptop.
The power scaling should be much more interesting for the AD104, AD106 and AD107 GPUs, which are coming later this month. Most high-end laptops already have RTX 4080/4090 with high TGP variants, so the chances of buying a heavily throttled system, especially with RTX 4090 graphics are not that high.