GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is a desktop RTX 2080 but up to 50 percent underclocked

GeForce RTX 2080 mobile is a desktop RTX 2080 but 50 percent underclocked (Image source: Nvidia)
GeForce RTX 2080 mobile is a desktop RTX 2080 but 50 percent underclocked (Image source: Nvidia)
The significantly reduced base clock rate and TDP allow the mobile RTX 2080 to fit into a wider range of gaming laptop designs. Fortunately, memory bandwidth and number of CUDA cores remain unchanged.
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When Nvidia unveiled the GeForce RTX series for laptops at CES 2019, core details such as CUDA count, clock rate, memory clock rate, and RAM were all kept under wraps. Now that we're on the eve of its launch (Jan. 29), Nvidia is ready to reveal the official specifications for the RTX 2060, Max-Q RTX 2070, and Max-Q RTX 2080 for laptops.

The Nvidia table below shows dramatically reduced clock rates for the Max-Q RTX series when compared to their desktop equivalents. The RTX 2080 Max-Q, for example, has a clock rate ranging from 745 MHz up to 1095 MHz compared to 1515 MHz to 1710 MHz on a standard desktop RTX 2080. The wide deltas can be observed on the RTX 2070 Max-Q GPU as well. RTX-OPS and Giga-Rays per second have also been reduced across the board.

Meanwhile, CUDA count and memory clock rates for these Max-Q RTX chips look to be identical to their desktop equivalents. The lower core clock rates are accompanied by lower thermal envelopes to support a wider range of laptop form factors much like on the Pascal Max-Q series. Unfortunately, this also means that some RTX laptops will be measurably faster than others depending on how OEMs choose to implement the same GPU. As an example, a super-thin laptop with GTX 2080 Max-Q may be slower than a larger laptop with the same GPU if the OEM chooses to run it at the base clock rate only.

As for the full-power RTX 2080 for laptops (non max-Q), it will also be slightly underclocked when compared to the desktop reference but with the ability to run at over 150 W if desired for more performance. The Alienware Area-51m, for example, will run the full-power RTX 2080 mobile GPU at 180 W in order provide a performance level closer to the desktop RTX 2080 reference.

Laptops launching with GeForce RTX graphics will be available on January 29. Expect a deluge of reviews by media and YouTube personalities starting this week. We'll also be posting our benchmark results on the first RTX gaming laptops in the next few days.

(January 28, 2019 correction: Fixed some errors regarding the table and names while adding more to the list of GPUs. Please note that an X reduction in clock rate does not directly imply an X reduction in gaming performance.)

RTX 2080 Max-QRTX 2070 Max-QRTX 2060 (Laptop)RTX 2080 Desktop Reference
CUDA Cores2944230419202944
RTX-OPS37 T31 T26 T60 T
Giga Rays/s543.58
Boost Clock (MHz)1095118512001800
Base Clock (MHz)7358859601515
Graphics Subsystem Power80 W80 W80 - 90 W225 W
Memory SpeedUp to 14 GbpsUp to 14 GbpsUp to 14 Gbps14 Gbps
Memory Config8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width256-bit256-bit192-bit256-bit
Memory Bandwidth GB/sec448448336448
RTX 2080 (Laptop) RTX 2070 (Laptop)RTX 2070 Desktop ReferenceRTX 2060 Desktop ReferenceRTX 2080 Ti Desktop Reference
CUDA Cores29442304230419204352
RTX-OPS53 T38 T42 T37 T76 T
Giga Rays/s756510
Boost Clock (MHz)15901440162016801545
Base Clock (MHz)13801215141013651350
Graphics Subsystem Power150+ W115 W175 W160 W250 W
Memory SpeedUp to 14 GbpsUp to 14 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps14 Gbps
Memory Config8 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR68 GB GDDR66 GB GDDR611 GB GDDR6
Memory Interface Width256-bit256-bit256-bit192-bit352-bit
Memory Bandwidth GB/sec448448448336616





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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 01 > GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q is a desktop RTX 2080 but up to 50 percent underclocked
Allen Ngo, 2019-01-28 (Update: 2019-01-30)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.