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Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 & RTX 2080 Laptop GPUs Performance Review

Florian Glaser, 👁 Florian Glaser (translated by Alex Alderson), 01/29/2019

Raytracing is coming. Nvidia has now announced its laptop RTX line almost four months after introducing its desktop GPUs. We have the RTX 2060, RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 in for a performance test and to compare them against Pascal-generation laptop GPUs ahead of their official release.

Instead of concentrating on improving raw power, Nvidia has switched its attention elsewhere with the Turing generation of its GeForce graphics cards. The first RTX GPUs bring raytracing to the masses, but there are currently hardly any programs, benchmarks or games that take advantage of this new technology or any with which we can use to assess its performance.

Our article primarily serves to differentiate the performance between the new RTX laptop GPUs. We will conduct several 3DMark tests and Battlefield V benchmarks. We will also include other games that support raytracing and DLSS in the coming days and weeks. You can find the corresponding benchmarks on our games page, where you can also see detailed GPU specifications and compare GPUs against each other.

Test Systems

We have chosen five test systems to assess the performance of the new RTX laptop GPUs. We have three versions of the Schenker XMG Ultra 15 that are equipped with different GPUs, while we also have a Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 and an Acer Triton 500, which have Max-Q versions of the RTX 2070 and RTX 2080. We have included an overview below of the differences between our test systems too.

Laptop Schenker XMG Ultra 15 Schenker XMG Ultra 15 Schenker XMG Ultra 15 Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 Acer Triton 500
Processor Intel Core i7-9700K Intel Core i7-9700K Intel Core i7-9700K Intel Core i7-8750H Intel Core i7-8750H
RAM 16 GB DDR4 16 GB DDR4 16 GB DDR4 16 GB DDR4 32 GB DDR4
SSD 500 GB SSD 500 GB SSD 500 GB SSD 1 TB SSD 500 GB SSD
Graphics Card GeForce RTX 2060 GeForce RTX 2070 GeForce RTX 2080 GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
Shader Units 1,920 2,304 2,944 2,304 2,944
Base clock speed 960 MHz 1,215 MHz 1,380 MHz 885 MHz 735 MHz
Boost clock speed 1,200 MHz 1,440 MHz 1,590 MHz 1,185 MHz 1,095 MHz
VRAM 6 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6 8 GB GDDR6
Memory Bus 192-Bit 256-Bit 256-Bit 256-Bit 256-Bit
VRAM clock speed 7,000 MHz 7,000 MHz 7,000 MHz 6,000 MHz 6,000 MHz
Drivers ForceWare 417.71 ForceWare 417.71 ForceWare 417.71 ForceWare 417.71 ForceWare 417.71

Please keep in mind that the Max-Q GPUs are more power-efficient, and slower, versions of the regular RTX graphics cards. The RTX Max-Q GPUs are designed for more compact systems with limited cooling options.

GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce RTX 2060
GeForce RTX 2070
GeForce RTX 2070
GeForce RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q

Synthetic Benchmarks

DirectX 11

While synthetic benchmarks have limited utility in assessing a GPU’s strengths in applications or games, they are useful for creating a basic ranking of various GPUs and comparing their expected performance.

We start with 3DMark and its DirectX 11-based Fire Strike benchmark, which has long been one of our go-to tests for laptops reviews. We have included the results below for the 1080p benchmark and have included some GTX 10 series-based laptops to give a clearer idea of the level at which these RTX graphics cards perform.

All the RTX GPUs scored at least 10% more than their GTX predecessors, with the RTX 2060 finishing a whopping 36% ahead of the GTX 1060. It is worth noting that our GTX-equipped comparison devices are also powered by older CPUs, which will marginally affect the scores that they achieve.

3DMark - 1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
24142 Points ∼100%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700
21104 Points ∼87%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
20703 Points ∼86%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
19353 Points ∼80%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
18505 Points ∼77%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
17649 Points ∼73%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
16533 Points ∼68%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
16490 Points ∼68%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
15389 Points ∼64%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
14724 Points ∼61%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
11332 Points ∼47%

DirectX 12

The gaps between the RTX and GTX GPUs increased in the DirectX 12-based Time Spy benchmark, which we ran at 1440p. The Turing architecture generally opens up a 30% lead over its Pascal counterparts in this benchmark, although the RTX 2060 scored almost 60% higher than the GTX 1060 and 5 points more than the GTX 1070. Moreover, the RTX 2070 scored 6% more than the GTX 1080, while the RTX 2080 is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the new front-runner.

3DMark - 2560x1440 Time Spy Graphics
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
9542 Points ∼100%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
7733 Points ∼81%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
7422 Points ∼78%
Schenker XMG Ultra 17
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 8700
6977 Points ∼73%
Alienware 15 R3 Max-Q
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7820HK
6101 Points ∼64%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
6028 Points ∼63%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
5948 Points ∼62%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
5735 Points ∼60%
Acer Predator Helios 500 PH517-51-79BY
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 8750H
5730 Points ∼60%
HP Omen 15-dc0015ng
GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q, 8750H
4708 Points ∼49%
Asus GX531GM (Zephyrus S)
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 8750H
3626 Points ∼38%

Raytracing

We also subjected our RTX-equipped laptops to the 3DMark Port Royal test, which is one of the first widely available benchmarks that supports raytracing.

The order of our comparison table is somewhat predictable, although the RTX 2080 Max-Q finished only 4% ahead of the RTX 2070. While our table just displays the scores for each GPU, the benchmark is almost unplayable on the RTX 2060, with most scenes running at under 10 FPS. Likewise, the RTX 2070 manages around 20 FPS, which is not fluent either. Even the RTX 2080 only averaged about 30 FPS, which is reasonably playable but shows just how demanding raytracing is.

By contrast, all the RTX GPUs can handle raytracing in Battlefield V comfortably, which we will cover in greater detail shortly. Please note that you must have the Windows 10 October 2018 Update installed to run the Port Royal benchmark on the RTX GPUs. You may have to initiate this update manually with laptops like the Gigabyte Aero 15, for example.

3DMark - 2560x1440 Port Royal Graphics
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
5377 Points ∼100%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
4268 Points ∼79%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
4114 Points ∼77%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
3259 Points ∼61%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
3240 Points ∼60%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
3028 Points ∼56%

Gaming Benchmarks

Full HD: 1920x1080

All the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series GPUs handle Battlefield V at 1080p with ease, just as they did with the Fire Strike benchmark. 1080p is not necessarily a good indicator of how each GPU performs either as they are pushing out such high frame rates that the CPU ends up being a bottleneck. Nevertheless, all the RTX GPUs can play Battlefield V at 1080p on the Ultra preset smoothly and with no issues.

Battlefield V - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
148 (min: 112) fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
121 (min: 88) fps ∼82%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
116 (min: 88) fps ∼78%
Acer Predator Triton 700
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
108 (min: 77) fps ∼73%
Asus G752VS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
103 (min: 78) fps ∼70%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
102 (min: 65) fps ∼69%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
102 (min: 78) fps ∼69%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
93.1 (min: 73) fps ∼63%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
84.1 (min: 61) fps ∼57%
MSI GT62VR
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
70.6 (min: 50) fps ∼48%

QHD: 2560x1440

The RTX GPUs all render Battlefield V at over 70 FPS in 1440p on the Ultra preset too. CPUs still appear to be affecting frame rates though, as demonstrated by the difference between the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2080 Max-Q. The latter theoretically should achieve better frame rates than the RTX 2070, but its weaker Core i7-8750H CPU appears to be holding it back.

Battlefield V - 2560x1440 Ultra Preset
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
115 (min: 90) fps ∼100%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
91.7 (min: 74) fps ∼80%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
91.6 (min: 72) fps ∼80%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
85.5 (min: 64) fps ∼74%
Acer Predator Triton 700
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
81.7 (min: 65) fps ∼71%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
75.3 (min: 59) fps ∼65%
Asus G752VS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
75.2 (min: 60) fps ∼65%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
75 (min: 60) fps ∼65%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
75 (min: 59) fps ∼65%
MSI GT62VR
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
52.8 (min: 41) fps ∼46%

UHD: 3840x2160

The RTX 2080 comes into its own at 4K. It is the only GPU on our comparison table that averages more than 60 FPS in Battlefield V on the Ultra preset and achieves over 30% higher frame rates than the GTX 1080. The RTX 2070 averages 52 FPS by comparison, which is 26% more than the GTX 1070 manages. The most worthwhile upgrade is again from the GTX 1060 to the RTX 2060, with the latter achieving 50% higher frame rates, which is the difference between borderline unplayable and a good gaming experience.

Battlefield V - 3840x2160 Ultra Preset
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
68.1 (min: 55) fps ∼100%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
52.5 (min: 42) fps ∼77%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
52.1 (min: 42) fps ∼77%
Alienware 17 R4
GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop), 7820HK
51.5 (min: 42) fps ∼76%
Acer Predator Triton 700
GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q, 7700HQ
44.8 (min: 36) fps ∼66%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
42.9 (min: 35) fps ∼63%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
41.8 (min: 33) fps ∼61%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
41.6 (min: 34) fps ∼61%
Asus G752VS
GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
41.4 (min: 32) fps ∼61%
MSI GT62VR
GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
27.7 (min: 22) fps ∼41%

Raytracing

We were positively surprised by the performance of the RTX GPUs when we activated DXR. Even though there are some graphics errors and we only noticed image improvements if we knew where to look, the degree to which Battlefield V is already optimised is impressive. The main improvements are with lighting and reflections, which Nvidia focuses heavily on in its Battlefield V promotional video.

However, you must currently compromise with on-screen resolution to achieve playable frame rates. DXR reduces frame rates by almost 50%, so raytracing at 4K is out of the question at present. 1,440p is not that playable either, but all the RTX GPUs averaged more than 40 FPS at 1080p on the Ultra preset. Interestingly, the RTX 2070 Max-Q fell 7% short of the RTX 2060 at these settings, although we suspect that the difference in CPU performance (and single channel memory) is also playing its part here.

Battlefield V - 1920x1080 Ultra Preset DXR
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2080 (Laptop), 9700K
70.4 (min: 56) fps ∼100%
Acer Triton 500
GeForce RTX 2080 Max-Q, 8750H
59.5 (min: 45) fps ∼85%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2070 (Laptop), 9700K
59.2 (min: 46) fps ∼84%
Schenker XMG Ultra 15
GeForce RTX 2060 (Laptop), 9700K
50 (min: 38) fps ∼71%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Dual Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
48.2 (min: 36) fps ∼68%
Gigabyte Aero 15 X9 (Single Channel)
GeForce RTX 2070 Max-Q, 8750H
46.6 (min: 35) fps ∼66%

Verdict

The Turing architecture brings not only the usual increase in performance but also a promising technology. Raytracing remains in its infancy and hardly any applications or games support it, but its potential is already there to see, as demonstrated in Battlefield V. You must currently compromise on resolution though, which may be a deal breaker for some gamers. Only time will tell whether Nvidia has backed the wrong horse.

The best value for money RTX laptop GPU is currently the GeForce RTX 2060, in our opinion. The graphics card is not powerful enough to deliver raytracing at playable frame rates, but it is a considerable upgrade over the GTX 1060 and is on par with the GTX 1070. The RTX 2080 and the RTX 2070 are noticeable improvements on their predecessors too, but not to the same extent as the RTX 2060 is.

We are disappointed with the RTX Max-Q GPUs though. The RTX 2070 Max-Q in the Gigabyte Aero 15 is only as fast as an RTX 2060 and occasionally achieved worse results in our tests. Hence, the naming of the RTX 2070 Max-Q is slightly misleading, mainly as it is unlikely that Nvidia will release an RTX 2060 Max-Q. We appreciate that our results may be slightly distorted by the standard RTX GPUs being paired with more powerful 9th generation Intel Core CPUs, but we would have expected better results from the RTX Max-Q GPUs, nonetheless. 

A significant shortcoming of the Turing architecture chips is Nvidia’s pricing. The laptops equipped with RTX GPUs will likely cost considerably more than their GTX 10-series counterparts (unofficial information), which may cause potential buyers to opt for the Pascal generation cards instead, at least until prices come down.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2070 & RTX 2080 Laptop GPUs Performance Review
Florian Glaser, 2019-01-29 (Update: 2019-02- 2)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor
I got my first smartphone aged 11, my first PC aged 12 and I have been tinkering with electronics ever since. I like to keep abreast of the latest news and technology, which inevitably leads me to switch my laptop and phone every few months. When I'm not writing for Notebookcheck, you will find me seeking out new coffee shops, bars and trying to find some hidden gems in record stores.