Laptop & Desktop Graphics Comparison - Jarrod's Tech (2024)

I’ve tested 34 GPUs from laptops and desktops in 25 games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions. Simply click on one of the tabs below to view the results for a specific game.

Details about the hardware used in the test PC and specific gaming laptop models can be found below.

Upscaling was not used. Ray tracing was only enabled in The Witcher 3 and Metro Exodus Enhanced.

  • Overall Averages
  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla
  • Borderlands 3
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II
  • Control
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Dead Space
  • DOOM Eternal
  • Dying Light 2
  • F1 2021
  • Far Cry 6
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • God of War
  • Halo Infinite
  • Hogwarts Legacy
  • Metro Exodus Enhanced
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem
  • Rainbow Six Extraction
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Total War: WARHAMMER III
  • Watch Dogs Legion
  • The Witcher 3

These results are the averages from all 20+ games tested. There are fewer games included at lower resolutions as lower end GPUs could not run some games due to VRAM limits.

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This game has a 240 FPS frame cap. This is why GPUs that hit this limit at 1080p have lower 1% lows compared to lower GPUs.

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This is another game where the 1% lows really suffer on laptops compared to desktops.

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This is one of the few games where GPUs with 6GB of VRAM or less cannot run the highest "ultra nightmare" setting preset, hence the 0 results. It's also another example of much worse 1% lows from the laptops.

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Due to either a bug, bottleneck, or just how ray tracing was implemented, we found lots of GPUs maxing out at 30 FPS. This is most obvious at 4K.

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Accuracy Disclaimer

This data is not perfectly fairly comparable, and should instead be used as a rough guideline.

Each GPU takes us about 12 hours to test in 25 games at multiple resolutions, meaning total testing time was more than 400 hours, or 5 weeks non-stop with 12 hour days to test all 34 GPUs.

As this was not the only project I was working on, it took about 4 months to complete all of this testing, plenty of time for various games to get updated.

That said, when I noticed an update that affected performance I retested GPUs for accuracy, which further added more testing time. However, for laptops in particular, I do not get to hold onto these for long periods of time, so was limited in retesting some.

Drivers were another problem. Some graphics cards like the RTX 4060 launched in the middle of testing and required an updated driver to work at all, so this may differ a bit too with newer released GPUs.

Ultimately, the overall averages should be good enough for you to get a good understanding of where laptop and desktop GPUs fit in against each other as we’re averaging 20+ games. But specific game FPS results in newer titles that still receive performance updates may vary slightly.

But You’re Missing a GPU!

If a specific GPU is missing, the simple answer is that I was not able to get my hands on it for testing. I did the best I can, but I could not get some older models such as 6800 XT or the laptop RTX 3070.

Desktop PC Specs

Here are the specs of the PC that all of the graphics cards were tested in. No manual overclocking was done, consider all results stock. You can check the prices of specific components with these affiliate links:

Gaming Laptops Tested

Here are all of the gaming laptops that were used for each GPU. Please note that performance will vary between laptops with the same GPU depending on things like thermals, power limits, and more. Each link below is an affiliate link you can use to check current price and availability.

Water cooling doesn’t make too much difference to the RTX 4070/4080/4090 results, but it does help. This data was collected for other content, and given the small difference in performance I chose not to retest those 3 GPUs in 25 games at 3 resolutions on air. We can instead just consider them to represent best case laptops.

You can find reviews for most of these gaming laptops on my YouTube channel.

Laptop & Desktop Graphics Comparison - Jarrod's Tech (2024)

FAQs

Why are desktop GPUs better than laptop? ›

The desktop graphics card not only has 50% more VRAM, but 75% more memory bandwidth as well. And because the laptop GPU is power limited to 150-175W in the best cases, versus a whopping 450W for the desktop card, clock speeds are lower across both the GPU core and memory.

Is a RTX 4070 laptop good for gaming? ›

While the Nvidia RTX 4050 and RTX 4060 laptops are great for productivity and mid-tier gaming, the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 options can deliver an incredible gaming and productivity experience, though they cost a fortune. So, the Nvidia RTX 4070 laptops are the sweet spot for both gamers and productivity-focused users.

Should I buy an RTX 3080 laptop? ›

Is an RTX 3080 laptop worth it? RTX 3080 laptops don't come cheap, so if you're simply dipping your toes into the world of PC gaming they might not offer the best value for money on the market. However, if you're a keen player it's worth viewing your RTX 3080 laptop as an investment.

Which graphics card is best for a laptop, integrated or dedicated? ›

Dedicated graphics cards offer more memory and processing power than integrated graphics cards, allowing for smoother gameplay, faster frame rates, and better graphics quality. They also support the latest technologies such as real-time ray tracing and DLSS, which can significantly enhance the gaming experience.

Are PC graphics better than laptop? ›

Generally, desktop computers can be upgraded with more RAM, as they have more slots available. If you have a dedicated GPU (graphics card), laptop GPUs have a speed 70-80% of desktop GPUs. Desktop GPUs are generally of higher quality, as well.

What are the disadvantages of graphics card in laptop? ›

The drawbacks to a dedicated graphics card are that cards are expensive, physically large, use additional power, and produce heat. These attributes make it hard to fit into a laptop. Recent advances have allowed more manufacturers to put discrete graphics cards in larger, higher-end laptops.

Is RTX 3070 overkill for laptop? ›

The 3070 is an excellent foothold for mid range GPU power, not overkill like a 3090 but not bottom of the barrel like a 3060.

Will RTX 4070 beat 3080? ›

At 1080p the RTX 4070 was generally faster than the RX 6800 XT overall with a much higher average frame rate and also bettered the RTX 3080.

Will 750W be enough for RTX 4070? ›

RTX 4070 POWER REQUIREMENTS

That said, all our selections later down the page will be safe choices. Interestingly, the TDP is consistent, but the manufacturer-recommended PSU wattage varies a lot. Given that it tops out at 750W, we'll hover around 850W just to give you a bit more breadth for future upgrades.

Is 3080 overkill for laptop? ›

For most gamers, it's not practical to go for the 3080 because it is overkill. But if you're hell-bent on 4K gaming, by all means, the 3080 will deliver the gaming experience you want. The GPU you should buy boils down to your gaming preferences and the gaming titles you like to play.

What is a laptop 3080 equivalent to? ›

At the same TGP level the RTX3080 should be faster than the old top model, the RTX 2080 Super Mobile and similar to the desktop RTX 3070. This means, the GPU should be well suited for 4k gaming or QHD with high frame rates.

Which graphics is best for a laptop? ›

Look for GPUs from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX or AMD Radeon RX series. These GPUs offer a great balance between performance and affordability, making them suitable for moderate graphical tasks. They can handle applications like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and gaming at medium to high settings for most modern titles.

How do I choose the best graphics card for my laptop? ›

While price is a major consideration in your decision, also consider the performance and memory you need. And keep your computer's CPU in mind, because it may need an upgrade, too. After all, the best GPU is only as effective as its accompanying CPU.

Should I use Nvidia or integrated graphics? ›

If you want to use the laptop for gaming, video editing and other graphic's intense / heavy load I suggest to buy Laptop with discrete graphic that use NVidia or AMD Radeon gpu. If you only use for web browsing, office works or other's light usage it's okay to buy Laptop with integrated graphics.

Why are desktops more powerful than laptops? ›

The processing power capacity makes up for the lack of portability. With more dedicated space for more impressive and high-powered hardware, desktop computers generally outperform laptops.

Why desktop is better than gaming laptop? ›

Improved thermal conditions also mean that desktop processors have better speeds and more cores than laptop equivalents, and memory is often faster in PCs. All of these powerful components deliver better performance in games and applications, and that means you'll be able to handle a broader range of situations.

What is the main advantage of a desktop over a laptop? ›

The performance of a laptop can vary widely depending on the specific model and components. In general, however, desktop PCs are more powerful than laptops due to their larger size and better cooling. This means that desktop PCs can handle more intensive tasks such as gaming or video editing with greater ease.

Why is a desktop computer better for graphics processing? ›

Desktop computers for graphic design offer greater processing power and the ability to support larger screens. Because desktops typically have more memory and storage capacity, they are well equipped for the massive file sizes that come with high-end photo or video editing.

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