It wasn’t long ago that a “gaming laptop” meant a notebook that could run Snake and Frogger. Yeah, it’s a laptop and they are games, but the only reason you’d play it is if you’re stuck at the airport for ten hours.
Over the year, technology has grown faster and smaller. Gaming laptops became machines that could handle games you cared about. We’ve seen high performance laptops that function as desktop replacements for people who travel a lot. They’re always a step or two behind their desktop gaming counterparts due to size and power restrictions, but they got the job done.
The Nvidia Geforce GTX 10 series is looking to change the whole game. This year they released their 1080, 1070, and 1060 graphics cards on desktop. They developed a new technique for building these cards that allows them to achieve higher scores using less power. The most exciting part is that this same technique allows them to put virtually identical version of these cards in modern gaming laptops.
Nvidia’s Geforce GTX 10 series is bringing desktop quality gaming to the laptop.
The Nitty Gritty
The Wikipedia page has a nice clean graph of the detailed specs for each card, so there’s no reason to rehash it here. If you like nerding out over that stuff, check it out there. If you don’t know what the hell all those numbers mean, here’s the cliffnotes.
This series of graphics cards is the tip of the top of modern gaming hardware. There is no higher peak. Astonishingly, the numbers between the desktop and laptop variants of this graphics card series are virtually identical. On top of that glory, the cards do this on less power, which is critical for laptops. This means longer battery life and better heat management. Christmas came early.
An Nvidia spokesman reports the research and development budget for this card set was several billion dollars. This is not just the next regular installment in the Geforce lineup. This is a major jump for the entire computer industry.
The Right Card For You
These top of the line video cards come in at a high price, as the newest line of video cards do. The 1080 runs for $599. The 1070 is at $379. And finally, the 1060 comes in at a very affordable $249.
Of course, for notebooks, we should start seeing popular gaming brands ship gaming laptop models with these video cards natively in them. Just be aware that if you see a 1080 in a laptop, that’s certainly where a large chunk of the cost lays.
The Nvidia Geforce GTX 10 series is so advanced that, quite frankly, it surpasses the needs of the vast majority of gamers. Unless you’re looking to play the most demanding games coming out next year at 4k with perfect frame rate, there’s no need to dish out the cash for the 1080.
The 1070 and the 1060 are the cards the majority of gamers should be interested in. Even the little brother of the series, the 1060, is plenty more then you need to play any game on the market currently or coming in the near future.
One of the key differences in the specs with the 1060 is that it has 6GB of RAM, while both the 1070 and 1080 have 8GB. This means the roughly hundred extra bucks you have to pay for the 1070 is worth your money if you’re willing to spend it.
If you’re in the market for a high end gaming laptop, look for the NVidia Geforce 10 series graphics cards. They’re worth searching for. And if you can’t find it, they’re worth waiting for. These cards a large jump towards closing the gap between desktop and laptop gaming machines.
Personally, I’m not currently in the market for a gaming laptop, but this news still excites me. I love the mobility and ease of use laptops allow. Nvidia’s advancements reach a new benchmark that the industry will have to catch up to. I’m excited to see where this leads gaming laptops of the future.