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Nvidia gaming laptop GPU specs leak, but is it really an RTX 3080?

Nvidia GA102 Render
(Image credit: Nvidia)

A solid-looking leak has seemingly confirmed the base specs of the new Nvidia RTX 3080 mobile GPU. With 48 SMs, and therefore 6,144 CUDA cores, it sure looks like we're getting the full GA104 silicon repping as an RTX 3080 in the new gaming laptops.

Some of the most exciting new PC gamery things set to pop up early this year are the new Nvidia RTX 30-series gaming laptops. Seeing the power the green team has dropped into its desktop cards, it's no wonder that we can't wait to see what's going to happen in Ampere mobile trim. It doesn't look like we're going to have to wait long either, as leak upon leak is revealing more about the new GPUs.

This latest leak comes direct from the Geekbench database and was dug up by noted Twitter leaker (Tweaker?), TUM_APISAK. Now, I don't find the Geekbench database entirely reliable when it comes to parsing the potential gaming performance of a particular graphics card, but it does give a pretty robust glimpse at the core specs of the GPUs in question.

The result comes from a test of an Asus ROG Zephyrus GX551QS laptop; a beast of a machine sporting the as-yet-unannounced AMD Ryzen 9 5900H CPU and the Nvidia RTX 3080, and it promises to be one of the most powerful new gaming laptops coming out this year. With a virtual CES 2021 virtually kicking off next week, and both AMD and Nvidia expected to announce their respective mobile parts, I'd expect this Asus machine will be one of the new gaming laptops put front and centre everywhere next week.

The Ryzen 9 5900H is an eight-core, 16-thread CPU, with a max clock speed of 4.54GHz, so it's no slouch. The mobile variant of the RTX 3080 it's paired with comes with 48 SMs, 6,144 CUDA cores, and 16GB of (probably) GDDR6 rather than GDDR6X. 

I'd suggest it's unlikely that Nvidia would cut the GA102 GPU from the full 84 SMs all the way down to 48 SMs for a mobile SKU so, as suggested by Videocardz, it's more likely this is the full GA104 GPU that Nvidia already uses for the desktop Nvidia RTX 3070 cards.

Which means you could argue that the RTX 3080 in the upcoming gaming laptops isn't really an RTX 3080 because it's using an entirely different slice of Ampere silicon, but what's in a name? Wouldn't a mobile GPU with the same performance as a desktop RTX 2080 Ti still smell as sweet?

Dave James

Dave has been gaming since the days of Zaxxon and Lady Bug on the Colecovision, and code books for the Commodore Vic 20 (Death Race 2000!). He built his first gaming PC at the tender age of 16, and finally finished bug-fixing the Cyrix-based system around a year later. When he dropped it out of the window. He first started writing for Official PlayStation Magazine and Xbox World many decades ago, then moved onto PC Format full-time, then PC Gamer, TechRadar, and T3 among others. Now he's back, writing about the nightmarish graphics card market, CPUs with more cores than sense, gaming laptops hotter than the sun, and SSDs more capacious than a Cybertruck.