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Nvidia's GeForce RTX 20 graphics finally arrives on laptops later this month

Laptops packing NVIDIA's RTX 20 Series GPUs will arrive at the end of January. The RTX 2060 graphics card for desktops arrives in a few weeks.

Published onJanuary 7, 2019

The days of incredibly bulky gaming laptops are seemingly over with the launch of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 20 series for mobile.

NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced on stage at CES 2019 that more than 40 new laptops sporting these discrete graphics processors will be available in more than 100 configurations on January 29, 2019. Out of them, 17 of which will be based on NVIDIA’s Max-Q design, which offers high performance in compact form factors.

NVIDIA originally launched its RTX 20 Series in August 2018 starting with the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 TI for desktop followed by the RTX 2070 in October and the Titan RTX in December. NVIDIA didn’t reveal the RTX 2060 until its CES 2019 keynote demo while showcasing how ray tracing correctly renders reflections and refractions.

RTX 20

If you’re not familiar with NVIDIA’s next-generation GPUs, they’re based on its latest “Turing” design that improves on the previous generation while adding dedicated cores for ray tracing and artificial intelligence. The company initially received negative feedback due to the lower-than-expected frame rates stemming from ray tracing, but NVIDIA’s CEO said the company has since tweaked the balance between ray tracing and AI to bring the frame rates back to normal levels.

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For example, Huang demonstrated Battlefield V running at 60 frames per second using a 1440p resolution. With ray tracing turned on, the frame rate dipped to 45 frames per second. Once DLSS was turned on, the frame rate jumped back to near 60 frames per second. Short for Deep Learning Super Sampling, DLSS is a technique for training artificial intelligence to fill in the frame rate gaps – even upscale the visuals – caused by ray tracing.

The big deal with ray tracing is that it renders a near-realistic environment. As seen in the Battlefield V demo, you can see buildings reflected in windows, in puddles of water, and so on, even if a portion of the building isn’t on the screen. It’s a highly computationally-intensive process, requiring an extremely fast processor to render in real time. NVIDIA says it spent ten years working on the technology to bring affordable, real-time ray tracing to desktops, and now it resides in notebooks as well.

The big deal with ray tracing is that it renders a near-realistic environment.

One example notebook is the MSI GS65 with NVIDIA’s RTX 2080 discrete graphics. Huang said it’s 15 percent lighter and 10 percent smaller than the previous model, and faster than a desktop with a GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card. What’s interesting about the whole RTX 20 Series for laptops is that – even without Max-Q – form factors are slimmer than you typically see with thick GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 models packing bulky fans.

Finally, for a limit time, gamers who purchase a laptop with NVIDIA’s RTX 2060 or RTX 2070 can get Anthem or Battlefield V for free. Purchase a laptop with the RTX 2080 and you get both games.

As for the RTX 2060 for desktop, NVIDIA’s hardware partners will bring solutions to the market on January 15. NVIDIA will sell a Founders Edition version for a mere $349 as well. For reference, the RTX 2060 supposedly provides more performance than the $450 GTX 1070 Ti card.

In addition to the RTX 20 news, NVIDIA revealed it’s working on drivers to support A-Sync monitors. NVIDIA’s intent is to bring G-Sync capabilities to these panels so gamers aren’t forced to purchase a new display. The company already tested 400 but for now only 12 qualify. NVIDIA will dub these supported panels as “G-Sync Compatible monitors.”

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