Hot on the heels of Intel's 11th Gen Tiger Lake laptop CPU launch, Nvidia are also announcing a new swathe of RTX 30-series gaming laptops today powered by their new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti mobile GPUs. These new entry-level RTX laptops will start from $799 in the US (UK pricing TBC), bringing Nvidia's ray tracing and DLSS technology to the mainstream.
There's no news yet on whether we'll also be seeing desktop variants of the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti any time soon, but I'd be surprised if they didn't follow suit in the coming months. In the meantime, Nvidia are saying that these laptop variants of the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti will be able to deliver 60fps+ speeds in many of today's top ray tracing games at 1080p with their performance boosting DLSS tech switched on, which is pretty good going for $799.
Admittedly, Nvidia's performance figures were obtained using Medium quality and Medium ray tracing settings, according to the stats they provided in my press briefing, so I'll have to wait until some proper review samples are available to see how they fare on higher quality settings, and what they can do in ray tracing games that don't have the benefit of DLSS. Still, provided these initial figures hold true, that should mean these laptops are capable of producing around 65fps in Control, just under 70fps in Watch Dogs Legion and Minecraft RTX, and almost 100fps speeds in Call Of Duty: Warzone, which again sounds pretty decent for the price.
Specs-wise, both the RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPUs will have 4GB of GDDR6 memory to their name, and a GPU power ranging between 35-80W, which is quite a bit lower than the rest of Nvidia's RTX 30 series laptop family. To see how the rest of their specs stack up against their other RTX 30 siblings, have a look at the table below.
|GPU||RTX 3080 laptop GPU||RTX 3070 laptop GPU||RTX 3060 laptop GPU||RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPU||RTX 3050 laptop GPU|
|Ray Tracing Cores||48||40||30||20||16|
|Boost Clock||1245-1710 MHz||1290-1620 MHz||1283-1703 MHz||1035-1695MHz||1057-1740MHz|
|GPU Subsystem Power||80-150W||80-125W||60-115W||35-80W||35-80W|
|Memory||16GB / 8GB GDDR6||8GB GDDR6||6GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR6||4GB GDDR6|
|Memory Interface Width||256-bit||256-bit||192-bit||128-bit||128-bit|
Interestingly, Nvidia's new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptops won't be replacing their existing GTX 16-series devices, Nvidia confirmed during my press briefing. Instead, their GTX 1650, GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti laptops will continue to exist alongside the new RTX laptops. I'd hope that would mean we'll start seeing some sizable discounts on existing GTX 16-series laptops, as many currently cost around the same kind of $800 mark as their new, considerably more powerful RTX 3050 counterparts. I'm not holding out much hope, given the lack of discounts we've seen on older RTX 20-series laptops so far, but maybe, just maybe, we'll get some decent deals out of it this time round.
Nvidia also expect there to be a "healthy ramp" of chips available to power these new gaming laptops, which should mean these devices are available to buy for longer than five seconds, too. "Laptop availability in a variety of regions on 30-series is actually quite good, especially in the higher end GPU SKUs," Nvidia told me during my press briefing. "The shortage is not as severe as it is on desktop."
There was still no comment on when we can expect the desktop situation to get any better unfortunately. Nvidia are currently saying stock shortages could continue until 2022 at this rate, so anyone in need of a much-needed upgrade may actually have better luck getting hold of a laptop (or indeed a whole new pre-built desktop) instead of trying to upgrade their existing rig.
As mentioned above, I'll do my best to test as many of these new RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptops as I can in the coming weeks and months to work out which ones are worth buying, so watch this space to see how they stack up.