Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Nvidia may have learned from its past VRAM mistakes

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Nvidia Blackwell chips.Notebook Check / Nvidia

Nvidia’s RTX 50-series is still largely a mystery, but the occasional leak keeps the hype alive. And this time, it’s gaming laptop enthusiasts who have reason to be happy. According to Moore’s Law Is Dead, Nvidia’s Blackwell laptop GPUs are receiving a much-needed boost to the memory interface, implying that Nvidia may have learned from its past mistakes.

Although rumor has it that Nvidia may be aiming to launch the first RTX 50-series desktop GPUs in the final quarter of 2024, we’ve heard very little about these graphics cards that didn’t come from leaks. We’ve heard even less about their laptop counterparts, but it’s possible that those will come later, as NotebookCheck reports that Nvidia may be delaying those models.

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Now, Moore’s Law Is Dead seems to corroborate that theory by claiming that Nvidia decided to make some much-needed tweaks to the mobile versions of the RTX 5080, the RTX 5070, and the RTX 5070 Ti.

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As per the YouTuber’s latest video, Nvidia is planning to deck out the RTX 5080 with the same GB203 GPU as the RTX 5090, which would put these two graphics cards on a much more even playing field. Not only that, but Nvidia is said to be tweaking the VRAM and the memory bus width in these cards, which, as we now know based on GPUs like the RTX 4060 Ti, is increasingly becoming necessary.

If the leak turns out to be true, the laptop version of the RTX 5080 will come with the GB203 GPU, but also the same 16GB of memory across a 256-bit bus. That’s the same configuration as in the current-gen RTX 4090 (mobile version) and, reportedly, the same as the RTX 5090. That would be huge, as in this generation, the laptop RTX 4080 is limited to 12GB VRAM and a 192-bit bus. The RTX 5070/RTX 5070 Ti is also said to enjoy similar perks, receiving an extra 4GB of video memory for a total of 12GB VRAM across a 192-bit bus. Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to every GPU across the stack.

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These gains are as needed as they are welcome. No matter laptop or desktop, VRAM is becoming a hot topic as of late — and with good reason. If Nvidia tunes up the RTX 5080 and the RTX 5070, we might be able to get solid gaming laptops at a more affordable price — bar any price increases.

Unfortunately, the RTX 5060 is still said to be limited to 8GB VRAM and a 128-bit bus in its mobile iteration. If proven true, gamers on a tighter budget who want a top-notch GPU will be faced with a hard choice. As 8GB of VRAM is not ideal even now, it’ll only become less optimal over time, so these laptops may need to be priced competitively to make up for not being able to keep up with the rising requirements in games.

As always, these are just rumors, so we’ll have to wait for Nvidia to make an official announcement before we truly learn the specs of any Blackwell GPUs. If they end up being true, though, it certainly seems like Nvidia has a big upgrade in store for gaming laptops.

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