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Friday, July 19, 2024

Nvidia’s new budget gaming laptop GPUs and DLSS will make for a mighty combo

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Budget RTX 30-series gaming laptops are here and if you’re not excited by that, you should be. Starting today, a wave of gaming laptops powered by RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050 GPUs will be available from $799, bringing with them support for Nvidia’s framerate-improving Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) where it’s needed most.

Safe to say, for 1080p gaming at least, you can expect decent performance out of the two new mobile GPUs from the Nvidia skunkworks. The RTX 3050 Ti, by Nvidia’s making, should provide a steady step up over the GTX 1650 Ti, while the RTX 3050 should help deliver that all-important 60fps in today’s top games. The 4GB of GDDR6 may be a little prohibitive, but nothing a few tweaks in the settings shouldn’t fix. For the most part, anyways.

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RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050 laptop GPU specs
Header Cell – Column 0 RTX 3050 Ti (laptop) RTX 3050 (laptop)
CUDA Cores 2560 2048
Tensor Cores 80 64
Ray Tracing Cores 20 16
Boost Clock (MHz) 1035 – 1695 1057 – 1740
TGP (Watts) 35 – 80 35 – 80
Memory 4GB GDDR6 4GB GDDR6

The GA107 chip under the surface of both laptop GPUs comes with the prerequisite silicon to enable ray tracing in games, too. But it’s the introduction of DLSS in the entry-level graphics cards for the first time that really piques my interest.

If you’re not at all familiar with DLSS, it’s a performance-enhancing, machine-learning powered upscaling technology, first released with the Turing RTX 20-series generation. Since then, it’s seen some major improvements, and with a growing number of supported games, we’ve begun to really rate it.

When you’re trying all you can to eke out 60fps in the latest triple-A title, or even pushing a faster panel, DLSS comes in handy. While usually seen as a way to counter the performance hit of ray tracing on higher-end cards, there’s something to be said for this tech as merely a means to bolster your card’s native performance, at the expense of fidelity.

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There is a loss in image quality as a result of DLSS, to what extent depends on your choice of DLSS upscaling, but on a smaller laptop panel, it may not be quite as noticeable as, say, a 32-inch 4K panel.

So it seems a good fit for a budget RTX 3050-powered gaming laptop, then, which may still feel a little underpowered in the most demanding of modern games.

We’re already hearing about heaps of laptop manufacturers prepping models with the RTX 3050 Ti and RTX 3050, so keep an eye out for those on the shelves. Many of which come touting Intel’s Tiger Lake-H processors, announced in tandem today.

There’s still no official word on RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti discrete GPUs for gaming PCs, but you can be sure they’ll both be built using the same GA107 GPU as found in the mobile parts. Some specifications, such as core counts, may differ, however.

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