After a highly successful launch of its Pascal architecture on desktop PCs, NVIDIA has announced a salvo of three new GPUs for laptops. The company said that this is the biggest performance leap it has experienced on laptops, and the reason is crystal clear: these GPUs are practically the same ones as the desktop versions, with small differences in the number of cores and clocks. The Differences are small enough to land within ~10% of the equivalent desktop chip performance.
Not so long ago, the differences between desktop and laptop GPUs were much greater. The efficiency work that NVIDIA has done during the past years keep paying off, and this is yet another demonstration that when it comes to performance, pure speed should never come at the expense of efficiency – both should go hand in hand. In a world where mobility matters as much as raw compute power, efficiency is the only way to leverage the same design across all the products NVIDIA makes.
Efficiency also affects battery life, and NVIDIA claims that a laptop running the same graphics workload would last 30% longer (system-wide battery life) than a GeForce Series 9xx. This is a formidable number for a single generation evolution.
Despite all the performance, the laptops using those chips could be ~4 Lbs light and have a thin form-factor. Obviously, you can expect the GeForce GTX 1060 in the thin and light laptops. The GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 in slightly larger chassis. Still, the GTX 1060 should be as fast as the fastest last-generation *desktop* GPU.
Independent benchmarks already show that the GeForce GTX 1070 is faster than the GTX 980 MXM in apps like Metro Last Redux (~70 FPS vs ~56 FPS). The GTX 980 MXM was previously the fastest mobile GPU.
The performance increase is due to a massive increase in compute cores. Just to take the top mobile GPU, the GTX 980M had 1536 cores, while the GTX 1080 has 2560. The memory bandwidth doubles from 5 Gbps to 10 Gbps. Laptops from ASUS and Gigabyte (Aorus 15.6 image below) have already been announced, and you can expect much more to come within the next few days.