Nvidia's Mobile RTX 2060 Less Powerful Than Desktop Version

You might want to wait before emptying your wallet for an RTX 2060-equipped gaming laptop. Notebook Check reported on Sunday that Nvidia's latest entry-level mobile GPU performs worse than expected--anywhere from 20% to 25%--when compared to its desktop counterpart.

Nvidia previously made it clear whether a GPU was made specifically for a laptop or not. It no longer does so, however, opting instead to use the same name for different parts. Someone could theoretically buy an RTX 2060-equipped laptop without realizing it's not going to offer the same performance that an RTX 2060 desktop graphics card would offer. Consumers have to investigate the matter for themselves.

That's a little problematic when there are slight discrepancies between a GPU's mobile and desktop versions. But according to Notebook Check, the RTX lineup's performance gap is fairly large. The mobile RTX 2070 is 14% to 18% slower than its desktop counterpart; the mobile RTX 2080 narrows the gap to a difference of just 8% to 10%. That at least means the products get closer to parity as they rise in price.

It's unclear how much of this may be a difference may also be due to the difference in thermals from a laptop to a desktop or other circumstances .

Notebook Check said this performance gap means the RTX 2060's performance is just 5% better on average than a mobile GTX 1660 Ti. Although RTX 2060-equipped laptops offer other features besides beefy graphics cards, that difference makes it hard to justify paying more for such a slight performance bump, so thrifty gaming laptop shoppers might be better off settling for a laptop equipped with a mobile GTX 1660 Ti if they want the most bang for their buck.

We've reached out to Nvidia for comment on Notebook Check's claims and will update this post when the company responds.