All the noise coming from Nvidia of late has pointed towards its imminent mobile GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 graphics cards beyond, pound for pound, exactly the same specs as their desktop counterparts. It means, for the first time ever, there is no performance difference between desktops and laptops, at least a stock speeds.
This is a game changer. Going mobile has its own set of pros and cons, but the weaker performance stood out like a sore thumb. Now you no longer need to sacrifice frames per second or resolution while playing on the go. In theory you’ll be able to buy a laptop with a GTX 1080 and absolutely smash through DOOM in 4K. You can voyage to Skellige at 60 frames per second. All from the comfort of your toilet. What a time to be alive.
Such things come with a cost of course. We still have zero idea just how much Nvidia intends to charge for its mobile chips. Nvidia is rumoured to be dropping the ‘M’ nomenclature entirely however. So rather than a GTX 1080M, it will simply be a GTX 1080, another surefire sign of just how similar these units will be to the desktop GPUs.
The ideal scenario would be them costing the same price, but cramming that hardware into a smaller footprint is likely to result in Nvidia jacking up the price. Still, it would surely be worth paying a small premium.
I know of course that many will still choose to stick with their desktops. There lies superior cooling, larger chassis, and overclocking capabilities that just wouldn’t be possible in a notebook for fear of overheating. There’s also the small matter of upgrades to consider. Spend $2000 on a notebook and that’s pretty much it. Once it’s out of date you might as well throw it in skip. Using a desktop it would just be a simple upgrade. On the flip side, with mobile chips matching their desktop counterparts, it does also mean high-end laptops will have much longer lifespans than they would before.
If Nvidia can pull through on delivering mobile performance matching desktop, at least on a base level, then on a personal level this would make my next upgrade a tricky decision. Normally I'm all about cheap laptops and a decent gaming PC, but if both could rolled into one for a reasonable cost then the landscape of PC gaming could well change forever.
What do you think, is there any chance of desktops fading away in favour of more portable hardware? If you were to buy a brand new PC, would it be a desktop or a laptop? Let us know why!