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NVIDIA RTX 3500 Ada Generation Laptop GPU

NVIDIA NVIDIA RTX 3500 Ada Generation Laptop GPU

The Nvidia RTX 3500 Ada Generation is a higher-end professional graphics card for use in laptops that sports 5,120 CUDA cores and 12 GB of ECC GDDR6 VRAM. Brought into existence in 2023, this graphics adapter leverages TSMC's 5 nm process and Nvidia's Ada Lovelace architecture to achieve higher-than-average performance combined with moderate power consumption. The Nvidia-recommended TGP range for the card is very wide at 60 W to 140 W leading to bizarre performance differences between different systems powered by what is supposed to be the same product.

Hardware-wise, the RTX 3500 is a cut-down GeForce RTX 4070 Desktop, as far as we can tell. Consequently, both make use of the AD104 chip and have little difficulty running triple-A games at QHD 1440p.

Quadro series graphics cards ship with a different BIOS and drivers than GeForce cards and are targeted at professional users rather than gaming. Commercial product design, large-scale calculations, simulation, data mining, 24 x 7 operation, certified drivers - if any of this sounds familiar, then a Quadro card will make you happy.

Architecture and Features

Ada Lovelace brings a range of improvements over older graphics cards utilizing the outgoing Ampere architecture. It's not just a better manufacturing process and a higher number of CUDA cores that we have here (up to 16,384 versus 10,752); under-the-hood refinements are plentiful, including an immensely larger L2 cache, an optimized ray tracing routine (a different wat to determine what is transparent and what isn't is used), and other changes. Naturally, these graphics cards can both encode and decode some of the most widely used video codecs, AVC, HEVC and AV1 included; they also support a host of Nvidia technologies, including Optimus and DLSS 3, and they can certainly be used for various AI tasks.

The RTX 3500 Ada features 40 RT cores of the 3rd generation, 160 Tensor cores of the 4th generation and 5,120 CUDA cores. Multiply those numbers by 1.15 and what you get looks exactly like a desktop RTX 4070: 46, 184 and 5,888, respectively. Elsewhere, the graphics card comes with 12 GB of 192-bit wide ECC GDDR6 memory for a very healthy throughput of ~432 GB/s. Error correction can be turned off if desired. The fact that error correction is present here proves that the RTX 3500 Ada is indeed targeted at professional users.

Just like Ampere-based cards, the RTX 3500 makes use of the PCI-Express 4 protocol. 8K SUHD monitors are supported, however, DP 1.4a video outputs may prove to be a bottleneck down the line.

Performance

While we have not tested a single system featuring an RTX 3500 Ada Generation as of February 2024, we have plenty of performance data for the RTX 4070 Desktop, a graphics card that's about 20% superior to the RTX 3500 Ada Generation. Based on that, we fully expect the RTX 3500 to deliver:

  • a Blender 3.3 Classroom CUDA score of around 32 seconds
  • a 3DMark 11 GPU score of around 44,000
  • around 90 fps in GTA V (1440p - Highest settings possible, 16x AF, 4x MSAA, FXAA)
  • around 50 fps in Cyberpunk 2077 (1440p - High settings, Ultra RT, "Quality" DLSS)

Nvidia's marketing materials mention "up to 23 TFLOPS" of performance, a 15% improvement over 20 TFLOPS delivered by the RTX 3000 Ada Generation.

Your mileage may vary depending on how competent the cooling solution of your laptop is and how high the TGP power target of the RTX 3500 is. One other thing worth mentioning is that enabling error correction appears to reduce the amount of video memory that is available to applications and games by up to a gigabyte.

Power consumption

Nvidia no longer divides its laptop graphics cards into Max-Q and non-max-Q models. Instead, laptop makers are free to set the TGP according to their needs, and the range can sometimes be shockingly wide. This is the case for the RTX 3500, as the lowest value recommended for it sits at just 60 W while the highest is more than two times higher at 140 W (this most likely includes Dynamic Boost). The slowest system built around an RTX 3500 Ada can easily be 60% slower than the fastest one. This is the kind of delta that we've been seeing on consumer-grade laptops featuring the latest GeForce RTX cards.

Last but not the least, the improved 5 nm process (TSMC 4N) the RTX 3500 is built with makes for very decent energy efficiency, as of mid 2023.

RTX Ada Generation Laptop GPU Series

NVIDIA RTX 5000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 9728 @ 0.93 - 1.68 GHz256 Bit @ 20000 MHz
NVIDIA RTX 4000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 7424 192 Bit @ 16000 MHz
NVIDIA RTX 3500 Ada Generation Laptop GPU 5120 192 Bit @ 16000 MHz
NVIDIA RTX 3000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 4608 128 Bit @ 16000 MHz
NVIDIA RTX 2000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 3072 128 Bit @ 16000 MHz
Nvidia RTX 1000 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 2560 96 Bit @ 16000 MHz
Nvidia RTX 500 Ada Generation Laptop GPU compare 2048 64 Bit @ 12000 MHz
ArchitectureAda Lovelace
Pipelines5120 - unified
Raytracing Cores40
Tensor / AI Cores160
Theoretical Performance23 TFLOPS FP32
Memory Speed16000 effective = 2000 MHz
Memory Bus Width192 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR6
Max. Amount of Memory12 GB
Shared Memoryno
Memory Bandwidth432 GB/s
APIDirectX 12 Ultimate, Shader 6.7, OpenGL 4.6, OpenCL 3.0, Vulkan 1.3
Power Consumption115 Watt (60 - 115 Watt TGP)
technology5 nm
PCIe4.0 x16
Displays4 Displays (max.), HDMI 2.1, DisplayPort 1.4a
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement21.03.2023
Link to Manufacturer Pageimages.nvidia.com
PredecessorRTX A3000 Laptop GPU

Benchmarks

- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Benchmarks / Tech > Comparison of Laptop Graphics Cards > NVIDIA RTX 3500 Ada Generation Laptop GPU - Benchmarks and Specs
Klaus Hinum (Update: 2024-03- 1)